Taranaki musician hits the charts with latest album

Andre Manella, better known by his moniker Sonic Delusion, is a one-man powerhouse. Taranaki Community News caught up him to find out about his latest album, Anything Goes.

Hi Andre! You’ve recently released a new album. Can you tell us about that?
This is my fifth album, it’s called Anything Goes, and it’s a happy, positive collection of original upbeat songs. It was recorded here in Taranaki in my own studio, and produced in studios in Switzerland and Coromandel. 

The album hit number 6 on the NZ Indie Album Charts. How did you feel about that? 
Super proud! I’ve achieved this by selling my CD at gigs and people streaming and downloading my songs online. I’ve got the best fans in the world, who support me with every album so far. I’ve put a lot of hard work into this album and I’m super happy it reflects in the charts. 

You’ve been on a pretty extensive tour recently. Where did you end up, and how did it go? 
I’ve basically not stopped touring since 2013! I’ve recently worked out that I have played more than 700 shows in New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Germany and Netherlands in the past six years. 

I love being on the road and playing shows to different people, in different towns. Each place is unique and different from the others. On my more recent tour adventures I went all over the North Island, but one of the standouts was Gisborne, where I haven’t been in a long time.

I played at a venue called Dome Cinema and Bar. It’s a stunning building with a very creatively decorated inside and the people are extremely warm and welcoming. If you’re ever on the East Coast go and have a meal. You will not be disappointed. 

“In a world cluttered with solo acoustic singer-songwriters aiming for the laid back beach mood, Sonic Delusion is funny, fresh and funky…a welcome breath of entertainment, joy, fun and smiles.”

GRAHAM REID on Anything Goes

How do you describe your music to people who have never heard it before? 
Too funky for folk and too folky for funk! Somewhere between folk, pop, funk and Latin.

If you could have a jam session with three musicians from history, who would they be? Mozart (be interesting how he’d react to my music), Jack Black, and Solomon Burke. 

What’s been a highlight of your music career so far? 
I was extremely stoked when I got to play two of my favorite music festival in Switzerland a few years back. Blue Balls Festival in Lucerne (yeah I know, interesting name) and the Heitere Festival in Zofingen.

Those are both festivals I would have gone to every year before I made music professionally, and being on the poster with Queens of the Stone Age or Birdy feels pretty good. 

I also think every single album release show in New Plymouth has been a highlight. I’m lucky to have fantastic local support and so far they have always turned into great nights!

What do you like to do when you aren’t touring?
Music is a huge part of my life and I’ve recently started another few musical projects which keep me more than busy when I’m not touring.

My most recent band is called Turkey the Bird. It’s a folk trio that features two of my friends, Adrian Whelan on guitar and vocals and Sol Bear Coulton on banjo and vocals.

Then, I’m part of a seven-piece afrobeat Latin band called Banana Mundo, and I have an techno jazz band called Ed Pool that also takes up a lot of my time.

Besides that I’m organising entertainment for different venues around Taranaki.  

Who are you listening to lately?
One of my more recent musical discoveries is a band called Bear’s Den. They are the reason I’ve started Turkey the Bird.