Take Five with Sonny Dhanowa

 

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Photo credit: Hans van der Linden

Meet Sonny Dhanowa from Trowbridge in the UK.

 

After studying Biological and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Exeter, then working for ten years, Sonny (pictured right) decided on a total change of field and direction and pursued a new career in music and business. If you are familiar with the social media of Antwerp’s vibrant music scene, you may have noticed Casa De Sonny events on your feed. These evenings take place for free in Sonny’s stylish Italiëlei apartment, and showcase local and visiting musicians. 

Having been to one of these, I was curious to learn about what inspired Sonny to do this here in Antwerp …

So who are you and what are you doing here in Antwerp?

I’m Sonny Dhanowa from Trowbridge, UK (nearish to Bristol). I was living in Barcelona, Spain for thirteen years before coming here three years ago, and before that I was in London. I’m a DJ/ producer and general music lover. I’m using Antwerp as a base of operations while I kick start different music related projects.

 I went to a Casa de Sonny evening, and would love to come again. It seemed a very unusual event -what prompts someone to open the doors of their home for free and making no profit, as a hang-out for people who they do not know?

I’ve been promoting nights- on and off- for most of my adult life; from the standard party with DJs to more elaborate and unusual nights involving different cultural aspects such as bands /film /dance/spoken word. I was extremely fortunate to move into a nice large loft-style apartment when I arrived in Antwerp, so the decision was basically made for me. And as I’ve found Antwerp to be quite an expensive city, it was easy not-charging people entrance and tell them to bring their own drinks. I believe in uniting people through community projects regardless of age, race, gender, language … but also regardless of wealth. I also LOVE meeting new people!

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What should we be looking out for at Casa de Sonny, or on the Antwerp music scene in the near future?

As per usual, I’ll be holding an eclectic mix of events over the following months: singer-songwriters, comedy nights, African music nights, and even album launches from local hip-hop artists. From an Antwerp perspective, there is way too much going on, I actually have a hard time keeping up with everything!

My next night is on the 14th of July – Ants Jeffares (NZ) & Jo Laureys (BE)

What are your favourite Antwerp hang-outs and venues & why?

My favourite hang-out is my flat! But apart from the obvious, I love chilled out bars, Crossroads Café is a personal favourite -mainly because it’s the closest bar to where I live, but also because they have live music events and jam sessions.

 

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logo design by Zwarfprod

What are your current (or near-future) projects and aspirations?

I’m gearing up to release an album in September on a small record and apparel label I’m in the process of setting up: Blue Ghost Records and Apparel. 

With my long-time collaborator, Daniel Roberts, we form the duo, “Dekalog”. Our first release, “Een: Bread and Circuses”, is with Antwerp jazz singer, Fien Desmet, and Ghent/London based rapper Amazumi, and also features contributions from musicians from various parts of the world.

 

Intrigued? Check out these links to find out more:

Casa de Sonny on Facebook and on Instagram

Blue Ghost Records on Instagram

With many thanks to Sonny Dhanowa for this interview and for the images used in this post.

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Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &  Pinterest

This weekend in Antwerp: 20th & 21st January

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

Saturday

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It’s National Tulip Day –really. It marks the beginning of the tulip season, and while this might be more of a big deal for our friends in the Netherlands, it will be marked here in Antwerp too, with a tulip garden on Astridplein where you may pick one bunch of tulips for free, between 1pm -4.30pm

It’s the annual Children’s Ball at Opera Vlaanderen (Frankrijklei 3) at 11pm. Tickets are 8 euros via the link

At Het Roze Huis it’s the regular free film night. Tonight showing the 1990 Madonna movie-  Strike a Pose at 8pm.

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Or head for the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt for an evening of fun impro theatre (in English) courtesy of Swaajp at 8pm. Tickets are 9 euros (a mere 6 for students) and this week the special guest is Hila di Castro, from Israel.

 
Sunday

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Permeke Library and Café

Two events at Permeke library today: the first is the regular “boekenplein” (second hand books, graphic novels, magazines and more) which takes place on the third Sunday of every month on de Coninckplein from 10am -4pm) and the second is a read-aloud hour for kids aged 4-8 at 11am (Dutch). Both are free. I also really like the cafe at Permeke (that’s the glassy green cube by the library entrance).

If  your finances are looking a bit on the thin side after the festive season, you will be pleased to know it’s the first Goegekregen/ SNITT second hand market (‘rommelmarkt’ in Dutch) this year -at the Park Loods from 9am -6pm. Free.

And here’s a children’s opera-based show which caught my eye. There are two performances on Sunday (at 3pm and 5pm), for kids aged 8+ and tickets cost 8 euros (via the link).

Wrap up, Antwerplings! It’s been a chilly week and not going to be a warm weekend, and alas, both Saturday and Sunday are likely to be showery.

Miscellaneous

One week to go until BATS panto …. the last remaining tickets can be purchased here.

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If you want to keep those winter warmth feelings going for as long as you can, winter bar Aspen Bocadero is still open (until January 21st)

If you are young and in a band and want to play live at the Antwerp 2018 Festival in May, check out this contest run at KAVKA -you need to register by the end of the month.

Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

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Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &

Pinterest

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