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WPGM Commentary: SonReal Wants You To Keep Going On His ‘I Can’t Make This Up’ EP

My name is Aaron Hoffman also known as SonReal. I grew up in a small town in Canada called Vernon. There wasn’t even a recording studio to go to as a kid getting into music, so when I was 15, I saved up all my money with a friend and went halfers on a recording setup.

From that moment on, I became infatuated with rapping, songwriting, and just getting better overall as a recording artist. It’s funny because I was so bad but there was never a plan B for me, I always knew I would do music as my career.

Fast forward a bunch of years and tons of music put out into the world, I made my most recent work, i cant make this up. It’s ironic because instead of getting recorded in big studios in LA like I have the last few albums, I took it back to my roots where I started and recorded almost this whole project myself in my home studio.

There is something about the energy I get having to hit record myself that I love and it pushed me to make these songs what they are.

The EP has a deep overlying message of self-love and mental health awareness. Even on fun songs off the EP like “bananas”, I address the effects of social media on our young world and the importance of being present with people you love.

I always try to write with meaning and this EP is packed with it. People have asked me what my personal favorite is and it’s such a hard question because they were all made to live with one another, but I think “right before my eyes” might be my favorite.

Maybe. It’s just one of those songs that I wrote from a real place, at the time I was grieving a bit of personal stuff, and at the same time grateful for what I had. Another one of my favorite songs is “wide awake” because I feel it’s just a very unique take on a love song for me.

It was actually supposed to be a rap song, it has very hip hop drums and I initially started rapping on it. But once I found the concept and melody it just felt super unique to me. I wrote the majority of these songs on Zoom calls with my producer Trevor Muzzy. It was a challenge at times but I think that’s also another factor that played into the music being so authentic.

Every song off the EP has a visual. Whether it’s a music video or a visualizer, they all have a unique piece done for them. For anyone that knows me, videos have been one of my biggest passions and one of the things I think me and my team are best at.

The videos we do take a ton of thought, time, and we won’t even shoot it if the concept isn’t out of this world. The video for “bank on me” is one of my favorite videos we’ve ever done and we shot it in the middle of the woods during the thick of COVID.

In the video I play a version of myself that is fed up with everything and overwhelmed by the world and all its’ conspiracies that I vanish to the woods. Turns out I’m not as good at surviving as I may have thought lol. You gotta watch it to get the idea but it’s epic. Me and my friends do these videos together. Tons of brainstorming and planning goes into them.

All the creative for this EP was done by a 20-year old kid from Vancouver named Sterling Larose. I sent him all the music when they were just rough ideas and he lived with the music for a year before we started shooting the creative.

We would talk on the phone all the time about ideas and how we wanted the music to look visually. Brand is so important and I always saw this next phase of my career being vintage but more bright/pastel colours.

I am extremely close with my fans. I message with them everyday. For this EP we said anyone that pre-saves the project will have their names in the EP credits and we did just that.

If there’s anything you take away from i can’t make this up I would say keep going. This project is made to inspire. I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my career and personal life before and it’s always helped me create these songs.

I get messages from fans all the time telling me how my music got them through a tough spot in their life and I hope this EP can do that for anyone out there feeling that way.

Listen to i cant make this up below and download it here.

Words by SonReal // Follow him on Twitter + Instagram

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