NewTracks New Artist: Sanoi

NewTracks New Artist: Sanoi

Jonas Fischer is a German-born multi-instrumentalist but Sanoi has found a welcoming home here in NZ and in his own world of mostly instrumental electronic music. NZ On Air Music liked the sound of his song Zero Gravity and included it on their NewTracks compilation this December.

What’s your full name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My name is Jonas Fischer and I am originally from Germany, but in NZ since 2015. I dabble in a lot of instruments like drums, keys, guitar, and bass – just good enough so I can communicate to actual players what I want I guess.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

Music in school was always one of my favourite subjects and I was lucky enough to have had great teachers that recognised my love for music and supported me in my endeavours.

Any other musical projects we might know you from?

I did have a very short-lived 2-piece synth-pop band when I was living in Napier called Hame Jones, and I look fondly back at those days! Though I am sad this did not go the way it could have gone, it still was a great experience.

What’s the background to Sanoi? Is anyone else involved?

Sanoi is the project where I found my musical voice after faffing around for many many years and exploring electronic music. Although it is a solo project I have frequent collaborators like Christchurch’s Beacon Bloom, or Wellington’s Zuke that play a big part in my development as an artist and where I am today musically.

How and when did you come up with the name for the new project?

I get asked sometimes what Sanoi means but it is actually not that deep. It is the sound when a recording of my name gets played backwards. And for aesthetic reasons I changed the j with an i.

Jonas = Sanoj = Sanoi
Silly, I know…

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting?

That’s an interesting curve. I have been making electronic music for over 15 years now and music, in general, all my life but I only started to understand structure and storytelling in my mostly instrumental music in the last three years. Before that, I was just not pursuing music enough.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? 

A big highlight for me was definitely playing for the first time a DJ set with all my own produced music in front of my favourite people in the world at my favourite festival in NZ (Shipwrecked). That was a very rewarding moment and I felt that what I do reaches people in a way I intend and it all works together well.

What makes Zero Gravity stand out for you as a single?

It marks a transition from my work over the last two years into a new chapter.

What’s the story behind Zero Gravity?

The track was written in a little bach by the sea, out west. I went and borrowed some drums and loaded my car full of everything I could fit in there and went to the batch for three days. It was very quiet and peaceful and inspiring to take it slow and really listen to the inspiration or the melodies in the wind that was rattling the house from time to time. I would say this tune came about from going inward and listening to my inner dialogue.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

My favourite bit is when the track transitions into the break in the middle and the whole middle part. It makes me think of slow motion and seeing videos of very high-speed cameras where fast-moving objects just hang in the air weightless.

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

I think that it’s okay to let go and put down the things that are weighing you down in your life, if only just for a brief moment, and float, weightless in zero gravity.

Who else is in your team?

I have the amazing people from Loop on my team, and especially Emma Hall-Phillips is moving mountains and keeping the Sanoi ship on course. Big shout out to her.

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for? 

Currently, I am working on an audiovisual live show that is going to accompany the upcoming album and will be ready for people to experience sometime next year.

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others?

No funding success for now but my track Club Jesus with Beacon Bloom got included on NewTracks which was pretty rad. My advice is to keep on trying, you will get your turn eventually, and till then make the best with whatever means you have at your disposal. You don’t need money to be creative.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

Actually yes. There is one YT channel that I love to watch and it deals with synths but also creativity, workflows and great reviews. I am a big synth nerd so I love all this stuff. This one here.

Any last words?

I am very excited to share the rest of the album with everyone in the next coming months and can’t wait to take everyone on a journey in the next year.