If you aren’t familiar with the name Sonny Bonoho, then you may have an inkling of a memory regarding the distinctive and entertaining personality who has opened up for famous music acts like Twista, Cassie, Sean Kingston, and 2 Live Crew – “ just to name a few. Since the age of six, Sonny Thongoulay (a.k.a. Sonny Bonoho) has been indulging in the world of hip-hop music. Having grown up in an environment where a lot of his family members, including his parents, were musicians themselves, it was only natural to take interest in music. However, it was at the age of 18, after obtaining his first beat machine, that he took a serious interest in hip-hop.
Since then, this Northwestern University graduate has been a professional in the entertainment business and has gone on to accomplish only very few can do. As a self-made rapper/producer/promoter, the Laotian has become a great presence in the hip-hop scene in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., specifically in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. And, as previously mentioned, he has been the opening act for over a dozen famous recording artists, which also includes Playboy Tre and Bohagon, the CEOs of Georgia Durt. In addition, Bohagon is also under hip-hop recording artist Lil Jon’s record label, BME Records. In 2005, Sonny started to work frequently with the two recording artists, and many projects came out of that collaboration. Sonny shot the “Get Down” music video with Playboy Tre. In 2006, he contributed the song “Telling You” featuring Playboy Tre to the Da Gurt Complilation album. In addition, Sonny formed a group with Playboy Tre called “The Bona Brothers,” and during 2007, Sonny performed over 100 shows. He even went on tour with Bohagon and Playboy Tre in Germany.
With an abundance of success so far, it’s no surprise that companies such as Tribal Gear, Mixwell, Mecca, and A Tiziano have given him the chance to endorse their products.
And, to top it off, not long ago he released his debut album, “Life of a Back-up Singer,” via his own record label, Twenty Fifty. After just listening to the sample tracks available, his music is truly a breath of fresh air in comparison with the clichÃ©d hip-hop music that reigns supreme these days. However, it just isn’t his music that is refreshing, it is also what he has done outside of music that has makes him stand out from most hip-hop artists.
For many years, Sonny has been recognized and praised for is his philanthropic causes and contributions to the community.
“It’s important to give back to the community because we all are a part of the community and its important to do our part,” said Sonny. “For the past six years I put on a hip-hop community event called “Glitta” and “Mad-N-Mic” where kids can come and showcase their talents. I have also held benefit concerts to raise money for the Southeast Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina victims.”
It’s important to give back to the community because we all are a part of the community and its important to do our part
In 2003, he was even nominated for KUBE 93.3’s Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Hip-Hop for the “Community Leader” category.
And, besides giving back to the community, you can always find him working hard on new, personal projects. Recently, he has established his own skate line, BB SKATE (www.bbskate.com), adding the title of entrepreneur to his list of accomplishments.
“When I was a kid I liked to roller-skate,” said Sonny. “Now I have kids of my own and I wanted to start a company with a product that they would enjoy. When I had the opportunity to start a skate line, I jumped at the chance.”
With Sonny constantly juggling and adding in new projects all the time, he was asked what would be next for him in the next few years. His reply:
“God willing, the world will know “Sonny Bonoho’.”
Sonny’s sophomore album, “Phone Phreak” is expected to be out by the end of this year.