Vintage Culture and Sonny Fodera Score a Beatport Number 1 with “Nightjar feat. Shells”

We catch up with Brazilian/Australian collaborators Vintage Culture and Sonny Fodera, whose track “Nightjar feat. Shells” just hit Beatport’s overall top spot.

8 min
Vintage culture sonny fodera shells beatport nuber 1
Feb 9, 2022
Heiko Hoffmann

Lukas and Sonny, congratulations on your new Beatport number 1 with “Nightjar.” How are you?

Lukas (aka Vintage Culture): Thank you Beatport and the fans. We are very humbled and proud to have reached number one with “Nightjar.” We put our hearts into this track and Shells delivered an emotional vocal performance. Her lyrics are intelligent and metaphoric. The audience response to the track our shows has been overwhelmingly positive. And working with my friend Sonny is always a pleasure. This is a very positive beginning to 2022. Coupled with this we’ve just announced a residency in Las Vegas with Tao Group. We’re going to work hard to continue this forward progress.

Sonny: I am good! Absolutely gassed to have another Beatport number one! Also to be back on Defected Records, a label I have worked very closely with over the years, and to also have another collab with Lukas (Vintage Culture) has been so exciting. I have also been a massive fan of Shells for so long, so this whole track just feels good!

What was the process of creating “Nightjar”?

Lukas: It was a funny coincidence, really. Sonny and I were already working on our track “Last Thought” and talking about working together on more tracks. But without knowing it, we were both working separately on Shell’s top line vocal for “Nightjar.” It seems the various music publishers involved had sent each of us the vocals separately and we both loved the song. When we learned this, we immediately joined forces to work on this great song together.

The process began with Sonny and I trading the instrumentals we were already working on separately and blending these together for something totally unique. Following this we’d send each other instrumental parts for the track, and even ideas for the vocal parts. Simon (Dunmore) at Defected Records was also very active in developing the track with us. He was a true A&R rep for this song in the traditional sense. “Nightjar” was a long but enjoyable process. Together “Nightjar” evolved into something we could never have done separately. We’re very proud of the final results.

Sonny: Yeah it’s actually a really funny story. Lukas and I were both working on the same song and Shells reached out to me and said that Defected wanted to sign it. I was a bit confused, but then I realised that Vintage Culture had been working on it, too. I was focusing a lot more on the vocals with Shells and another writer, and Lukas had this amazing guitar topline, so we kind of combined both versions together and it just sounded magical!

This is the second time you’ve been working together after last year’s “Last Thought”. How did you first meet?

Lukas: We admired each other’s work for a while and finally began communicating online. I don’t remember who reached out first, but we’ve become great friends. In addition to the studio collaborations, Sonny joined my set for a few tracks in Los Angeles. He is a very talented producer and the combination of our work really creates something completely distinctive. Bringing together an Australian music producer and a Brazilian music producer is bound to create a sound the fans have not heard before.

Sonny: Lukas and I met in Brazil, at a festival called So Track Boa, and we really hit it off straight away. Then we ended up hanging out on a terrace of a stage where he was playing a twelve hour set. We left and got a private jet together to Green Valley in Brazil, and that is where we started working on our previous collab “Last Thought.” We’ve been really close ever since — he is a good friend and we have a lot of respect for each other.

Lukas, just a little bit more than a year ago you had your first ever Beatport number one with your Defected debut, “It Is What It Is.” Since then you’ve been both very productive as well as extremely successful. Do you have a certain structure to how you work and which projects you are focusing on?

Lukas: Usually there are a few projects happening at the same time. I look for vocals and lyrics that inspire me. Also the mood and vibe the singer creates must move me in some way. The message that the song is conveying is an important part of what I do. I’m usually working within different genres simultaneously but it is the song itself which is at the heart of everything.

Sonny, how about you?

Sonny: I’m always working on new music and jumping in the studio with different kinds of artists. I love making all types of electronic music. Whether it’s house, tech house, techno — anything really! I’m currently working on another album at the moment, so watch this space.

Lukas during our last interview you mentioned you wouldn’t have been able to cope as well with the pandemic if it wasn’t for your dog Bentin. How is he?

Thank you for asking. Bentin is doing great. We moved to Miami for seven months and he adapted very well to the new environment. Now we’re back in Brazil for my next tour and Bentin is happy to be home.

Do you already have plans for another collaboration between the two of you?

Sonny: I’m 100% down to keep working with Vintage Culture & Shells. Lukas and I have such a special connection in the studio and I think it’s about time we do a B2B set.

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