How Sonnie Waves went from the gridiron to the main stage


Sonnie Richardson, better known by his stage name Sonnie Waves, is adding himself to N.C. Central University’s rich history of musical talents alongside Kim Arrington, Charles Whitfield, Sunshine Anderson, and Patrick “9th Wonder” Douthit.

Richardson, a Raleigh native, was previously known for his electrifying playing style on the football field as a wide receiver. Now, he has hit the music scene with the single “Candy” where he raps in a melodic tone revealing the intimate connection with his companion. The single “Candy” is one of many of Richardson’s hits along with the singles “You” and “Love Me” to name a few.

Much like a majority artists in the industry, Richardson uses music as an outlet and the love is deeper than the ability to rap over a beat.

“Music is a passion of mine. It’s a way to express how I feel and what I’m going through,” said Richardson, an NCCU criminal justice junior.

After spending two years at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., Richardson has found a new home at NCCU. Returning to North Carolina was a chance to vitalize his music career by shifting his focus solely on music.

Sonnie Waves has begun to gain recognition on NCCU’s campus, and rightfully so. In 2016, he released his first EP “No Going Back” which was exclusively released on iTunes and Apple music. Then, two years following, he released a series of singles that included “Break Bread,” “You,” and “Flexing.”

At the age of 16, Richardson began his music career, with influences by many mainstream musical artists in the industry today such as Drake, Chris Brown, and NC native J Cole. Sonnie Waves has mimicked these artists to create his unique artistic style.

“Their music always make sense. Their musical style is very diverse, especially Drake, he’s really my all time favorite,” said Richardson.

Although he used the blueprints of mainstream artists as guidance, Sonnie Waves prides himself on being a person of his own.

“Being yourself is important. Originality is something that a lot of artists lack and I want to make sure I’m not categorized as one of those artists,” said Richardson. Richardson is creating his own lane in the music world with his relentless work ethic and creativity.

Matt Hamilton, who works closely with Richardson to bring all of his ideas to reality as his videographer, can testify on behalf of his creativity and work ethics.

“The thing I love about working with Sonnie is that he knows what he wants in his projects. He has great ideas, he is good at transferring those ideas into real life, and I bring it all together with the visual production aspect. The ideas for his visuals are usually brought up by him. However, he works great with any concepts or ideas that I bring to the table as well, which makes projects a fun, collaborative effort,” said Hamilton.

Based on a behind the scenes experience at the video shoot for the single “On Her Wave,” it was apparent that the two have a rapport and their creative minds compliment one another.

Richardson also shared additional information on his music career following with his expectations for the new year.

“My goal for 2019 is to expand my fan base as much as possible by increasing my streams throughout all 50 states and possibly more, from local to global,” said Richardson. Although he knows it’s all a process, he is still optimistic about his future.

Continue to look out for Sonnie Waves as he prepares to release his second solo EP “On My Wave” late February which will be available via iTunes and Apple music.

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