Nina van Zelst
By Nina van Zelst

Sogma plays quite the big part within the electronic dance music industry. Besides just releasing his brand new EP Rise on the Spirit of Hardstyle label, he’s been working behind the scenes ever since 2013 – while creating some of the most legendary shows of our hardstyle scene. We talked to Jonathan about his brand new EP and learned more about his work.

Jonathan founded his company Sogma Productions back in 2013, with which he inspired to create endshows, show intros, trailer music and so on. “It all started when I met Joshua Dutrieux – JDX – in 2010 in NYC, who I consider to be the be master of show music. At that time, he was preparing to start up his label JDX Music and he offered me to come aboard as full time producer.” And so it began: Jonathan quit his day job and started a crazy journey.

“You can say that ‘State of Great Mental Abstraction’ is my mission statement when I’m creating music”

Sogma co-produced alongside Joshua on numerous projects and quickly began gathering experience in the world of show intros, sound design, and orchestral music. “In 2013, Joshua wanted to explore a different path and focus more on music for films. After many talks with Josh, I decided it was a good opportunity to continue on the path of show music and launch Sogma Productions.” 

A company that by now covers everything that is audio related. “My services provide original music and sound effects for trailers, show intros, online content, as well as audio editing and mixing for aftermovies. Besides hard dance events, I have also done work for rock, pop, and EDM festivals.”

SOGMA is an acronym for “State Of Great Mental Abstraction”, something Jonathan came across on a Trance CD in a music store. “Those words resonated so much with me that I decided to make it into my DJ name and use it as an acronym. I’ve always liked music with a lot of emotion, beautiful melodies, and an overall atmosphere that allows for you to reflect and think.” Sogma always tries to invoke this feeling in his work, “so I guess you can say that “State of Great Mental Abstraction” is my mission statement when I’m creating music. It’s the idea of immersing yourself in the music and allowing it to take you wherever it pleases.”

“The concept behind the Sogma edit is to dismantle a track down to its most important element, and rebuild it with more emotion and expression”

Jonathan’s work has been showcased on the mainstages of Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, Defqon 1, Qlimax, and many more across the world. “For me, every show needs to grab your attention from the very first second and provide power, a feeling, or deliver an experience. But, there is also a hidden and unexplained science behind it. A good show does not rest solely on the hands of the producer. The client also plays a very big role because they are the directors and this is their film.” Sogma likes to think of a show as being “one big machine with tiny moving parts, and each part plays a vital role in making it all work cohesively.”

The Sogma sound definitely differs from others in the scene: a concept that is unique without a doubt. “The concept behind the Sogma edit is to dismantle a track down to its most important element, and rebuild it with more emotion and expression. This allows me to really dive deep and take the track on a more intimate and musical journey. It is very important to me that the core element of the track shines through the entire edit.” Because of this, Sogma experienced a true highlight in his musical career. “The ability for me to create music that is heard by tens of thousands of people at major events and festivals around the world.”

“I had to find the right moments of when to slow things down and when to go full throttle”

Besides creating shows, Jonathan also started to incorporate hardstyle into his cinematic Sogma productions. This month he released his very first EP Rise, which contains 4 brand new tracks: 3 solos and 1 collab with none other than Noisecontrollers. For Jonathan, this was the right moment to start producing music that caters both to event promoters as well as the general public. “We live in a time where event promoters are at the top of their game when it comes to stage production, and delivering an experience through light-shows and fireworks.”

On the Sogma socials, Jonathan explained the EP would be experimental and explore the world of cinematic music combined with electronic sound design. Combining these two different worlds was not the easiest thing to do. “It was indeed challenging finding that perfect balance between the orchestral and digital worlds. I did not want the EP to sound too orchestral, but also not too electronic. I had to find the right moments of when to slow things down and when to go full throttle.”

“All I will say is, expect more Sogma!”

In the end however, everything worked out perfectly. Now that the EP has been out for a while, Sogma is very happy about the end result. “I’m really happy with how it all came out. The reactions have been overwhelming and I’m extremely thankful to know that there are people out there who appreciate this kind of music.” Rise has been released on the well-known Spirit of Hardstyle label, according to Jonathan the perfect place to showcase his sound.

I had already done edits in the past for Noisecontrollers, Bass Modulators, and Audiotricz and they have shown me a lot of support over the years. The entire team at Spirit really believed in my work and I’m really grateful they gave this EP a chance.”

Since he has just released his very first EP on a huge hardstyle label, there are loads of ambitious goals for the future of Sogma. Among them is a lot of new music coming our way soon. “I already have some ideas of doing a follow up to this EP. There are also some collabs in progress, and edits for 2020. This is only the beginning. All I will say is, expect more Sogma!”

To be kept updated on the latest Sogma news, be sure to keep an eye on his socials. Visit this link to download the full Rise EP on all different portals, and enjoy his unique sound of cinematic hard dance. 

Jonathan Diaz Sogma Rise EP

Footage via Facebook-page Sogma

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