Sonny Digital’s been a major cog in Atlanta’s trap scene for years now, but even he’s not all that sure of how to define it. For him, the genre isn’t so much embodied by one sound as it is a collection of them.
“From being inside speaking outward, it’s different aspects to it,” the producer tells XXL when asked about the appeal of the dominant hip-hop subgenre. “I feel like everybody bring they own sauce to it. People generalize it all under trap, but I feel like Zay got his kinda trap that he makes, Southside got the kind that he makes, Metro got the kind he makes. Everybody got they own sauce that they add to the pot. That’s what makes it trap.”
From the ominous chords to the throbbing 808s to the bright, melodic piano to its occasionally glittering synths, the multi-layered sound of Atlanta trap has been a Billboard Hot 100 mainstay over the last several years. Sonny knows a little something about putting together the sounds that make hits—he’s produced for the likes of Future (“Same Damn Time”), 2 Chainz (“Birthday Song”) and 21 Savage (“Red Opps”). Now he’s offered up some of those production elements to his fans.
About a year ago, Sonny teamed with Splice—an online production studio and web community for producers—to release the first edition of his specialized drum kit. In the time since linking with the platform, his pack has become the most widely used on the entire site. But how did it get so popular?
“It’s coming from Sonny, first of all,” offers Sonny, who turned 27 earlier this month. “And the sounds actually are good… It’s what I really use.”
Splice has taken a more direct approach to spotlighting the sound of Atlanta trap with a week-long campaign that features new sound packs from the likes of Digital Nas, Pluss, FKi and Danny Wolf. Additionally, Sonny recently unveiled plans for a beat-making contest through the platform. The winner, who will secure their W by crafting a fire beat using Sonny’s drum kit, will get a phone call feedback session from Sonny himself. He’ll even put the track on social media.
“If somebody make some good stuff out of my sound pack, of course I’ma link with them,” Sonny says. “I probably need to link up with them, probably put them on the team or something.”