SonReal, a former Seaton student (right), visited his old stomping grounds in May. (Vernon School District photo)

Vernon-raised star talks about journey in anticipation of homecoming concert

SonReal will be performing at Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre on June 5

Aaron Hoffman, better known for his stage name SonReal, attended W.L. Seaton Secondary in Vernon and started rapping when he was 15 or 16 years old.

When Hoffman was out of high school, he went to audio engineering school in Vancouver. Afterwards he went on to sign a record deal in Los Angeles where he makes most of his music now.

“You think it’s not possible because you’re from a small town,” said Hoffman, who is coming home to perform July 5 for his World Tour at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

Hoffman said his friends helped encouraged him to pursue music and get better at it. A lot of the people on Hoffman’s team, including his manager, videographer and DJ are his best friends from Vernon.

He owes his success to Vernon, he says, because if he didn’t grow up in a small town he wouldn’t have the same outlook.

“I was never the best rapper in the world, I was never the best singer in the world, definitely the best musician in the world, but I never did give up,” said Hoffman. “I’m literally just a story of a kid from Vernon that didn’t give up.”

Vernon helped him ‘stick to his guns’ as the small town didn’t have so much as a studio to record in, so he had to work hard and put his heart into it to make music.

“My whole thing with music is if I can give back to anybody and everybody, I want to,” said Hoffman. “A lot of people have anxiety, a lot of people go through depression and a lot of people feel alone right now in the world. I try to do what I can, play my part and make people feel good and make people get excited.”

Hoffman remembers struggling in school because he learned differently than others, so he visited Seaton in May because he wanted to inspire kids and make their day.

“I knew that going to my old high school would be something that excited the kids and would be something special for them,” said Hoffman.

He told every kid at the school that day that if they have a dream to put their mind to it and work really hard because anything is possible.

The Vernon show will be very special because Hoffman wants to give the best show that he can give to his hometown.

“I’m bursting at the seams, ” said Hoffman “I’m very excited.”

SonReal will be performing songs from his new album called The Aaron LP.

“It’s way more musical than anything I’ve ever done before,” said Hoffman. “I challenged myself with songwriting and trying to write a better song, tried to put more into my craft and I made my greatest body of work yet.”

Related: Famous hip-hop artist holds impromptu concert at Vernon high school

Related: Vernon raised hip hop artist SonReal receives two 2016 Juno nods

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Goose cull a no go in Vernon

Tied vote meant defeat for councillors in favour of the kill program

Vernon skater wins double gold at nationals

Speedskater Nate Benn collects four medals at Canadian Youth Long Track finals

Vernon part of end of internment camp ceremonies

June 2020 marks 100 years since the end of Canada’s first internment camps, including one in Vernon

New Armstrong IPE president has deep roots

Heather King elected at IPE’s recent annual general meeting

Seedy Saturday returning to Vernon

Popular event hosted by Sustainable Environment Network Society set for March 21 at rec centre

Okanagan rescue team comes back home from Australian mission

Brad Pattison’s team spent 33 days rescuing wildlife

Alleged racially-motivated vandalism concerns Penticton Chinese community

Chinese community worried fear surrounding COVID-19 coronavirus a cause for discrimination.

Kelowna mayor to request RCMP’s ‘unfounded’ sexual assault report

RCMP said the report was completed over a month ago but have yet to release it or make a statement

Criminality not suspected in Ellison trailer fire death

The body was discovered after crews responded to reports of a house fire

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Kelowna youth accused of killing 16-year-old released

The young woman was arrested on Feb. 21 and is facing one charge of manslaughter

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

Man arrested following suspicious trailer fire in Kelowna

Reports came in about the fire at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Monday morning

Most Read