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.”
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