Wild Style, recently formed by Frankie Catalano and Sonja Edel, is a fresh, new-age duo putting a twist on nineties Freestyle music dubbing it “NuStyle”. Their debut single “Take Me Home” has received glowing reviews since it’s release this past March, receiving radio play at top stations across the United States. Sonja, a Puerto Rican born dancer, toured the world with Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, Kesha and Ne-Yo. While Frankie, a singer born and raised in Los Angeles, toured the US modeling in between her opera performances.
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Read the interview highlights below, or listen to SCP Radio’s full-length podcast:
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Mike O’Keefe: You guys are based in LA, what is something you would suggest a first-time visitor to see?
Frankie Catalano: I’m a beach chick, so I say anybody coming to LA, I think we have some really awesome beaches. Like Huntington Beach is really cool. El Porto is really cool, especially if you like doing active things like surfing. A lot of tourists go to Hollywood. Hollywood’s not the cleanest place. You know, people go to Hollywood to see celebrities and I’m like, “Go to Malibu if you want to see a celebrity.”
SE: It’s very interesting, because the thing that a lot of people know is that depending where you grew up it’s totally different. So like, I grew up on the North Coast, like 20-minutes away from the capital, San Juan. And, I never surfed or was grounded. When I tell that to people, they’re just like, “What! You don’t surf? You never even like tried in Puerto Rico?” I’m like no, because there are actually key cities around the island where surfing is like all they do. But I did grow up going to all the beaches and there is a lot of getting stung by jellyfish, a lot of hiking and really cool spots in the middle of the island.
MO: How did where you grew up and your surroundings influence your music career?
SE: I grew up being a dancer. Well, first I grew up doing sports, and then one day I decided to dance. But back when I was around doing dancing competitions. You know how it really ties in? Freestyle music. I didn’t know what freestyle music was. I just understood the sound, but I didn’t know it was called freestyle music. So, I went to all these great dancing and popping battles, because in Puerto Rico, that happens all the time. So I just found myself there and around it all the time. When I moved to LA and met Richard, who produced our single “Take Me Home,” he told me and he was like, “This is called freestyle.” And I was like, “Dude! I grew up listening to that.”
FC: Oh, New York City is the best. I like walking everywhere, so that’s why New York. And the food, you can never get a better slice of pizza than in New York, or Chicago, I would say. Chicago is really cool too. Sonja lived in Miami for a long time, so we are big supporters of Miami. I actually have yet to ever go to Miami. But I have heard about that Cuban coffee. I need to know what that is all about, because I am a big coffee drinker.
FC: I want to show some love to Detroit. I love Detroit. I love the city of Detroit. I spent a lot of time there and I want to definitely bring some attention to that. It’s a great, great city.
MO: What’s your favorite part about experiencing a new culture?
FC: There are many things. I love the different — like in Italy, for example, how everyone takes breaks. Everything about the culture, how they eat, how people appreciate food is what I’m really into. Like Italians or a lot of people in France still like to sit and enjoy. And that’s something that we kind of lose, I think, here. In Europe, they love to sit and enjoy food. All the courses, they’ll have a meal for hours.
SE: Yeah, I was going to say that too. The food part and just the whole eating experience. Every single place you go to, it’s totally different. It doesn’t matter if it’s like a different city in America, an island or all across the world. It’s totally different and for me, that’s the most fun part.
FC: And same thing, even like within in the U.S., different dialects and different languages within each city. Like, you could go to Boston and you could tell where someone is from just by the way they talk. You know? I think that’s so cool.
MO: When visiting a new destination, what is the first thing you try to do?
SE: Sky diving, deep-sea fishing and going to Japan.
FC: That’s cool. All right. I’m dying to go to Egypt. I’d love to go to Australia. I love to surf and I love great white sharks, so I feel like that’s kind of like my number one destination. And then what would be my last one? I mean I have a bunch. I really like beaches. Did I mention that? I love beaches. But I would say Greece. Like Mykonos or somewhere to go and relax, watch a couple sunsets and not worry about anything.
FC: You say that, but I’m like the worst person to go on a relaxing vacation with. Because the second I get there, I just want to go see everything and do everything. I’m not the lay out type of person. You know? I won’t go lay out by the pool. I’ll be like okay, let’s go find the beaches. Like, I love to go to Hawaii. And you know you get there and like, “Okay, but there’s this other beach three hours a way and we could just go rent a car. And their like, “We just got here.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but we got to go see that beach.”
So I love to go do stuff. I look for different adventures to do during the day. I look for, in a vacation personally, well I don’t want to mention food again. I swear to God I work out. Good food, but mostly I look for cool things to learn about and see. Listen, I’m from LA. I could sit by a pool any day. But when am I going to hike up to a waterfall, you know?
MO: Exactly. Every country has a festival or celebration that stands out. What is one that you would like to go to?
FC: Yeah, it’s like they have this festival every year in Rio de Janeiro. Yeah, I think that’s what is. That one looks like a party.
SE: I would second that. I have heard stories of people who have gone to the carnival. It’s not just the partying and the drinking. It’s just like the experiencing of all these crazy people out there dancing, doing their thing and looking at all the costumes.
SE: The music is a huge part of it for me. It’s like a parade, but they are playing everything live in front of you, sweating. That experience, the culture of it, I would be down to do that. Frankie, when are we going to the Carnival?
FC: We’re going to go and you’re going to pop, lock and drop it. I’m going to whip and nae nae it.
FC: We want to go to Puerto Rico. I want Sonja’s family to cook me some food.
SE: Yeah, we have been talking about that. One of our producers, his family is also from Puerto Rico. So we have been trying to plan a trip.
FC: I’m like kind of trying to push him to book a tour in Puerto Rico. I’m like come on, let’s go to Puerto Rico. It’s no big deal. I also want to go to Bali. That would be cool. Where do you want to Mike? Tell us where you do you want to go.