Years ago, I spent my time wandering the halls of OCAD University, which was where I met Gabriela. We had both enrolled in a musical instrument construction class and spent half a year making flutes out of PVC pipe and ukuleles that held together just long enough to be graded (well, mine anyway). Once the class ended, we kept in touch online, and it was here that I learned of her sister Melody, and the incredible talent they both encompass as artists, designers, photographers, and musicians. Living vicariously through their travels, I caught up with them before they head out west to continue pursuing their career as the musical duo, Sonagur.
Describe what brought you to what you're doing now.
We were born and raised in Switzerland and eventually moved to Florida. After a lot of back and forth’s between Switzerland and Florida, we eventually transitioned to Canada. We grew up with creative family members and parents who were both musicians. We dabbled in a lot of different creative things as children - painting, drawing, dance, photography, and music. And once computers came into the picture, a lot of our time was spent designing banners, avatars, learning HTML to edit our Neopets profiles, and making clothing for our Sims. Maybe it was the time spent in Swiss schools where crafts were valued from an early age, or maybe it was those Sunday School teachings telling us that anything was possible with faith, or maybe it’s all in the genes, but somehow, these were all factors that led us to pursuing what we crave to do and become the people that we are.
It's great that you've had the opportunity of experiencing such different areas of the world. Which cities have you enjoyed the most and what have you learned or taken from them?
Gabriela: I don't know if there's a place I've enjoyed 'the most' - I think every place we lived in had its ups and downs and a purpose for it. Growing up in Switzerland, especially from kindergarten to grade 5 or so, we spent a lot of time immersed in nature and creativity, taking trips outside, learning about apple trees and making apple sauce, going mushroom hunting in forests with our grandparents - I didn't realize back then how much those little things impacted my life, but they did. Florida taught me a very important language - English obviously, and being immersed in the States, surrounded by a culture that believes in 'pursuing your dreams', it gave us a confidence to believe in ourselves and our passions. We were involved in several churches with our parents and grandparents, and from a young age growing up, I always thought a lot about spirituality and philosophy, and always felt a strong bond with God. When we moved to Canada from Switzerland, I was pretty relieved - I wasn't happy at that time in my life when we moved back to Switzerland. Toronto brought forth meaningful friendships that I'll have and hold for a lifetime, and the means to pursue what I love doing professionally. It also beats the record of the place we've lived in for the longest time - 7 and a half years.
Melody: It’s a question we get asked often, and it’s a hard one to answer each time. I think like Gabriela said, each place taught us something different and it’s difficult to name one more valuable than the other. I was 7 or 8 when we officially made our first move to Florida, and that was definitely impactful in many ways. I experienced having to make new friends for the first time, having to learn a new language on my own, I started discovering God at that time, too, which changed every part of my life. Now fast-forward to moving to Toronto, and this, too, will be a time I will always cherish. It represents a place where I let go of fears and anxieties, made life-long friendships I will forever be thankful for, wrote my first songs and performed them for the first time, and this is where I made the decision to do what I am doing now. It’s a really special place for me.