Arona Mane shows off his production on Thandi Phoenix's new single 'Hot Sauce'.

Arona Mane dives into his production on Thandi Phoenix’s new single ‘Hot Sauce’

Arona Mane delves into the magic behind the new single ‘Hot Sauce’ by Thandi Phoenix.

For Thandi Phoenix’s first single of 2023 she linked up with Arona Mane for a writing session that he then went on to Produce, Mix and Master.

From samples, heavy drum character, an outro groove switch up and some mix and master tricks, Arona explains why and how he did what he did.

Read on as he talks through the parts of the single Hot Sauce.

Sample (Bob James – “Tappan Zee”)

“The sample is the driving force in this song, I wanted to keep the essence & DNA of the original version present in my production & respect the original song sample at the same time (There are a heap of bad remakes out there).

The first step was to scrub through the sample chopping & searching for that spicy loop, Next, I sped the sample up to 120bpm & dropped the pitch down 1 semitone before eq’ing & side chaining to the Kick drum while leaving lower frequencies free to add my own bass line.

Sample: Cropping, Pitching, Stretching


Sample: Side chained against the Kick


“After the sample chops, came the drums. I started with a “slap heavy” eq`d hip-hop kick moving 4 to the floor with the sample side chained & pumping 🔥.

I built more drums around the kick & sample, adding in clap layers, hats, rides & “tops” slightly eq’d with a touch of swing for rhythm.

I put all drum assets into a bus and parallel compressed them using the Ghz Gulf Compressor for added character, more punch & to slightly glue everything together.

Arona Mane’s Drum Compression
Arona Mane’s Drum Arrangement


“For the first half of the song there’s the main electric bass. I loved the original bass line in the sample.

I’m a big believer in the ‘If it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it’ mentality, however, as I had shifted the tempo up to 120 bpm & had the 4 to the floor kicks pounding underneath, I wanted to give the bass line just a touch of added “Hop or a bouncy rhythm” to give it some spice.

I made a couple minor tweaks by adding a few extra octave notes “off the one” across the riff for extra flavour & movement.

Arona Mane’s Main Electric Bass

For the Outro there’s a switch up to a House bass.

To give the track more excitement we flipped another part of the sample — I wanted to make the backend of the track switch up — adding more modern elements with a “dutty” minor chord & more traditional house/deep house bass VST/Sound.

I used multi band compression eq & side chain on both basses to get lows sitting in the pocket of the mix nicely, the House bass there is added stereo plug to give more width.

Arona Mane’s Outro House Bass

Textures & Melodies

“Because the sample is the main driving force melodically, the added pads & textures — from various splice folders on my hard drive — are sprinkled over & around the sample to add modern substance & take it to another space sonically speaking.

On the bus I added the BX stereo plugin for width, & eq on each sound to even out the frequencies …

The Main Sample Held Most of the Melodies, Arona Mane Added Textures


“The vocals were mixed, eq’d, panned & tuned in a separate session using Ableton EQ, Melodyne & some Autotune.

I bounced out separate sections — Leads, Backing Vocal’s, Harmonies & Adlibs — & added them to the master session.

In the master session vocal bus, I added my go to Waves CLA Vocal VST using the preset “Face to Face dry” & the Little plate reverb plugin by Sound Toys.”

Arona Mane’s Go To Vocal FX Plugin


The mastering chain is the L3-LL Multi plug by Waves with the preset “Hi Res CD Master”, and then into the Izotope Ozone 9 plugin preset “Control Dynamics”.

Arona Mane’s Mastering Chain – Plugin 1
Arona Mane’s Mastering Chain – Plugin 2

We recently had the pleasure of Thandi Phoenix performing ‘Guarantees’ with her band for one of our Live from Happy sessions. Watch that here — Thandi Phoenix – Guarantees (Live from Happy).

Listen to Hot Sauce below, see more on Arona Mane’s Instagram.