We are sharing our recent interview with Santo and the People.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your music career.
Santo and the People : Growing up with parents who are music lovers, who’d sing in the car and in the kitchen and who’d put me in music lessons, I discovered that I loved playing and making music of any kind, in any way, with any instruments or tools I could get my hands on. Through a variety of experiences and relationships I also discovered I love images and art, and making videos, pictures and designs. I love colors. I love collaborating and producing things and I love telling stories. I think most, if not all, of human life as we now know it consists of stories being told in some way. It’s become more and more clear to me that there are so many ways to learn how to cultivate that power of storytelling, through any and all forms of art or media and beyond, and that’s what I wish to continue exploring and growing.
Twist Online : What’s the story behind ‘Santo and the People’?
Santo and the People : I saw this painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat entitled “Santo v. Second Ave,” and at the time it resonated with me so strongly. It depicts a figure peeking out at Second Avenue, looking frightened, overwhelmed, or anxious, and another figure with arms outstretched and raised, wearing an almost-naive grin, looking kinda goofy, seeming to embrace the chaos and madness on Second Avenue. The name Santo is scribbled between the two. It’s not clear who’s who or which one is Santo and there’s so much going on in the painting. But what stuck with me was the duality, the dichotomy and universality of those two experiences, how human it is to feel afraid and infatuated, anxious and joyous, scared and in-love… how human it is to fluctuate between states, to be unsure which is which, to change. At the time I had recently experienced so much loss and personal challenge and had only begun rediscovering and reinventing the joy in my daily life and creative endeavors, and the painting hit me so hard. I decided to move forward as the Santo versus Second Avenue that embraces the madness with a goofy grin, not the Santo versus Second Ave that felt he had to fight the world because he was so hurt by it, or scared and scarred by it. I decided to be SANTO + the PPL to live with people, with others, with myself and with the world, not against it.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent release New Ride?
Santo and the People : This latest song, “New Ride,” is a collaboration with my brother Julian who sings the chorus and raps the second verse. And we’re basically talking about how we’ve changed… how we’ve changed and grown and overcome for the better, and how sometimes there are experiences that harden us or challenge us in ways that take us away from our true selves. Those experiences can show us how or who we do not want to be, and/or how or who we do want to be.. It can become clear in so many different ways that it’s time to make a change. When those experiences and opportunities show up, begging us to reassess or change something, we either decide to ignore them and continue, or we finally make a change. “New Ride,” is when you realize it’s time for that change.
Twist Online : What kind of response you have received from the release?
Santo and the People : It’s been really positive and encouraging to release a few songs, and especially with “New Ride,” which is a song that I just spontaneously made with my brother, it’s definitely encouraging to see that if you know a few tools well, and have fun with and love what you’re doing, and trust yourself, and in this case let it be a very quick and decisive collaboration, that that can resonate with people. I’m excited and encouraged to continue for sure.
Twist Online : What attracts you more, Working in studios or performing on stage?
Santo and the People : I love both. They’re very different things and right now I’m really enjoying the studio, but I can’t wait to experiment with performance and events, etc.
Twist Online : What is your favourite song to perform?
Santo and the People : I haven’t performed these songs too much. I’ve been focusing on just experimenting in the studio and getting better.
Twist Online : How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Santo and the People : I’m still exploring, as any creative I guess, but I think I basically make music in the spirit of all the great songwriter/producers before me like Stevie Wonder, Prince, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Brian Wilson, Michael Jackson, there’s too many to list. But I love exploring music and textures as well as song and lyrics, and how that relates to stories and pop culture, and the human experience. With music, at the core I love just writing a song, a melody and lyric, and I love the infinite directions it can go from there.
Twist Online : What’s next for you?
Santo and the People : As they say, men make plans and god laughs. Look at what’s happening right now. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. But given the gift of more days on earth, I do wish to use them to continue learning, growing, feeling, loving, and creating, with loved ones and strangers alike. I wish to make as much music and art as possible that’s uplifting, inspiring, challenging and engaging, and to reach out to and connect with as many beings as is possible.
Twist Online : What’s the best way to follow you online?
Santo and the People : Find me on Instagram, Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook, etc. I love directly interacting with people over Instagram — @santoandtheppl — and e-mail — firstname.lastname@example.org — and you can find my music on all streaming platforms if you type SANTO + THE PPL, or SANTO and then the song title it should show up!!! www.santoandtheppl.com has some one-of-a-kind merch and art and more ways to contact me and to find music and videos. Add me to your playlists!! Follow me and add me and like me on your favorite socials!! Send me a message, ask me a Twist Online!! I’ll make you your own custom SANTO merch!! Let’s vibe!!