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On the Spot with Santedubois

Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space where creatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is...Santedubois.

A dedicated student of the hip-hop and trap genres, actively pursuing his dream as an artist. With over a decade of experience, this 27-year-old artist from Los Angeles has established himself within the underground rap and dance music scenes of LA and Chicago. Sante's latest mixtape, "+2pack," draws inspiration from Caribbean and Afro-Latino rhythms, fusing elements of Reggaeton and amapiano. Through skillful arrangement, he creates beautiful and simplistic compositions, incorporating breezy synths, catchy vocal samples, hard-hitting beats, and infectious loops. As a Mexican/Argentinian individual raised in Pasadena, Santedubois acknowledges the significant influence of artists like TroyBoi, Pharrell, Rage Against The Machine, and 50 Cent. Growing up in neighborhoods such as Pasadena, Boyle Heights, City Terrace, and South Central, he recalls exposure to Dr. Dre's music during the 90s and early 2000s. "+2pack" serves as a reflection of Sante's lived experiences in both LA and Chicago's music scenes, as well as his early memories of Mexico. It is his way of expressing gratitude to the worlds that have shaped and nurtured him, while continuing to create music.

Take us back, do you recall the moment you told yourself "I'm going to make this

my career", describe that moment. What made you pursue this career?

I had just turned 18. I was about to perform in front of a 300 person crowd at a photo studio I turned into an underground rave called Stomping Grounds in Pasadena. I remember having to sit down and breathe and meditate to center myself before going on stage- I was nervous until I pressed play. After that I was DJing and producing more than anything else. I sold Stomping Grounds & other events tickets at parties, after school out of my familys’ cars they’d let me borrow, and then some. When I was 16 I tore my ACL playing football and during the recovery time I got super into DJing and producing. I was super inspired by music from Drake, RL Grime, HudMo, Rihanna, & Kanye. Once I had taught myself how to Produce and DJ- that’s all I did- I just worked on music constantly from 2013-23.

How would you describe your artistic style?

808s, trap/bass/club/dance music, underground, street music, function music, party music, music industry anomaly, true DIY/indie artist, product of Hip-Hop.

Are there any specific artists or movements that have influenced your work?

“The Soundcloud Era”, RL Grime b2b Baauer, Soulection, TroyBoi & Mr. Carmack’s rise with their mixtapes/drops. Tyler the Creator going from Bastard to Odd Future to Call Me (I was @Staples for Call Me & the House of Blues show when he broke his foot, brought Frank out for She, +Dr. Dre was there). I’m extremely inspired by Action Bronson’s ‘F*ck That’s Delicious’ and would love to do something similar. Jay Z & Nipsey Hussle- The Marathon Continues.

If you had to title this chapter in your life, what would it be?

On The Way Up.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

I went to New York for the first time ever in August 2023 and saw Brooklyn & Manhattan.

Has there ever been a time when you felt like giving up and starting a new path? What keeps you focused?

I’ve gone through every emotion being an artist and pursuing music as a career- I’ll never quit. The freedom to be an independent artist and to just create and chase my dreams keeps me focused. I don’t want to do anything else in life but work on music and other art forms and share it all around the world

What has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you recently?

Releasing +2pack my most recent mixtape-Visiting New York for the first time ever :)-Having strangers listen to and compliment my music online and in person :)-Learning that artists and creatives I look up to are listening to +2pack and vibing to it.

In your opinion, whom do you consider to be a visionary? What about them do you admire most?

Nipsey Hussle, Joe Kay, Pharrell Williams, Virgil Abloh, James Jebbia, Zach de la Rocha & Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine, Jimi Hendrix, and Skrillex. All of these artists are anomalies but staples in their respective fields. I think Nipsey is a perfect example of making your life passion into a brand and business- the same can be said about Joe Kay, P, and Virgil, and what Supreme has accomplished as far as branding and demand; I admire all their success stories. As far as music goes I also think Nipsey is a visionary and I aspire to be as respected as him creatively. I think Rage & Jimi’s music are next level- I admire Skrillex for his diverse production- I want to push the envelope of what people think I’m capable of with every drop. I’m always striving to bring unique & refreshing ideas to the forefront of music with all my production.

How do you show up for yourself? As in, what’s self-care look like for you?

Meditating and setting intentions and listing things I’m grateful for. Listening to Ice Spice. Putting my phone down. Playing FIFA career mode. Playing GTA5. Spending time with my puppy Nipsey. Rolling up n Smoking a king size paper of Marathon OG or Curelato Runtz or any exotic flowers and listening to Nipsey, Jay-Z, Fugees (Lauryn <3), Soulection Radio and other rap & hip-hop +classics. I love shopping but I try not to splurge too often

The past years have been life-changing. What's something new you've learned or discovered about yourself in the past 3 years? How have you applied that to your work?

I learned that anything is possible with discipline and taking care of yourself and loving yourself. I really believe in manifesting everything in life so I feel blessed and grateful to be in the position that I’m in right now. I’m happy to be producing everyday and working on more music and getting back into DJing and being more creative in my free time; doing artsy stuff like going to museums and underground events and slowly getting into making clothes/painting/graffiti.

What was the inspiration for your new project? Can you tell us more about the

meaning behind the music?

My mixtape +2pack is all about finding your own oasis and escaping. I wrote +2pack during the early Summer days of living in Los Angeles in 2023 when the weather was super gloomy and gray, with the hopes to transport the listener to their ideal vacation or getaway. I want people to listen to +2pack while they’re doing their favorite things whether that’s working out, driving to the beach, flying to their getaway destination, or wanting to escape their situation or environment through music escapism.

Photographer Brandon White

Describe the creative process. When did you know you had the final cut?

I always start with the drop. I feel like the first drop is super important to my creative process because I build from the ‘main moment’ out. My favorite thing about my all time fav songs is that they all have distinct moments- a catchy hook, a standout verse, a cheeky punch line, or a line that is so real you can smell the blunt, or drinks, or feel the atmosphere of the moment that the song is referencing. Sometimes I’ll get the bridge or breakdown section finished after the first drop and make the second drop the first and then end up switching the drops completely - I know I have the final cut when the track flows from start to finish and I am ready to share the moment.

What do you feel has been your biggest growth as an artist?

Being able to manifest track ideas and executing quality sounds I love- sharing my favorite music I’ve created. I used to set unrealistic expectations for myself, but now I’m having so much fun producing and writing at a crazy rate. Even me taking the time to plan all the rollouts has been a huge sign of growth. I dropped some singles and Arrival (‘Start’ & ‘Dione’) in 2022 and now I have +2pack the mixtape out (7 songs including ‘Palm Trees’). Thefollow-upp single titled ‘Jaguar’ was dropped in September, which has to do with Mexican independence & Aztec/Mayan history so I have a couple more surprises for 2023. I’m super excited for people to hear all the new music :)

Following your dreams comes with many ups and downs. What would say is the hardest

thing about following your dreams?

I’d say the most difficult thing I’ve had to deal with is realizing most people aren’t as passionate or driven or even focused as you. If you are truly chasing your dreams- you won’t need a ton of people to motivate you or keep you on a path. I believe the people I have in my corner right now are more than enough to get me to where I need to be… looking forward to pushing the art.

How do you hope your artwork resonates with viewers or impacts the world?

I want people to hear my music and feel free to be themselves dancing, bobbing their heads, or listening while doing their favorite hobby- if people like to go to the club or stay in n game or just get high in the car at a view or go to the beach or rooftop beach party with their friends- they’ll love +2pack. My original Space Bass sounds are definitely for underground raves and for moshing or the moment when people hit the stank face at each other at the trap show. I want my music to impact the world in a positive way. My music is global music so I want people from all over the globe to flock to my shows and have an amazing time and dance.

What's next for you artistically?

Improving my production & craft, more beats, more releases, DJing shows, graffiti, street art, +Collaborating with more artists & creatives. I’d love to work with Rico Nasty, Sadboi, Tinashe, Byron Messia, or Bino Rideaux, even artists like; TroyBoi, Huey Briss, or blaccmass.

Connect with Santedubois


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