Interview: Five Minutes with Santé
With years of experience in electronic music, Santé has clocked up an impressive list of achievements, establishing himself as a formidable artist in Germany’s electronic music mecca, Berlin. In between a slew of international shows, the producer also finds time to be a label curator, conceiving and nurturing his own baby – Avotre. He launched the imprint’s ‘Heat’ series a few years back as a way to shine a light on emerging talent in various countries and has just released the next compilation – ‘Argentinian Heat‘.
Find out more in the exclusive interview below:
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I’d never thought about doing anything else with my life. Music was always my first choice
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
Most of the time it’s the idea that comes first because from there you can build a whole track, instead of from one sound. I started working on this method a few years back, to have an idea in mind and then translate it fully into a song
Does your material feature any collaborations?
I love making collaborations because it’s super great to have several artists working on one final product together in the studio, or nowadays via the internet. It’s a very cool thing to work with other producers, especially in the creative process. It’s especially effective if you work with other people that have their own strengths. You’re able to zone into the process whilst having fun at the same time, and if you work alongside vocalists, it’s incredible to see how the song translates once you put a vocal on top of it.
What’s on your current playlist?
I have a huge playlist on Spotify filled with all sorts of genres from a range of years, so it’s very hard to nail it down to a few.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
It’s super crazy to build a connection with your fans, especially in countries where you play quite often – they come to every show and will write several messages on Instagram and other social media accounts. It gives you a really special feeling when you see those familiar faces in the first three rows, and kind of gives you confidence so you mostly play much better
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
For me, it was always important for the track to have some flow, so I kind of perfected my skills in that, especially through micro quantization, which kind of gives the typical Sante groove. I always like to to add analog synthesizers to my productions
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
For me, a day in the studio starts like this – I get a cup of black coffee, sit in my chair and start listening to music. Most of the time it won’t be house or techno music but something else. If the inspiration strikes, I’ll start to work on the rhythm for a bassline and then with this I build the first couple of bars and patterns out of this idea. If I still like it, I’ll take a little break and after the break go back and have a listen again. If it still resonates with me I’ll end up finishing it quite quickly but if I don’t like it, I’ll take it in my stride, get the guitar out and just jam because this is a very cool part of being able to make music. You don’t want to focus on the final product too much, just enjoy the moment of making music.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I’m quite lucky because I already knew at the age of 14 that I wanted to become a music producer and when I found this passion for music I worked hard to develop my skills, eventually getting to the point that I’m at today. Aged 14, I worked in a supermarket for the whole summer to be able to afford my first synthesizer, so those six weeks in the supermarket kind of kick-started my career as a producer you could say.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Only my headphones
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Kreuziger – they’re a DJ duo from the Netherlands and are very talented producers
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Very difficult question but most of the time it’s just playing an instrument or listening to other music because listening to other music outside of house and techno always makes me want to make my music
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I have a lot of analog output but the main instrument or centre of my production is my MacBook Pro. It’s very important because it’s always with me on tour and I’m constantly working on ideas and projects on the MacBook Pro. On that MacBook I work in Logic
Any side projects you’re working on?
If I do have time off from touring or in between, I’ll work on television commercials and film music because my second biggest passion is writing themes for pictures. I’m also constantly working on my surfing skills which is my biggest passion outside of music
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Of course, you’re constantly developing your skills when you’re working on something. You never actually stop learning if you’re willing to always learn new things
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
At the moment we are in lockdown mode but I’m constantly writing new songs and working on track ideas so I can’t tell exactly what’s going to happen but I’ll be flooding the market with a lot of new Santé tunes
Famous last words?
Be patient, develop your skills and be patient some more