Santana Anthony - Interview 10
Royal Rap Interview
Santana Anthony - Interview 10
Tell us your name and a bit about yourself!
My name is Santana Anthony. You can spell it with or without the space in between. I am a rapper/producer born in Camarillo, CA. I've been doing music since I was about 14 years old, which marks ten years of working at this. I've produced for a number of artists, such as Bizz-E Blaze, Young Quicks, and Nancy Diaz. This will probably be one of your longer interviews, because I love talking music and once I start there is no stopping me!
What made you start making music?
I was inspired by this mixtape that my uncle Jim played for me years ago. It was a mix of a bunch of big named artists rapping over beats I had never heard before with samples of Looney Tunes clips in between. I loved the way it all sounded together and I knew that I wanted to create something like that. So I started DJing and trying to replicate that sound but I wasn't very good. Lack of experience and equipment made me eventually move to what I really was interested in: the beats. I started on and still use FL Studio and by watching tutorials such as WarBeats and BusyWorksBeats I began to develop my sound and started getting noticed around my school and i began going under the moniker Billy Bada$$. Pretty soon every dude that was trying to be a rapper back then would hit me up and want to do a track with me. Then I joined Ironic Records and we took our music to the next level. We built a studio out of my rapper buddy Essence's garage and started playing some backyard shows. I had been writing lyrics since middle school but didn't take it seriously until the crew asked me to jump on a remix of "Get Money" with them. I did, and from there my rap career began. I released my first mixtape three years ago with the style I fell in love with. Hot beats and cool movie and TV quotes to give it that mixtape feel. I took a break from music after that for a year or so for personal issues but picked it back up after I got out of the hospital in 2016. Now I am back and better than ever, trying out new styles and sounds I never thought I could do before. I'm ready to show the world who Santana Anthony is!
Who are your influences?
I grew up listening to NB Ridaz and Kottonmouth Kings a lot when I was younger. They just had a sound I loved. Eminem and Kid Cudi have been two of my favorite rappers since I started listening to them. I also look to Pink Floyd and Nirvana for inspiration as they are my two favorite bands. I wouldn’t say I sound like many of my influences but I feel they have helped shaped me into the artist I am today.
What is your take on the underground rap scene right now?
I like a lot of what I am hearing from the underground these days. Now everyone is trying out these cool new styles and sounds so you can really hear where music is heading in the not so distant future. I am a big fan of RhymeSayers so Grieves I think is doing some incredible things right now.
What are your goals for 2019 regarding music?
I have big plans for 2019. I will be releasing a number of projects I have nearly completed at this point, I want to start up performing again as much as possible, and I'm looking to network with many up and coming talented artists who are hungry and ready to work just like I am. I feel this year could be a make or break for me and I'm going all in on it.
You have 1 person to thank who would it be?
If I had to choose one person I would have to say without a doubt it would be my grandma. She always believed in me and told me I could do anything I set my mind to. Without that kind of support and faith I don't think I would be the person I am today. Unfortunately she passed away earlier this year and that broke my heart, but it also inspired me to push even harder with my music and since then I have recorded around 100 songs in the past 8 months. So I have been working hard and I know my grandma would be proud of all I accomplished.
What is your process for recording music?
I write lyrics constantly throughout the day whenever I feel inspired. I get random song ideas from anywhere and I capture them in an app called Rhymer's Block. Not to plug this app but it helps my work flow tremendously. I also make beats everyday. Some are better than others but I've learned when it comes to beats the more you do them the better they sound. Practice, practice, practice is what I do. Then it's just matching the lyrics to the beats, usually starting with a chorus idea. If I like the chorus over the new beat, I try to fit a verse in or write a new one depending on the song. After that, I do all the mixing and mastering myself, which is another part of producing I love but still need to practice every day to be satisfied with.
Any upcoming projects or singles fans should be getting ready for?
Like I said earlier, I have a number of projects due to be released next year but the one I am most excited for is the sequel to my last mixtape "Support My Habit", which will be called "Creature of Habit". It tells the story of my life and my near death experience in songs like "Sinner". I feel this mixtape will be everything that the last one wasn't, plus so much more. Already the feedback I'm getting blows the last mixtape out of the water, so I am excited to see how far this one will go.
What is your favorite part about being an artist/musician/rapper?
It's pretty simple for me. I love making music that moves people in a way that's different than what they are used to hearing. I get this feeling when I listen to certain songs that hits me in the heart and I just feel it all around. I try to replicate that feeling in my beats and lyrics to give the audience something special. This is the love, the chase, always giving out your whole heart in a effort to just outdo your last song and getting better all the time. I also love having music that I know will blow people away and waiting to release it because the anticipation itself is a fun feeling.
What impact do you want to have on the world?
I want people who are suffering from depression and other mental illnesses just like I am to know that it gets better and not to try to give up like I did. There is always something to live for if you listen to your heart and stop listening to voices in your head so much. I want people to listen to the words in music again and for music to have a deeper meaning that isn’t the same things the radio plays all the time. I want to leave an impression that is something different on the world and that actually stands for something.
What are your ambitions with music is this just a hobby or is this a full blown 24/7 lifestyle your embodying?
It is absolutely a 24/7 lifestyle for me. I eat, sleep, and breathe music. I have made songs based on music I've actually heard in my dreams that I would wake up and write down. I go to school full time right now to be an IT, but I spend all my free time on music as well as a good portion of class time (but don't tell my teacher that, ha). I hate the word "hobby" when referring to my music, because although I do this for fun, it's so much more than that. Music is not just a pastime for me; it is my everything. I put in too much time in this for it just to be a hobby. I have too much passion and too high of goals for this just to call it that.
Who is your favorite artist in the rap game right now and why?
Right now, I would have to say it's NF. I've been listening to him for a year or two now, and everything he puts out is intense and real. The content is always on point and relatable and his flow with it is incredible. He's one of the few artists today I think that have stayed true to themselves and still puts out music that is real. It's good to see him finally starting to break through to the radio because he is definitely an artist that deserves attention.