The room gets flooded by a bass, gently, like a rising tide. A wave, slowly dragging you into the steel grey ocean. When describing the music of Santiago Garcia, metaphors of nature and ancient tales seem strangely accurate. Born and bred in Buenos Aires, Santiago Garcia today now resides in Spain. He creates an intelligent, never forced but mentally challenging sound that works on big festival stages just as well as more trippy after hours. A unique balance, that has made him a staple in the South American Electronic Music Scene as well as being discovered by the Innervisions Crew.
Now, Santiago Garcia has developed a smart, emotionally accentuated sound can be heard through the sets of Black Coffee, Âme and Dixon are only a few of the well-known artists into whose record bags he fills. Given his rising stock, we sat with Santiago Garcia as part of our Introducing Series.
For a lot of us, Buenos Aires is a million miles away on the other side of the world. Can you tell us about your upbringing in Argentina?
For me, things really started when I was around 8 years old, with the divorce of my parents. A year later and I started to learn things about life as well as music. Music has been my saviour since then. In 1998 I started to learn guitar and while also being one of the best at the school at singing and playing the flute. I think the divorce pushed me fully into the music and became a therapy for me like it has been for so many others.
It wasn’t till around 2002 when my interest in electronic music was piqued. It was the vast array of equipment and futuristic technology that they were using at the time that captured my attention. This actually affected my learning at school for a bit but I managed to complete my basic studies. This lead to a career in business administration alongside my pursuit for a job in music as a DJ or producer. Aged 18, I began throwing my own parties in Buenos Aires. I learnt a lot and built on my experience until I decided I wanted to pursue being an artist 100%.
Having moved to Europe from South America and now residing in Spain its fair to say you probably have a grasp on various scenes around the world. Are there many similarities between the electronic space in Argentina and Spain? Are there any major differences?
Actually there is no difference. For a while, I thought it was faster to be friends with someone in order to get gigs and show your music. However, I decided to take the slower approach. Make music and let it do the talking. If it is good it will be heard and you will rise that way. In Spain, the situation is very similar. Everywhere you see people unhappy saying things like, “Support your local DJ’s.” In fact, I think this is a problem that has happens in our scene right across the world.
Have you taken any experiences you have learnt so far in your DJ career and applied them outside of music?
Definitely being surrounded by positive people. Also stopping and thinking what is the best way to improve in and outside of the workplace. Not necessarily the fastest.
What has been the toughest challenge in pursuing a career in music?
For me, trying to reach the major labels for the sounds I am making. With this comes all sorts of anxiety and frustration which you have to deal with. These two things are nearly everyone’s biggest enemy no matter what industry you work in.
You have had artists like Black Coffee, Dixon, Ame all support your music. As an up and coming artist, how does this make you feel and is there an artist you aspire to be like above any other?
It feels amazing. To know your hard work is paying off. That the biggest DJs in the world support you and believe in your project that gives you the inspiration to keep on working hard.
When making your music where do you take your inspiration from. Do you take inspiration from the past or prefer to push towards the future?
As I said before, my inspiration comes from the goals I set myself. I want to release on a good label and have my work taken seriously by those I admire. A lot of my music is rooted in the present but influenced by the not too distant past. All of my songs are titled have a meaning. Something that has happened to me or is happening.
Finally, if you could produce a record with anyone past or present who would it be and why?
I hoped to have the chance and the age to produce a record with Gustavo Cerati (RIP). He is my main influence of music, as was a huge part of my motivation when I started out. A really experimental guy within music. He mixed our traditional music to an ’80s, or Rock and Roll like Pink Floyd or Beatles. It all had his signature touch. We could have made a magic record but it will be difficult now.