Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago: "It takes a special relationship to live and work together 24 hours a day"
Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago have quickly become two of the biggest stars in Ibiza, totalling over 50 million streams on social media for their saxophone / DJ combination
How did you both first get into music?
BEN: I assume you mean professionally? My brother won a holiday to Ibiza and invited me to join him. When I came here I absolutely fell in love with the place and just had to return and make it my home. DJing had been a hobby of mine for many years leading up to that point, so I just decided to move to Ibiza and try my luck turning my passion into my profession. Fortunately, I got very lucky when I got here.
LAURA: I was born into a musical family so I don't think I had a chance to avoid music! I played piano and clarinet from an early age and then I took the sax up much later when I realised I just couldn't live without music in my life. After completing a BA (Hons) in Jazz, I somehow fell into jamming with DJ's which finally lead me to Ibiza. I definitely ended up on a very different musical path than I originally anticipated!View on Instagram
Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
BEN: I was a big Rolling Stones fan as a kid because my parents were always playing their albums, but I would say the birth of acid-house and hip-hop during the late eighties were my biggest musical inspiration growing up.
LAURA: All the jazz greats for me... Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Charlie Parker - I could continue but we'd be here all day! haha
How did you meet – and then start your romance?
BEN: We met in Ibiza through mutual friends many moons ago. I was the resident DJ in Base Bar and Laura walked in one night. The rest is history as they say...
LAURA: Like Ben said, we met in Ibiza. I was out one night with friends and we got introduced. It was definitely a case of love at first sight for me - he had me at 'hello'!
What's the best and worst thing about performing with your spouse?
BEN: The best thing is sharing this incredible journey with my soulmate. The worst thing is I don’t get to lie about how hard I have been working when I get home.
LAURA: Haha! Yes, we do spend so much time together. I think it takes a special relationship to be able to live and work together 24 hours a day. Luckily we have a great respect and love for each other and ultimately I count my blessings that I'm able to share this magical journey together with Ben.
I was craned into Ocean Beach four years ago. I think I was hidden inside a big pink flower
Do you have any creative differences?
BEN: Yes we do. They are not huge differences but Laura likes the happy commercial sound, whereas I prefer things slightly less obvious. We both compromise to ensure the other person is being fulfilled, but we honestly feel these differences are a good thing because it broadens our sound and adds a bit of diversity to our sets rather than making it one dimensional.
LAURA: I'm a soulful girl at heart and I just want everything to move me on a deep level, but I can't be that selfish when it comes to our sets and Ben is great at tapping me on the shoulder and making me listen to other stuff that otherwise I would have turned a blind eye at. We make a good team!View on Instagram
What’s been the most surreal moment / experience of your journey so far?
BEN: When I first came to Ibiza on holiday, I went to the Cream closing party. My brother and I spent the whole night on the Amnesia Terrace and it was an unforgettable night. Fast forward ten years and I am closing the Amnesia terrace at the Cream closing party with my now-wife on saxophone. I found that extremely surreal!
LAURA: Wow, that's tricky. I've had many crazy experiences whereby I've had to check myself! Probably one of the most overwhelming experiences was when I was craned into Ocean Beach for the very first time four years ago. I think I was hidden inside a big pink flower and nobody in the venue had a clue what was inside until the flower opened on the water and I popped out! I remember the screams from the crowd actually cut the sound system, it was a pretty emotional moment!
Which emerging artists should we be looking out for?
BEN: Mr. Doris is an Ibiza DJ that seamlessly mixes a lot of different styles such as hip hop, jazz, funk, latin, afro etc. which really makes him stand out. Check him out on Soundcloud, he’s very good.
LAURA: 'Too Many Zooz' - their sax player Leo Pellegrino is just insane!
When it comes to style, what are your favourite labels/designers - and why do you like them?
BEN: I’ve been buying a lot Kooples stuff lately. I like them because the stuff I get is casual but with a bit of class.
LAURA: I've never been into labels if I'm honest, but I recently walked past Stella McCartney in Selfridges and I was hooked! After purchasing a pair of gorgeous gold trousers in about 10 minutes I had to make a swift exit out the shop or I would have definitely bought more!!
I would love to share my craziest Ibiza night but I would have to kill you. It involves…
Do you have any piece of gear – watch, bag, etc – you couldn’t live without?
LAURA: That would have to be my Yanagisawa saxophone!!
Where is your favourite place to perform?
BEN: It has to be Ibiza.
LAURA: Ibiza - every time!
What’s been your craziest night in Ibiza?
BEN: I would love to tell you but I would have to kill you. Let’s just say it involves… actually, I'd better not!
LAURA: Yep, I'm keeping shtum on that too!
What are your ambitions for 2018 and beyond?
BEN: There are some big changes for us this year and we are headlining a number of shows at Ibiza Rocks which are probably the biggest thing to happen to us in Ibiza so far. I really hope they are a huge success! In addition to this, we are working on releasing some more music this year. I would love for the tracks to be successful and for us to continue to grow.
LAURA: Great gigs, new music to release and to create some happy memories for people this summer :-)