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In Conversation: Lovely Laura and Ben Santiago

In Conversation: Lovely Laura and Ben Santiago

Lovely Laura and Ben Santiago have a story unlike any other - having met in Ibiza, fallen in love and gotten married, the pair fused their contrasting sounds and are now dominating the party island with their own unique party soundtrack. Trained in jazz, Laura’s favoured instrument takes the form of the frequented genre sound of the sax, but leaving her jazz roots behind her and joining forces with husband Ben’s house music productions has created a live experience of unparalleled style clashes. Now, the couple have confirmed a trio of pool parties at the White Isle’s biggest live music venue, as they take to Ibiza Rocks Hotel and by the sounds of things, are pretty excited about it...

Laura, how did you go about shifting your saxophone playing from jazz sensibilities to the house combination you’re now famed for?

L: It was never intentional! I was studying a BA in Jazz at Leeds College of Music back in the 90s when a fellow saxophonist on my course asked if I wanted to take over a local gig he had involving him jamming with a DJ. I’d never seen this concept before but the music was awesome to improvise to, with deep, soulful, funk grooves that I loved! From that moment on I was hooked and gradually more people asked me to go and play with them. Never did I think I would have had such a successful career out of it - I owe that guy a massive drink!

How did the collaboration between you both begin?

B: It all happened very organically. Long story short; we met in Ibiza, fell in love and then we eventually started to work together here and there. Over time, this became more & more regular until in the end we just became a duo. If there were any outside influencers, I guess you would call it fate!

L: Haha! Ben has pretty much summed it up there. Yes, it was love first then the music came later. I guess it was just the natural thing for us to do next, plus we share the same love of musical tastes so playing together was easy.

How does the husband and wife dynamic work when performing together?

L: Really well actually. Because we’re so close we can almost read each other’s minds as to how to articulate the set. Every dance floor is different, you will have different people, different moods, different lighting and this all plays a major part in determining how the gig will go. The fact that we work together all the time and understand each on other on a deep level gives us a huge advantage on how to perform to the best of our abilities. It’s also great that we can spend hours together going through music and rehearsing ideas.

B: I do as I'm told otherwise I get no action after the gig hahaha. Jokes aside, it works really well when performing because we can both tell what the other person is thinking which is a huge advantage. Plus it is a blessing to share all these amazing adventures together travelling the world.

What are your expectations for the upcoming Ibiza Rocks residency?

B: Big things! Ibiza Rocks being Ibiza's official home of live music, and obviously the live element being a huge part of what we do, we are really excited to be holding a residency there. We are very fortunate to be a part of their amazing line-up for this year. Plus if you have ever been to any of their events, you know that they always get an amazing crowd in there, so personally I cannot wait to get stuck in! Roll on June…

L: Yes I’m very excited indeed! I’ve seen so many amazing acts and bands in Ibiza Rocks over the years and to think that we will now be headlining there is a dream come true. I’m buzzing about it

What can audiences expect from your Ibiza Rocks pool parties?

L: We’re constantly aware that music keeps evolving and because of this Ben and I are always working hard to find ways in keeping things fresh. I’ve started experimenting with a new toy this year so I’m hoping to add something a little different into our 2018 sets. We also want to develop the set so it’s more of a show, whilst also incorporating more of our own music, but we will also keep some of the favourites in or I might get lynched! Lol

B: Hopefully we'll be making memories for people that they can cherish forever! Laura and I have been working very hard over the winter months in an effort to evolve our show and take things up a notch or two. You have to keep moving and keep things fresh, so with this new residency and new show, hopefully the end result will be nothing short of spectacular. 

What are your favourite sax and house combination tracks?

L: I’m really enjoying playing our own track at the moment (Just Want Your Body) that we made last year, it’s a great set opener and really lifts the room. We shall be releasing it this year so pretty excited about that. Of course “Jubel” by Klingande continues to cause a major crowd surge! We don’t play it on every gig but when we do the response is on another level.

B: One track that always goes down so well is Pnau, Faul & Wad Ad - “Changes” (Tocadisco's Sunny LA Remix) as it is a very famous sax record that was remixed really well by the mighty Tocadisco. We play it on all of our gigs and it is a guaranteed winner every single time without fail. The other track would probably be Rune - “Calabria”. Sometimes we do it as an encore, and when the music has stopped and the crowd are all shouting for one more, Laura will tease them by playing just the sax riff and it sends them into a frenzy! Criminal Vibes did a really good version that we tend to favour.

Lovely Laura and Ben Santiago take to the White Isle’s Ibiza Rocks Hotel on Thursday 7th June, Thursday 14th June and Thursday 20th September.

Image courtesy of Urban Rebel PR. 

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