Stella Santana comes from the New York music scene and is a hotspot for 70s rock ‘n’ roll, 90s R&B and 20s glamour. With musical roots dating back to her childhood, and as the daughter of legendary guitarist Carlos Santana, music has always been in her blood. The new Yayaya Stella-EP, which fell yesterday, continues to build its trademark of empowerment, self-esteem and fulfillment of women.
To celebrate the release of Yayaya, we are working with one of New York’s best talents to talk about her youth with one of the most respected female artists of our time, her unique creative process, and why men are the challenges all women face every day in all sectors and in life.
TRADE: Is there a quote you consider the motto of your life?
Stella Santana: Anyone can be a channel for more power.
What are your recent losses to Spotify?
Oh, wow-ha-ha, now there’s Radiohead, Marvin Gay, N.E.R.D., Locals Only Sound, Dionne Warwick, Sam Cook, Aliya, Cassie, Goldspace…
What are your favourite sounds you want to include in your music?
I like dirty bass sounds that make the whole room vibrate, and I like to sample my own voice and bring it into production.
Where does your musical inspiration come from?
I love unexpected melodies and when I hear them in other people’s music, my ears become more and more cheerful.
What emotions do you hope your music will bring to the listener?
I believe that we are all connected in such a way that our humanity makes us feel emotions, pain, etc. and that we are all connected in such a way. So when I write songs, I always talk about my own experiences, but knowing that we are all connected, I want others to see me too.
What does your creative process look like in general?
I almost always start production – I’m looking for fluids. When I’ve got it, I’m a little, okay, where am I when this song plays? Am I out? Am I alone? Is it morning or night? Am I going somewhere? Who’s with me when I’m not alone? And so on and so on. Only when I am satisfied with the staging is it easy to answer these questions, and then I start writing words from there.
What is the hardest part of creating new music?
It’s not necessarily difficult to find a river or a place where we can meet as colleagues of course, but it’s something I’m always aware of during all my sessions.
What was the biggest difference in writing and recording a new EP compared to your previous albums?
I co-produced all of Yayaya’s songs, which made her feel bigger than me.
Would you say your father influenced your sound or your work ethic in any way?
When I grew up with music, my father and my whole family used to play in the house, it certainly influenced my taste and attitude towards music.
You haven’t had any music since 2016, but was there a time when you wanted to give up music to do something else?
As an artist, have you ever felt the pressure to adapt to a certain form?
Your music often talks about women’s emancipation, self-love and self-realization. Why are these topics important to you?
I’m not sure I mean that they are as important to me as I would say they are part of who I am and how I live and look at life. I’m just trying to talk about what I know.
What do you think of the image and representation of women in music? Is there something you want to change?
I think it’s the same as in other sectors, which is unequal because we live in a patriarchal society. And when it comes to change, I just try to be aware when I get a chance to reconsider my work.
What do you think are the problems women face in music today?
I believe that men in general are the challenges that all women face on a daily basis in all sectors and in life. The playing field just isn’t flat, and we have to spend more time and effort on explanation/defense than men. In fact, we have more cases and less time.
What advice would you give to girls and women who want to work in music?
Listen to your instincts. It’s understandable, and if anyone says otherwise, you stop working with them. Let yourself go as you are. Don’t force anything.
What are the prospects for 2020?
Publish more music
Stella Santana up toSpecification