Coffee break with Santiago Garcia


Buenos Aires-born, Valencia-based producer and DJ, Santiago Garcia keeps making waves in the melodic electronic music scene with recent releases on notable labels as Exit Strategy, Innervisions or TAU. We had the chance to get a cup of coffee with Santiago and to ask him a few questions about his music.

When did you first come across your passion for music and what do you love most about the electronic music scene?

My passion for music started when I was 9 years old. My father was one of the main motivations for it, as he was a music lover since when he was a child. He introduced me to a friend of his who was one of best musician of all times in Argentina, Gustavo Cerati.
From that time I started learning how to play guitar and piano, and soon after I started creating my own music ideas at the age of 12. Another big motivation at the beginning was to show the music I liked to play at the school parties, becoming the school DJ.  

Do think of yourself as a DJ or as a producer?

I think I am both things at same time, I make music but I need to be a DJ to play it. It would love to work on a live show, so that people could see me more as a musician or a band. That could be a new project in the future.

You are originally from Buenos Aires, but a while ago you moved to Valencia. Can you tell us more about this choice? Do you feel like this move has affected your career as an artist?

I chose Spain as a base because it was perfect for me: it has a central position in the world and this allows me to accept gigs that I couldn’t from Argentina.

Flights from there are so expensive and is easier for me live closer to where my music is enjoyed the most. I am a Spanish citizen since I was born, and Spain is a lovely country to live in. Feels like home.

Last January you played for the first time for Saga in Tulum. Can you tell us more about this experience and your relationship with Bedouin?

Saga is an event I’ve been following since the last couple of years. I really wanted to play there, as many big artists did before me. I am so grateful I am finally part of the family.

My relationship with Bedouin started on Facebook. He requested music from me for a project that will be published this year and I was so happy with the request, as Bedouin is one of my favorite producers. Rami (Bedouin) told me he wanted me to go play with them soon, but unfortunately Saga was closed at that time, so he invited me to play with them at the closing After party of Saga at Can Soleil. And there started a strong relationship between us.

Now I’ve done my debut at Saga Sound Tulum and Miami Music Week, and this summer I will play twice at Saga. I am very happy to work with Rami & Tamer, not just for the music, but also because they are people with values, and it’s really hard to find people like that in the music industry.

After your releases on well-known labels such as Exit Strategy and Innervisions, and now this release on TAU, how do you feel about your career?

My satisfaction level is 10/10. I made my dreams come true in the past 2 years. I got to this point after years of hard work and I’m so glad I’m part of such a nice circle of artists. Kristian & Steffen are super nice with me and I am thankful everyday for each label who gave me the opportunity to release music.

Something about your personal approach in the studio: in the production of a whole EP, I was wondering if it's a process of tracks crystallizing around a central idea, a sort of single thread, or is it more random, depending on your mood?

I don’t usually have a central idea, I just make music depending on my mood. I never start with a same kick or percussion idea. Maybe sometimes I end up with a similar result even though I always start from 0. Every track I make is associated with feelings in a specific moment, as well as the titles.

Your track ‘Lost in a Jungle’ was just released on TAU’s first Various Artists compilation. I was wondering about the track name: would you say that music is a way to get lost, and at the same time a way to amplify our feelings?

The title of this track was decided together with Speaking in Tongues. When you hear it you feel like you are in a jungle, with birds everywhere. It was influenced by the Saga experience I had in the jungle of Tulum. I think that the title is a perfect fit for the feelings inspired by the music, and I am very happy that the track is part of the first compilation on TAU by Adana Twins.

Still talking about production, do you typically make music thinking of a specific label you would like to release on, or is the release matter something that comes after?

I never do that. I tried that in the past and I never felt so unhappy in my life. When I make music, I make music I like and that corresponds 100% to what I feel, so if people like it, that’s great, and if they don’t I will keep doing what I like the most anyways.

Do you feel the urge to start your own label or maybe a musical project out of your usual patterns? Something different from music made strictly for the dance floor.

I started my own label when I was 20, in 2010. I had about 30 releases, all from progressive house genre. The label was very successful at the time, as progressive was very popular. That also helped me to start traveling in my country, perform a Tour in Mexico and some other places. Having a label is great, but it’s also a big responsibility!

In 2013 I decided to stop this project and start finding myself, make my own style. It took me about 3 years to resume touring with my new sound. Starting a new label would be great, but at the moment I am happy with what I already have.
I am working on a new project, a new name and we gonna have news closer to October but can’t say more at the moment.

Can you tell us more about any exciting projects you are working on for the future?

I definitely want to keep making music and learn more about it, as I think there is always something to learn. There might be an exciting project that we might talk about later this year, but for now I’m going to keep it as a surprise :).

“Stressful, challenging, motivating

The city lights give you one more reason to run faster and faster, feel more deeply, believe.

Being lost in a jungle is not just something negative and dangerous, it is more likely a dense search for one’s true self. Entering the darkest paths of our being.

It is about knowing, deepening through dialogue, probing every single call, whether it is frightening or familiar.

It is the music of the forest, and it would seem to be a must for each of us.

Today in the jungle”

Santiago Garcia x Melodic Diggers

Interview by Pietro Casella & Madison Magert

Coralie Lauren