Arts & Entertainment

Unlikely Latin music duo draw on corporate knowhow in forging new career path

By Carla Samon Ros

Lima, May 6 (EFE).- A recording artist duo that formed after a chance meeting in Boston are drawing on the skills they acquired in the corporate world in pursuing their budding musical venture.

Santi – who consist of Peruvian singer and composer Santiago Dañino and American producer Andrew Dominitz – got their start professionally in the technology industry.

But they are now applying what they learned about strategy, team building and quality control in their new line of work, Dañino said in an interview with Efe.

Having already reached the milestone of five million plays on Spotify, Santi now are on the verge of releasing their second album “Neon,” a project they churned out during the pandemic.

Dañino, a native of Lima who split time between the Peruvian capital and Washington DC during his youth, has always had music in his blood but began his career at companies such as Spotify and Splice, where he was in charge of “aspects of corporate strategy.”

One night while wrapping up his studies in Boston in 2016 he met Dominitz, a young man who was working in the same field for Uber. From that first encounter, the seed of the future musical duo was sown.

“Ever since then, we knew that this was going to be our life project,” the Peruvian recalled.

Their eponymous debut album was released in 2019 with the creative support of Fernando Garibay and Paradise Studios, the same production team behind major international recording artists such as Lady Gaga, Shakira, Sia and Britney Spears.

Dañino is in charge of the melodies and lyrics, while Dominitz is responsible for production, yet they share the same corporate mindset that taught them to understand music as “increasingly a business.”

“For us, it’s been super useful to be able to see our data with a much more strategic lens, when we’re considering where to allocate our budget or where to put our focus in terms of marketing,” he said.

“Another lesson from the corporate world that’s helped us a ton is being able to build a team and focus on the quality of the music, of the product, and take our ego out of the equation,” he added.

Beyond that shared strategic vision, the two artists bring different musical styles and traditions to the table that “allow them to create something totally new and, in a certain sense, contribute to the evolution and globalization of Latin music,” Dañino said.

While the Peruvian grew up with the sounds of Shakira, Mana and the Gipsy Kings and now is a fan of artists such as Maluma and Bad Bunny, he said his partner is a California native who is more drawn to R&B, jazz and classical music.

That blend of influences has translated into sounds with alternative rhythms that hearken back to the 1980s but have elements of dembow and reggaeton.

“Paris Pa’ Que,” a song that has been available on digital platforms since April 30, will be the first single from “Neon,” which is set for a May 28 release.

That new track, crafted during the coronavirus pandemic, celebrates life’s simple pleasures and offers a “message of solidarity in these very difficult times,” Dañino said. EFE


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