Summer Spotlight: Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago

Jun 27, 2018
Summer Spotlight: Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago
We’re delighted to bring you an interview today with two of Ibiza’s busiest artists this summer, Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago. The ultra talented husband and wife duo are holding things down on the island both at their Ibiza Rocks Hotel and Cafe Mambo residencies, as well as select other dates including Pacha for Bob Sinclar’s Paris By Night. With a host of European festival dates lined up, a massive summer single “Just Want Your Body,” and a must hear summer sound, there was no better time to catch up with the dynamic duo!
Awesome to have you guys on board today Laura & Ben! You’ve got another packed summer lined up with plenty of dates in Ibiza and various festivals across Europe – how’s the season started through your eyes?
BEN: Really well! We were a little nervous about changing our Ibiza home from one venue to another as it’s unchartered territory and you don’t know how it’s going to go, but fortunately everything at Ibiza Rocks has completely exceeded our expectations, so we’re off to a flying start.

​LAURA: It really couldn't be better! Like Ben said, our Ibiza Rocks parties went ​amazingly well so we're absolutely buzzing to return back there later this summer. We've also got some incredible festivals lined up this summer with Tomorrowland, We Are Festival, and Electroland, so the season is looking exciting :)

You guys are the absolute epitome of a power couple. Can you tell us a little bit about your history together – did your relationship come first or performing together come first? How do you think your work together in the studio and on stage strengthens your relationship and vice versa?
​LAURA: We genuinely do just make a great team. We fell in love first and then realised near the beginning of our relationship that we could work and perform together as well – especially as that was what we were doing separately anyway when we first met. I think trust is a key point, especially in this industry, but also in that we love, respect and support each other fully. Having said this we have been known to have a little disagreement now and then, but thankfully that's a rarity!! haha
BEN: First the relationship happened and then the performing together followed later. Everything happened very organically. Funnily enough, we were asked this in our previous interview, and I honestly don’t think there is a secret I can share. Our relationship works because it just seems to naturally work. First and foremost we are best friends which obviously makes a huge difference, but everything else just seems to work itself out without too much effort.

Laura, can you tell us a bit more about your background in music, jazz, and playing saxophone? Have you always also liked electronic music? When was the first time that you saw a path forward for the two together?
​LAURA: ​I've always loved soulful jazz and actually remember discovering the first Hed Kandi compilations whilst I was studying on a jazz degree back in the late 90s. Coincidentally at around that time I was invited to take over a residency jamming sax with a soulful house DJ in Leeds. I'd never seen anything like it before, it was completely new ground for me, but I loved it! I loved the freedom I had to improvise and intertwine my sax within the track, plus the style of music really moved me soulfully. Not long after starting that gig I was then asked to play in another club and within a few years I had management and things really started to take off. I guess I'm coming up to my 20 year anniversary of doing this and I can truly say that I've loved every minute of my journey so far. I genuinely never thought that I would have such a career out of this – my original plan was to immerse myself in jazz for the rest of my life, but clearly someone else above had other ideas! I'm truly grateful.

Together you guys have already headlined two big dates for your new Pool Party at the Ibiza Rocks Hotel. Can you tell us about that experience and how those have gone down?
BEN: To be honest I was very nervous and didn't get a chance to relax and enjoy the first one as much as I had hoped for. It was strange because I haven't felt nervous whilst playing for absolutely ages, but it was such a big deal for us and we really wanted to make a good impression, the nerves came out of nowhere and completely got the better of me! Thankfully everything went well and everybody that came had a great time so the following week I was a lot more relaxed and I enjoyed every minute of it. Both of them went down really well and we honestly couldn’t be happier.

​LAURA: Similar to Ben I was also rather nervous for our Opening Party. I guess when you're in a new venue you never quite know how it's going to go, but thankfully we didn't have to worry! The crowds at both our parties ​were amazing, so full of love and positive energy. The staff and sound/tech team at Ibiza Rocks were also an absolute pleasure to work with, so the whole experience was incredible. We really can't wait to go back later this summer!
You’re also back as residents at Mambo this summer. What makes Cafe Mambo so special in your mind and what does the honor of playing there mean to you?
​LAURA: ​It is quite simply one of the most iconic sunset spots in the world. Not only that but every legendary DJ that you can think of has probably played there. I remember that the first time I performed there I was so incredibly nervous! I kept pinching myself!! haha
BEN: It's a legendary spot that always has and always will epitomise the Balearic spirit of Ibiza. It's all about the feeling and Mambo has that feeling every night of the week without fail.

“Just Want Your Body” has to go down as your summer anthem, right?! What can you tell us about the track?
​LAURA: I normally dislike many of the tracks I write or play on (a case of the overly critical mind!) but I have to say I love performing this track on our gigs. The crowd also gives a great response back too​ which makes the track even more special. The beginning of the production process started with some sax hook ideas that we recorded here in Ibiza and then we took them over to Matt Schwartz in London and the three of us sat down and cracked on. It was pretty much done in a day!
BEN: It was a fun process and hopefully that came out in the track. We wanted a track that epitomised summer and we’re really happy with the results.

The song’s picked up support from Tiësto and must go down a treat live as well! How’s the reception to the track been through your eyes and in your opinion, what is the most important measure of a track’s success?
BEN: I should probably say sales or something like that, but the truth is I prefer to measure a track’s success on what it does to the dance floor in front of me.

​LAURA: I probably shouldn't admit this but I actually shed a tear when I heard it on Tiësto's mix! It meant so much to me that someone of his stature should pick it out to include on his mix​, plus it sounded so good on radio! haha! One thing that does impress me is how the crowd sings back the sax line to me when I'm performing, so I hope that's a good indicator of how the track is being received.
Any other big summer plans/ releases that have you guys particularly excited?
BEN: Aside from the Ibiza Rocks & Cafe Mambo dates we already spoke about, we are also playing at Pacha this year for Bob Sinclar, plus a few other one-offs. Outside of Ibiza, we have some fantastic festivals lined up including Electroland next week which is at Disneyland Paris, and Tommorowland in Begium. Our feet are hardly touching the ground!

​LAURA: I feel very excited about our future releases especially now having seen how well “Just Want Your Body” was received. We have some great ideas in the pipeline, it's just getting them executed! Time is very precious at the minute especially with our touring schedule being so crazy. We have some great festivals coming up and also a rather exciting announcement soon too, so all in all the rest of 2018 is looking pretty good!
You can get tickets for Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago's Ibiza Rocks Pool Parties here!
Connect with Lovely Laura: Website | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Connect with Ben Santiago: SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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