Rapper Arrow Santi from Long Island, New York, delivers catchy, carefree verses in between his energetic choruses. Even though Arrow has experienced pain and hardships in his personal life, most of his releases typically express happy, upbeat energy. In his songs, Arrow conveys a wide range of feelings and moods. He displays his vigor-filled vocals with an aggressive melody in songs like Lotus Dreams. While using a much more laid-back tone and longer lyrics in other songs like “Not Happy” and “19 Arrow” throughout the single. Many of Santi’s fans claim he has a very diverse sound, and he produces some of the most original music being released today. Check out his latest album THE CA$H TAPE and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
ARROW SANTI: I come from Babylon, NY which is on Long Island and I got started in music when my parents purchased me a MacBook Pro and Logic Pro for Christmas one year. Music and instruments have always been in my household growing up though because my father played the drums for a church a few towns away and had a drum set in the garage and my mother always loved Pop and RnB.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
ARROW SANTI: No formal training. My father did help teach me how to keep a beat at a young age and I’ve taken piano and guitar lessons when I was really really young but I was so young that I doubt hardly any of it stuck with me hahaha!… or maybe it did, hmmm haha
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘ARROW SANTI’?
ARROW SANTI: My first musical influences were probably rappers like Wayne, The Game, Lloyd Banks, Camron, Jim Jones. Stuff like that, but as I got older I was heavily influenced by electronic music. A few years of my life were totally taken over by dubstep and Skrillex was a huge influence for me. As time went on I found more and more genres that I enjoy and now I’m in this happy place where I enjoy rap, electronic and rock music altogether at once. As far as my name-Arrow Santi, it’s actually very meaningful. The ‘Arrow’ (first name) represents the pain, anger, hurt and violent side of life that we all must inevitably experience. While Santi (last name) literally translates to ‘peace’ in a language known as Pali which obviously represents the peaceful, serene, harmonious side of life. I combined these two to say a statement with my name, to show duality, balance and to show that at the end of the day we must take the GOOD with the BAD. We have no choice. My tattoos also match this meaning. Half of my body is tattooed with Arrow type energy (pain, anger, hurt, violence) while the other half is Santi type energy (peace, serenity, harmony). I hope this gives some insight into the name. You’re the first interview I’ve ever given this information to, hahaha!
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
ARROW SANTI: My music leans towards free spirited people. If you are extremely close-minded, prude or stuck in your ways then you most likely won’t enjoy my music and you might even address it as too brash or harsh sounding. My sound definitely requires the listener to be open to hearing something new or different and not just expecting the status quo.I would describe my current sound as energetic and hyper but also thought provoking. It also depends on the song you choose to listen to by me because every song doesn’t have the same sound in my discography (thank God).
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
I believe that music has an absolute affect on society, the spirit of the listener and it has huge cultural impact. Music is a form of entertainment, so is a movie and as we all know; movies can make you feel fear, sadness, happiness, grief, anger and any other emotion you can think of and so can music! I’ve heard songs that aren’t even about something sad, and they’ve made me want to cry all off of the frequency and key that the artist decided to make the song with. It’s as real as it gets. Don’t even get me started on how it influences society! It absolutely does, especially in a society where people look up to their entertainers more than their politicians haha!
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
This is a tough question because it is tough to gauge what an artist “deserves” from their music catalog. I do work extremely hard for my music to perform well and be seen by potential listeners and I get so happy any time I reach a new supporter or someone likes my music. That’s a priceless feeling but do I want to be bigger and gain more exposure in the future? Of course I do!
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
I usually start with a melody. A simple melody. No seriously.. the simplest melody you can possibly think of, and then I expound on that so much that it becomes a full completed song by the time I’m done. I usually use this method every time but don’t give out my secret! Shhhh! Hahaha!
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
ARROW SANTI: Definitely people invading me and my family’s personal information and life. I’m not even “famous” yet or whatever but because I want to be a public figure, the public believes that gives them the right to invade me and my family’s personal life, space and information and that’s not cool at all. I don’t mind sharing information about myself but just ask first, don’t just invade someone’s privacy because you think they won’t mind.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
ARROW SANTI: I’ve had these two shows that really blew my mind. One on Long Island which was really fun and then one in NYC which was super high energy. They both just surprised me because I was expecting a small amount of people who didn’t really know my music but both times it was actually a good amount of people and they had a great time. I’m nothing without my supporters. I live for those moments.
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