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OUR Q&A WITH LOVELY LAURA & BEN SANTIAGO
What’s more balearic than listening to a DJ spinning house music, while the sunsets? Well… Quite possibly, it’s listening to a DJ spinning house music while the sunsets, while a live saxophone freestyles along with it! That’s exactly what you’ll get with Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago…
Here’s what they had to say ahead of their summer residency at Ibiza Rocks Hotel!
LAURA, HOW DID YOU MOVE FROM STUDYING JAZZ SAXOPHONE IN LEEDS TO PLAYING LIVE TO MASSIVE CROWDS IN IBIZA? THAT’S HARDLY A WELL-TRODDEN JOURNEY…
LAURA: Completely by chance! A fellow saxophonist on my degree course asked if I wanted to take over a local gig, which involved him jamming with a DJ. I’d never seen this concept before but the music was awesome to improvise to. Deep, soulful funk grooves that I loved. From that moment on I was hooked and gradually more DJs and promoters asked me to go and play with them, which ultimately brought me to Ibiza. Never did I think I would have had such a successful career out of it – I owe that guy a massive drink!
WHICH GIG WAS IT WHERE YOU REALISED THAT THE SAXOPHONE/DJ COMBO REALLY COULD WORK?
LAURA: I was doing this way before Ben and I actually met so I guess I already knew that DJ and sax was a good combo. The only difference with playing with Ben is that now we can prepare music in advance so that when we hit the stage it’s a more polished performance rather than the old style of me jamming along to another DJ and hoping his tracks will work with my sax. Having said this Ben tries to keep things fresh and change things up a bit musically depending on the crowd, so that keeps me on my toes!
BEN, YOU’VE BEEN RESIDENT/PLAYED AT PRETTY MUCH ALL OF IBIZA’S BIGGEST CLUBS – WHO’S GOT THE BEST DJ BOOTH?
BEN: I really like the Amnesia booth because the monitors are above you, which is definitely the best place. And the hospitality at Hï is second to none…
YOU TWO HAVE DONE ALL SORTS OF GIGS – WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST PLACE YOU’VE ENDED UP SPINNING TUNES?
LAURA: We played for Dolce & Gabbana in their Milan store during Fashion Week a few years back, and I remember being positioned in their window a bit like a mannequin. I didn’t know whether to play or wave.
BEN: The toilets at Manumission were crazy back in the day. All sorts of madness went on in there…
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CROWD PLEASER
IN YOUR SET?
LAURA: It would have to be one of the big sax records – either ‘Jubel’ by Klingande, or the Tocadisco remix of ‘Changes’ by Faul, Wad & Pnau. That really goes off.
BEN: Yeah… as Laura says, when I’m playing with her the Tocadisco remix of ‘Changes’ is an absolute bomb that never fails.
AND WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TRACKS TO PLAY?
LAURA: I’m loving playing our own track, ‘Just Want Your Body’ at the moment. Everyone seems to love it, which gives me such a buzz!
BEN: I’ve got so many but one that I absolutely love and cannot stop playing is the Sebastian Ingrosso remix of ‘Swimming Places’ by Julien Jabre. It’s an incredible track that is timeless and works every time. I think it’s well over ten years old now, but I cannot stop playing it.
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT PLANNED FOR THE IBIZA
LAURA: Plenty of feel-good, uplifting sax house – perfect for the best pool party atmosphere you could wish for! We also have some amazing guest DJs playing for us so we’re feeling really excited musically about these shows.
AREN’T YOU KNACKERED AFTER A SHOW? YOUR LUNGS MUST BE MASSIVE, LAURA! WHAT DO YOU TWO DO TO WIND DOWN AFTER YOU’VE PLAYED?
LAURA: Hahaha! I actually don’t know where it comes from as when I go for the ‘blow’ test at the doctors I’m really bad! I suffer from asthma too so theoretically this shouldn’t work. I put it down to the feeling in my heart when I play. If I’m moved on a deep, soulful level then it’s easy to find the energy. Regarding winding down after a gig, a nice hot shower and a cup of tea is my heaven!