Lovely Laura and Ben Santiago are a DJ and saxophonist musical duo who have made waves in the music industry with their incredible live performances. The unique pairing have unsurprisingly caught the attention of many, leading to great opportunities such as working with brands Dolce & Gabbana, MTV and Mercedes, as well as recently securing the great honor of getting an Ibiza rocks residency for this summer.
Q1. So you guys are married – how did you meet?
Laura: Through the magic of Ibiza! Ben was playing in a bar when I walked in and it was pretty much love at first sight. I think it was a few months after when we had a jam and realised we actually worked well together as duo.
Ben: We met in Ibiza through mutual friends back in the day. I was the resident DJ in Base Bar and Laura walked in one night. The rest is history, as they say…
Q2. Have you both always been interested in music and pursuing this as a career?
Laura: I was born into a musical family, so I started playing piano when I was very young. Not long after I picked up the clarinet, but I then ended up pursuing my art instead. It was only two days into a Fashion degree when I realised I had made a mistake and took a year off. In that time, I took up the saxophone and absolutely loved it – I couldn’t put it down! I guess sometimes it does pay to follow your heart.
Ben: To be honest, music has always been a huge passion and part of my life, however I never really put two and two together and considered it as a career. It all happened by chance, but when it did, I started to take my work seriously and adopted a decent work ethic for the first time in my life! Better late than never.
Q3. What’s it like constantly touring and working with your partner?
Laura: Actually pretty good! We know and respect each other so well, so living and working together is fairly easy. It’s also amazing to see the world and share the same experiences with the one you love. I think we’re extremely blessed if I’m honest!
Ben: You would think that it could be difficult working so closely with the person you live with, but in reality it is a huge blessing to have Laura by my side whilst working and touring. If you speak with any other DJ who tours regularly, they will probably tell you what a lonely existence it is doing all the travelling on their own, so it is great that Laura and I get to share these experiences together. It’s a win-win.
Laura: I’d like to say it’s a lot calmer, but I would be lying! Everyday chores still have to be done, but I have to say looking out the window and seeing the sea makes light work of everything!
Ben: Ironically enough, Ibiza has made me grow up. The three primary aspects of my life (love-life, home-life, and work-life), I never really took seriously until I got to Ibiza. I spent my youth travelling, living free and avoiding any sort of commitment like the plague. Ibiza has changed my life because it was only when I moved here that I met a girl I wanted to settle down with and marry. Plus I bought a house, and all of a sudden I work hard with a career in mind. I guess it gets you in the end and you have to grow up eventually, but I am really happy that it was Ibiza that did it to me!
Q5. What’s it like getting to perform for fashion shows such as Dolce & Gabbana? And what show has been your favourite so far?
Laura: It was an absolute honour to be invited to play for Dolce & Gabbana – and to wear their stunning dresses! Being asked to play whilst dancing down a catwalk for a fashion show in Poland was pretty nerve-racking.
Q6. What have been the most difficult challenges you’ve faced in your music career?
Laura: Sexism and self-belief. Music is a tough industry and I’m far from tough! Having the inner strength to keep powering on when it seems everything is against you demands a certain dedication. I’m in love with music and could not imagine myself doing anything else.
Ben: The constant self-questioning. Not every gig is as good as things may appear on the pantomime that is social media. Some gigs leave you questioning whether or not you should pursue your dreams and goals which is always a horrible feeling, but then next thing you have an amazing gig and you’re back on track. Before you know it you have a bad gig again and so the cycle continues!
Laura: Absolutely! We are writing at the moment and feeling pretty excited. People can still expect happy, uplifting, summer vibes with plenty of saxophone!
Ben: We are actually working on a bunch of tracks as we speak. There is a mixture of stuff in there, one rework of a classic, a very summery feel good track, plus one with a heavy horn top line. I’m really enjoying the creative process, but it is slow as these things take time.
Q8. How did the Ibiza rocks residency come about and what should people attending your residency expect?
Laura: I actually can’t remember how the Ibiza Rocks residency came about, but we were very excited when it was proposed! People can expect plenty of sun-drenched, tropical, saxophone vibes right in the heart of the perfect pool party.
Ben: Ibiza Rocks being Ibiza’s official home of live music, and obviously the live element being a huge part of what we do, we are really excited to be holding a residency there. We are very fortunate to be a part of their amazing line-up for this year. Plus if you have ever been to any of their events, you know that they always get an amazing crowd in there, so people can expect very big things from the parties!
Q9. Why is ‘cafe mambo’ such a special venue to play at?
Laura: It’s one of the most iconic sunset spots in the world! You name any legendary DJ over the last few decades and they have probably played a set at this institution. It’s an honour to play there, it really is a dream come true and undoubtedly one of my favourite gigs!
Ben: It’s a legendary spot which always has and always will epitomise the true Balearic spirit of Ibiza. It’s all about the feeling, and Mambo has that feeling every night of the week without fail.
Q10. Any advice for people trying to get into the music industry?
Laura – Keep persevering and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Follow your heart and try to stay true to yourself as much as possible!
Ben: Don’t give up! You will face constant rejection, but you just have to keep going – it’s all about the perseverance! Work with good people as there are plenty about, and most importantly work very hard. As with most things; you get out what you put in.
Q11. What plans do you have for 2018?
Laura: New music, new shows and new territories to play. Feeling excited!
Ben: Really exciting stuff. The Ibiza stuff is looking very promising with our main gigs being the headlining shows at Ibiza Rocks. We also have confirmed dates at Mambo, plus some other really exciting stuff in the pipeline. I also started an event with three other fellow Ibiza resident DJs called Melon Bomb, which is going from strength to strength and we have some really exciting stuff going on there, so all in all it is looking like a great season ahead.
Interview by Lucy Rix