Jon Santana just wrapped up a groundbreaking 2015. In early February, Jon made the decision to pack up his life in Lakeland, FL and head to Music City, also known as, Nashville, TN to make his music producer aspirations reality. Nashville’s music scene has branched out from its country roots, where worlds of pop and electronic now exist in the southern charmed streets and Jon wanted to get in on the opportunity within the growing scene. Creative momentum kept Jon busy as he befriended pop siren Cappa and the two released a remix of TLC’s “No Scrubs”, which has over 2 million listens on Spotify today. While Jon has been busy with writing sessions and working one-on-one with artists, he has also focused his energies on producing original work in the form of a still untitled EP (Jon isn't good with naming things) set to be released end of March 2016. Jon and I got to chat for a moment about his choir beginnings and the beats that have led him to here…
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When Jon graduated from Southeastern University he knew he wanted to pursue a career in music, but didn’t know how he could get by with it. “I say I do music full time, but I do a lot of music things. I play at church. I do a lot of freelance work, like editing, for people. And then of course, producing for artists. It’s a dream come true to be able to do music fully,” shared Jon.
Jon first fell in love with music by singing in his school choir. In middle school, Jon’s dad forced him to take piano lessons that he then quit so he could play baseball. “I was like, Dad, baseball is way cooler. Now, I wish I would have just kept playing piano,” said Jon through laughs.
When Jon was 15 he got a hold of a demo from a beat making program he was dallying around with. “For a while I was doing hip-hop and I had a website where I sold beats. When I was 18, I was a freshman, I sold my first beat for like 50 bucks and I kind of just went from there to here,” said Jon.
Those early days of making beats on his laptop helped Jon focus in on his passion for production and creating full songs for artists. This past year, Jon and Nashville’s new talent, Cappa, teamed up and produced tracks “No Scrubs” and “Other Girls” that show the producer’s knack for making a refreshing poppy beat that’ll catch up to you. Jon’s upcoming collaborations in the new year surround Nashville rapper Chancellor Warhol and finishing up the second half of Cappa’s EP.
“I’ve been doing a lot of writing sessions with people that have heard Cappa’s stuff that want my sound. Besides that, I’ve been working on my own music. I’m focusing on a lot of original stuff that is coming out this year starting in February. I put out one song from my EP, “Time Again,” around October, but then I stepped back and now I’m redoing everything and starting back up in February with releasing the songs,” said Jon.
The track “Violet” will be released on Del Sol Music in March and will also be included in Jon’s upcoming EP. The track takes you on a journey through sonic waves. A melodic intro with conga-esque drums takes you to a place with heavy bass and light, airy keys.
“I wanted to do something that sounded really different and kind of took you on a whirlwind. It starts off kind of different with that piano and then it goes into that weird choir sound. I just like playing with emotions and wanted to make something that sounded deep,” said Jon about his inspiration behind “Violet.”
Jon’s sound has definitely become integrated with the piano. Jon shared with me a rough version of the upcoming EP. In each song you’re able to hear a melody led by black and white keys, and that’s intentional. “A lot of stuff has piano because I really like playing or like being more melodic than what’s out now. There’s stuff that’s super cool, but doesn’t have much melody or feeling to it. Pretty much my whole goal for everything I do is to make stuff that means more,” shared Jon.
Jon’s attention to melody and using that sound to create something more substantial has brought him recognition this year by other artists. “People started reaching out to me directly for work and that has been super cool. People like my sound and want it and want to work with me. It’s just really reassuring that I’m doing all right,” reflected Jon.
As Jon’s innovative year wraps up, his only plans are to keep the momentum going in 2016. Fans can look forward to hearing original work off the EP, as well as, a few remixes Jon has been working on. Be sure to follow Jon Santana on Twitter and SoundCloud to stay updated on his latest released work and happenings.