He is regarded as a trailblazer and one of the most prominent new generation artists to emerge from Africa, with his voice shaping the new wave of urban music. Santi is a Dubai-based rapper, singer, and songwriter from Nigeria, who mixes different genres of music to produce his unique sound. The 26 year-old stated to OkayAfrica: “I believe with music, evolution is key. We are a time where information is processed faster than ever. So standing out is key. I often experiment with various genres, while always maintaining my essence, so I do not necessarily know what genre I would label my music.”
The singer has just dropped his latest single entitled “Freaky” and explains the stimulus behind it: “I was heavily influenced by Nigerian music. It is an integral part of who I am,” he told Re-volt Radio. “Freaky came about from an old song named Shobeedobeedoo by a Nigerian artist named Ikechukwu. I remember hearing it in high school on the way home everyday. I had plans for a long time to sample the beat but the day finally came when Genio made the beat and the rest was history.” Having been bought up in the UAE, his passion for music started at a young age by way of listening to his dad’s old records. He professionally entered the music scene at the age of 16.
From there on, the rapper’s success has gone from strength to strength. 2011 saw him release his first mixtape to rave reviews, with it being dubbed one of “the best mixtapes in Nigeria”. Following on from this, the artist formerly known as OzzyB was also one of the ambassadors for Nokia in the successful 2012 “don’t break the beat” campaign. His album Suzie’s Funeral also won critical acclaim.
Santi is also a passionate filmmaker and aspiring director having co-directed the videos for Jungle Fever and Gangsta Fear; With Wizkid describing him as his favorite rapper and with more exciting projects including a film and other creative pursuits to come in the near future, it is an exciting time for the African and Dubai music and arts scene.