About Time You Met: Lovely Laura and Ben SantiagoBy Alicia Grimshaw
Internet sensation Lovely Laura and prolific Ibiza DJ Ben Santiago have quickly risen to be one of dance music’s most revered and dynamic duos in the industry. With residencies under their belt for some of the biggest clubbing brands, and streams in the millions for their signature fusion of rich, energy driven grooves and addictive saxophone, the pair’s shared talents have proven to be a compelling combination. After a recent sell out show at Ibize Rocks, we chatted to the Laura and Ben about their new single, festivals and what they love most about the White Isle:
You guys just played your first pool party as part of your Ibiza Rocks residency in Ibiza last week – how was that for you?
Laura: Incredible on every level, yet also nerve racking! It’s the first time Ben and I have headlined an event at such an established venue on the island, so this was a big deal. Ibiza Rocks are so professional though to work for; they could not do enough to support us and consequently the party turned out a huge success. Absolutely buzzing for the next one.
Ben: To be honest I was very nervous and didn’t get a chance to relax and enjoy it as much as I had hoped for. It was strange because I haven’t felt nervous whilst playing for absolutely ages; it was such a big deal for us and we really wanted to make a good impression, the nerves came out of nowhere and completely got the better of me! Thankfully everything went well and everybody that came had a great time – hopefully moving forward I can relax and enjoy the next ones a bit more!
Photo Credit: Elliot Young
Why do you guys love returning to the island so much? What makes Ibiza so special to you?
Ben: It’s the Ibiza spirit. There’s no place like it in the world and like so many others, I am truly in love with this island.
Laura: So many things make Ibiza special: the energy of the island, the people, the gigs, the weather – we’ve been fortunate enough to now make it our home. And I have to be honest, right now there is no other place in the world I would rather be.
Photo Credit: Elliot Young
What parties are you looking forward to letting your hair down at this season?
Ben: I’m really looking forward to seeing Luciano return to Ushuaia again this year, plus the Melon Bomb parties at Pikes, which are now becoming absolutely legendary.
Laura: I don’t let my hair down very much at all! I guess the one time I truly relax is when I’m not playing – a definite trip to see Melon Bomb at Pikes will be on the cards. There are also many island people that go to this party; it’s the equivalent of a massive house party with all your friends – just what you want, perfect venue, perfect people.
Tell us about your recent release ‘Just Want Your Body’ – what were your influences on the track?
Ben: The aim was to make a summer ‘feel-good’ track with a saxophone top line that was really hooky for people to latch onto. We were really happy with the results.
Laura: Ben has pretty much summed it up. I love to play to happy, uplifting house music that’s just hooky and perfect for summer. I think we nailed it with Just Want Your Body – I’m even hearing people sing back the sax line to me on gigs, which is really special.
Where do you find your inspiration for producing and creating music together? How do you guys manage your time between personal and professional, when constantly playing some of the biggest and most exciting shows around?
Ben: I can’t say there is any secret formula to it…it just seems to work. Laura is extremely easy going and easy to get on with, plus of course we really love our work. If you love what you do and the person you do it with, it’s very easy to be enthusiastic and make it work in the best possible way.
Laura: I couldn’t agree more Ben! I feel so lucky and blessed to have met Ben – he is so perfect in every way. Not only am I in love with his music and the way he plays, but I love him as a husband and best friend, and together we really do make a great team. High five mi amor!
We heard you just played We Are FSTVL in London, how was that and did you manage to catch anyone else on the bill?
Laura: Haha! No, we were in and out unfortunately. We managed to grab a quick five mins to walk around but it was not enough time to stop and absorb any other DJ.
Ben: Unfortunately not! That was such a manic weekend for us, we literally landed and arrived at the festival about half an hour before our set started, then we had to leave straight after we finished so we didn’t get a chance to catch anyone else’s. It’s such a shame when it’s like that, but sometimes you don’t have a choice.
What else is planned for your summer festival season?
Ben: We’ve just confirmed a huge festival which I am absolutely buzzing about, but we haven’t been able to announce it yet so sadly I cannot say anything. Aside from that we are playing at Tomorrowland on the 29th, we have a huge one at Disneyland Paris called Electroland at the end of June, the We Are Together festival in Northern Ireland, Sunniside Festival in Sunderland – and last weekend was the Southport Weekender which was amazing.
Laura: Ditto what Ben said. It’s a good festival season for us this year – no complaints!
Photo Credit: Elliot Young
What are your favourite bars and restaurants in Ibiza?
Ben: My favourite restaurant in Ibiza is definitely Vino & Co. They strive for the very best in terms of food and wine and they are extremely consistent in delivering it. I cannot recommend it enough.
Laura: Yes, Vino & Co is pretty special! Also a super Italian restaurant called Can Domingo near San Josep.
What travel accessory can’t you live without?
Laura: My woolly throw – Ben refers to it as my granny blanket but I always have the last laugh when the temperature drops!
Ben: My earplugs. They are great, especially for blocking out any screaming babies on flights. In fact, the screaming adults are even worse on all the Ibiza-bound flights!
What’s next in the pipeline for you guys?
Ben: Lots of live gigs all over Europe and the world, plus releasing some great records. We are currently working on a number of different tracks and we’ve got some great stuff we can’t wait to finish and get out.
Laura: For me I want to continue playing live in as many corners of the globe as possible. We still get many people writing from America, Australia and South America asking when we are coming to play there, and as yet we just haven’t made it for a full tour. Also we need to start releasing our music. We’ve been slowly working on stuff but what with our hectic schedules it’s been impossible to solely focus on it and get it out there. Hopefully that is about to change!