We meet Lovely Laura & Ben Santiago ahead of their huge Mansion Liverpool New Year’s Eve party
New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and Mansion Liverpool are bringing in 2018 in complete style with a special performance from internet & Ibiza sensation Lovely Laura and DJ Ben Santiago.
Add to that local residents Ian Longo, Rob McPartland, Dom Townsend & Matt Gall and your New Years in Liverpool is complete.
Laura & Ben have achieved millions of streams online, and played sets in the likes of Pacha & Cafe Mambo. We caught up with them ahead of what is looking like an epic performance in one of the city’s best loved clubs.
You have both been involved in music for many years, when did you first realize music was for you?
LAURA: I think my parents realized way before me! Apparently when I was a baby I used to go into some sort of weird trance every time they played Ella Fitzgerald. I think I finally realized when I found myself on a Fashion degree pining to take up the saxophone. I left after two days, got myself a job and took up the sax – it was the best thing I ever did, I couldn’t put it down!
BEN: I’ve loved music since I was a child and started DJing as a hobby in my early teens, but to be honest it wasn’t until I was much older that I eventually had the bollocks to make a go of it and try and make a career out of music.
When was the first time you played together, and how did it come about?
LAURA: I actually can’t remember the first time we played together but I remember the first time we met. I completely fell in love with Ben! I also remember falling in love with his playing, he genuinely blows me away every time. I guess it was a natural progression for us to play together, we just click.
BEN: The first time we ever played together was when Laura came over to visit me in Ibiza during the winter after we had first met. At the time I was staying with a friend who had a pair of decks in the house. He was away while Laura visited so one drunken night Laura and I had a little jam together. I ended up blowing my mate’s speakers (which I have still denied to this day!) and I also remember Laura told me off for playing an acappella over a track that was completely out of key!
You are both now officially, Ibiza legends, what is it that is so special about the White Isle?
LAURA: Gosh, I don’t feel worthy enough to be called an Ibiza legend, I feel I need to do a lot more to earn that title! However the White Isle is indeed very special to me. There is so much to rave about here, the natural beauty and tranquility of Ibiza is truly breathtaking at times. I love how you can dip into the craziness too and experience some of the best parties and DJ sets imaginable. For such a tiny island it’s certainly made it’s mark in the music world and I feel well and truly blessed to wake up here every day!
BEN: For me it’s the nature and the people. It’s such a beautiful island, and we are blessed with some really nice friends.
For anyone that hasn’t been to Ibiza why should they go?
LAURA: It’s not what you think it is and you’re missing out!! Ibiza has been given way too much bad press over the years. If I had a pound for every time someone came up to me on a gig here and said it was their first time in Ibiza and that they’re having the best time of their lives and why on earth had they not come sooner, I would be stinking rich! Seriously though, there is something for everyone here. Yes you can go out and party your socks off and have the best night of your life or equally you could come here with your family and lock yourself away to a quieter part of the island and just enjoy the peace and tranquility of some of the most picturesque beaches in the mediterranean – what are you waiting for?!
BEN: They should definitely go just because they haven’t already been.
You are bringing a bit of Ibiza to Liverpool for New Years Eve, what can we expect?
LAURA: Plenty of sax, dance, love, smiles and sunshine! Though not guaranteeing the sunshine bit ;/
BEN: Hopefully a very memorable NYE for everybody that comes. Laura always raises the roof wherever she plays, so with it being NYE it should be extra special.
Ben for anyone trying to crack the DJ/ producer scene what tips would you give?
Be nice. You’ll get nowhere being a dick, plus it’s nice to be nice. I can also say in my experience you need a lot of luck if you are to get anywhere. However, it’s down to you to combine that luck with hard work. Luck will give you opportunities, but hard work and performing well will mean you get asked back again.
Laura – advice for anyone playing an instrument, how do you turn a hobby into a profession?
Firstly you have to have the passion and drive to succeed, plus it helps to be a little good at what you do. I would also say a little luck goes a long way and this is something you have no control over! It is easy to become very disillusioned when things don’t go your way, but if you are determined and believe in what you do, you will succeed. What you put in is what you get out, simple!
What do you like best about playing Liverpool, and have you done the tourist thing here?
LAURA: I have a lot of love for Liverpool! Everyone I’ve ever met from Liverpool has just been the most fun and genuine person. I deffo need to do more of the tourist thing though, I just need to be here more than a day and then I might have a chance!
BEN: It’s a bit cliché but I am a massive Beatles fan. Last time I was there, I stayed at the Hard Days Night, Beatles hotel and I was in my element!
What will 2018 hold for you both? We hear you have plenty of shows on the horizon?
LAURA: Yes it’s certainly looking busy! Ibiza will be very different next year, we are changing things up a bit so watch this space. We also want to freshen up the show and become a bit more creative with the sax. Not too much to say at this stage but I’m feeling pretty excited!
BEN: We have some big changes planned for our Ibiza summer season, breaking the mould of previous summers and starting to spread our wings a little more. I can’t say too much at this stage, but it is very exciting indeed what we’ve got in store. Before the season starts we will also be gigging loads, hopefully back in Liverpool at some point too!
Any plans to release any music?
LAURA: Always! We’ve finally blocked some time aside early next year to get writing, so as you can imagine I’m itching to get in the studio!
BEN: Yes, loads!! We have blocked January & February in the diary and we plan to be working very hard in the studio. All being well we have some nice releases for the summer season.
Finally why should people get their tickets for New Years Eve at Mansion?
LAURA: Er… because they’d be missing out on one of the best NYE parties around?! I know where I’m going!
BEN: Because it’s New Years Eve and it’s Mansion! See you there 🙂