In April 2020, just a couple of weeks after their “stay at home” days began in Berlin, Santi & Tuğçe released their new single Respira on their label Kybele Records. „Respira“ is a track that exemplifies Santi & Tuğçe’s signature approach to music-making: soulful melodies and vocals, original songwriting, colorful instrumentation, dreamy harmonies, and surgically engineered dance-floor beats. In Santi & Tuğçe’s own words, „Respira“ “tells the story of the wind, the breath of the universe. The wind is elusive and full of mysteries. No one knows where she comes from, where she is going or what she brings. In these volatile times that we live, we dedicate this song to trees whose breath nourishes our world.” All proceeds for this track go to 8 Billion Trees Foundation that plants trees and rescues animals in the Amazon and worldwide.
These days Santi & Tuğçe are getting ready to release “Respira+Remixes” as an EP. We had a quick chat with Santi & Tuğçe about this and other future releases, and their days during the Corona pandemic.
trndmsk: What can we look forward to in your next release?
Santi & Tuğçe: “Respira+Remixes” EP features three exquisite remixes from three talented artists along with our original version of the track. The remixes are by Chilean composer and producer Rodrigo Gallardo, Guatemala based producer/DJ Mose, and Berlin-based producer/DJ San Miguel Berlin. The EP will be available on all digital music sites on July 24, 2020.
How did you choose the remixers?
For this particular track, it was very important for us to work with artists whose sound and artistic vision would complement and resonate with ours. We share a special connection with each of the remixers. We have already collaborated with both Rodrigo Gallardo and San Miguel Berlin on our previous albums, and we love them both as people and artists. We met Mose at our first festival in Germany back in 2017, and had an immediate connection. When we approached each of these artists, they responded right away and delivered a remix which both of us loved right away. Overall, this collaboration was a beautiful, very easy-going and heart-warming process.
What effect do the versions have on you?
Just as we had hoped, each artist breathed new life into Respira and made this track their own. Rodrigo Gallardo weaved his signature Andean sounds to the track, recorded his quena and charango, and made Respira more upbeat and groovy. Mose stayed close to the original and enhanced the peaceful and meditative feeling of the track. San Miguel added a perfect mix of deep, grounding sentiment along with dance-floor playfulness and bliss. We are grateful to each artist for the care and love they put into their creations.
How did you choose the title of the original? Is there a special meaning behind it?
The song lyrics are in Spanish and the title “Respira” has a double meaning: “Breathe” and “She Breathes”. The song is about the wind, which we chose to depict as an elusive and transformative female figure (as opposed to “el viento” which is a masculine term for wind in Spanish). The title (e.g. “She Breathes) both describes the protagonist of the song, but also serves as a reminder for all to simply exist in the moment (e.g. “Breathe”). During these times where a global pandemic – not only the virus but also systemic racism, brutality, and inequality – is threatening people’s lives and mere ability to breathe (for example, “I can’t breathe” is a slogan of the Black Lives Matter movement), we find the call to breathe an urgent and primal reminder for all.
How was the feedback so far?
Shortly after its release, Respira received enthusiastic support from listeners and critics alike, and got featured on various music magazines such as Music is 4 Lovers, Trndmsk, Mixmag Brazil, Mixmag Turkey, and Sounds and Colours. This wide international attention has been very helpful for the environmental mission of Respira, as we are donating our proceeds from this track to the 8 Billion Trees Foundation which plants trees and rescues wild animals worldwide.
How did you survive the corona pandemic so far?
We had a lot of upcoming shows and festivals lined up for spring and summer, which of course got cancelled, and there is much uncertainty in the foreseeable future regarding live music events. Yet, these months we had at home without traveling anywhere has also given us a chance to feel more settled and set routines, which are so important to the creative process. Honestly, our favorite part of music making is the time we spend in the studio, so musically it has been a joy to just focus on creating, without the pressure to perform. We also feel fortunate that in Berlin we were still able to spend a lot of time outdoors, and take our regular long walks in the forests and parks nearby. All in all, we cannot complain much at this moment, and are taking each day as it comes.
What do you miss the most currently?
Actually the answer to this question is almost always the same. As two people who have lived the majority of our lives away from our homes of origin, we do miss our families, our childhood friends, the landscape, texture and vibe of the cities we grew up in (Asunción for Santi, Istanbul for Tuğçe). We also always miss the sun and the sea.
What’s up next after the release? What are your near future projects?
“Stay at home” for us meant “stay in the studio” for the most part, so we have many new releases coming up. We have a remix for DJ Nirso’s upcoming EP Benção, which will be released in July via Mousique Records. We are preparing a new EP for Souq Records of all original tracks featuring a brilliant jazz pianist. We will have other single releases along with remixes in the coming months.