- Words Bliss Zhawi
Santino Le Saint curates a playlist of inspirations behind his new mixtape, 'Rage of Angels', consisting of melancholic and haunting R&B anthems that battle with the light and dark side of love.
We have previously described Santino as the South-London lovechild of Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean and The Weeknd because of how the artist has taken a thread of influence from each of the artists to create his own unique sound.’
Rage of Angels’ written and produced by the multi-hyphenate creative is an amalgamation of heavy guitar cords combined with hip-hop energy – a testament to how different genres can harmoniously co-exist. Speaking on the mixtape, Santino revealed “This project is for the late-night lovers of all shapes and sizes. Emo guitarists and RnB Clubbers. Heartbroken Rappers and Ice Road Truckers.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
The beauty of different forms of art informing others can be seen through the opening song, ‘Unholy’, which cinematically illustrates the singer’s romantic renaissance. Thematically, the song sets the scene for a project that explores a drama-filled, hedonistic, toxic and hopeless love.
Santino explains that his mixtape ‘Rage of Angels’ was inspired by ‘classic films with dark romantic twists’, think of Pulp Fiction, Requiem For a Dream and James Bond films – all which the artist used for inspirational reference.
Lyrically, songs like ‘Bullet with My Name On It’ paint a poetic bittersweet yearning for love, some of the artists favourite lyrics on the song include; ‘I think you just took me to my paradise / You look so good in red that I just died inside / Call you my valentine / Though my heart ain’t something I’m willing to sacrifice / Oh I,
/ Don’t know where I’m going let your curves decide / Hated and most wanted when our hearts collide / And I bet when you kiss it stings like cyanide.’
Take yourself on a trance-inducing journey by listening to curated playlist by the man himself that lifts the veil on his inspiration for the mixtape.
"Who Needs Love" by Trippie Redd
"The clarity of the guitar, the simplicity of the song and delivery inspired me heavy. The way Trippie rides over a beat and a guitar is something I relate to at its core as the guitar was my first instrument and before I learned to produce at 16 all i did was write songs and make up drums in my head. The theme of who needs love is a constant through-out the tape."
"Go Flex" by Post Malone
"Post has always been a big influence for me. He proved to me how rock culture and music can be fused with hip hop in a new way and Rage of Angels dives into that in many forms. Go Flex was one of the first songs I heard that really showed me this and Post continued to be a rockstar and show how guitars can be popularised again and infused with hip hop / trap production."
"Searchin" by Sonder
" found Sonder’s whole ‘Into’ tape at a time in my life where I was alone and heartbroken. Everything from the lyrical content and production to Brent Fiyaz’s delivery on the tracks inspired songs like ‘Unholy’ and ‘Mercy’. Two songs on the tape where I feel as if I’m at my most honest."
"Solstice" by If These Trees Could Talk
"I found 'If these trees could talk’ halfway through making this tape, unsure of what direction to take my journey in and the song ‘Solstice’ is a 7 minute 50 second song of epic guitar riffs, crazy dynamics and heavy drums. The way the guitars continued to evolve alongside my upbringing of playing guitar since i can remember influenced use guitars through out."
"When The Sun Hits" by Slow Dive
"Much like ‘If These Trees Could Talk’ the guitar style of When the sun hits by Slow Dive is something that influences my playing. As a guitarist I think you constantly search for an identity with your instrument and there's something about."
"Gets Me Through" by Ozzy Osbourne
"Ozzy osbourne and Zack Wydle is a lethal combo. The solo on gets me through is one of my favourite of all time and alongside Slash and Randy Rhoads, Zack Wylde was one of my guitar heroes growing up, I always wanted to play like him. The guitar solos on ‘Love Lies’ and ‘Maria don’t call me’ were solo’s I jammed out for hours and my laying style has definitely been influenced by these greats and this song specifically."
"Dead Memories" by Slipknot
"Something that is a key part to my sound is heavy power chords and distortion in my choruses and through out my songs. Slipknot are one of my favourite bands and musicians of all time and this song specifically has been one of my favourite of all time. Though Corey Tailor’s voice is almost polar opposite to mine; the way the melodies work with the distorted guitar especially in the chorus taught me a lot about how to sing how I do yet keep the heavy distorted guitars working with my tone of voice."
"My Honest Face" by Inhaler
"I came across this song, a relatively new release compared to some of my other influences, at a time in my life where I was going through personal issues alongside relationship issues with someone I’m deeply in love with. This song spoke to me on a level and helped my identify some shit i needed to identify. Not only did it inspire a lot of content in my tape it helped me through things in my personal life."
"Save The Shit" by Lil Peep
"It’s obvious from the guitar style I play and Lil Peep’s music that I’ve always been a fan but this song has to make this list solely because it's probably one of my favourite and most played songs of all time."
"Party Monster" by Doc Mckinney & The Weeknd
"Doc Mckinney is one of my favourite producers, someone who I've followed through my music journey watching and listening to his work on projects like 'Starboy' with The Weeknd to 'Mourn' with Corbin. The dark and melancholy tones in his productions have always made me a fan and specifically with this record the way the guitar works with the rest of the production, heavy bass and hi hats is something I've always been a fan of as it is a mix of my two sides. Hip hop and Rock. I had the pleasure of meeting him in LA and talking to him about his work in 2018 and that really inspired me."