An Interview With SALVADOR SANTANA All About His Newest Single ‘Panic Mode’ With DJ/Producer FELIX!
Posted On 11 Feb 2019
“Panic Mode” is the newest single and debut collaboration between DJ/Producer Felix and Carlos Santana’s son, Salvador Santana.
Listen to the track here- http://song.space/6lcjrg/song/968824
“I suppose the first thing I did in our attempt to make a version of a punk band was to make a hip-hop band. I was the DJ in it when I was like, 14 or 15. That then progressed on to pressing our own vinyl, and then trying to sell them, which is the hard bit (laughs).”- DJ Felix explains.
After seamlessly mastering “the hard bit” as easily as segueing songs, Los Angeles-based Producer/DJ Felix has gone on to become a multi-platinum selling artist and highly in demand collaborator. His latest partnership and project is a seemingly meant-to-be collaboration with Salvador Santana on the aptly-titled for our troubling times track “Panic Mode.”
Why was this sonic simpatico with Santana meant-to-be? As Felix explains, “it’s so easy working with him. He’s such an open, warm, generous guy. No ego. He doesn’t make you feel like you can’t try anything. He’s just very flexible, very versatile and just an absolute dream to work with, honestly.”
As for Santana immediately developing a personal and professional chemistry with Felix, the son of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Carlos Santana says, “yeah, Felix is a super cool cat, and I think it’s gonna be the first of many, many more collaborations together.”
Growing up in Essex, a southeast county of England, Felix had access to “really good radio,” and the music he mostly listened to was what they called at the time soul or boogie, a predominantly American kind of soul music. That was his first kind of real passion – and still is. Later, when he could get on to trains, he’d go up to London to check out the record stores. When asked if he could remember the first song he spun at his first paid DJ gig, without hesitation he answers, “no, not really.” But pressed to describe the kind of music he played at the time, again with no hesitation he uses Rufus and Chaka Khan’s 1983 hit “Ain’t Nobody” as a prime example. As for which of his many music-related tasks he finds more challenging, DJing, producing or songwriting, he confesses he gets nervous DJing sometimes because he doesn’t do it as much as he used to. In his words, “that’s the most nerve-racking.” Producing is the thing he enjoys the most, but songwriting is the thing he finds the most challenging task. Obviously up to the challenge, his multi-platinum worldwide hits include “Don’t You Want Me” and “It Will Make Me Crazy.”
San Francisco Bay area born Salvador Santana’s private and public resume also overflows with accolades and accomplishments. When confronted with choosing which of his countless roles and achievements he’s proudest of – father, Grammy Award winner, producer, son of an activist mother and guitar hero father, husband, brother, friend and fighter in the #Resistance, among other things, he jumps at the chance to affirm the most recent – becoming a father to his months-old son. He adds, “my son is definitely by biggest inspiration. Everything I do is for him.” As for the multi-talented keyboardist, composer, vocalist and songwriter’s most challenging musical task, he leans toward composing lyrics, although he adds the caveat that he loves when he figures it out. “As long as I’m in a mood where I can just allow things to happen and I get out of my own way, more times than not the creativity just comes out, and I just have to be there and just capture it all.”
As for any future projects that may lie ahead for these talented teammates, time will tell. According to Felix, “Panic Mode” is set to be released in January, and hopefully a video to accompany it as well. But since the two live just about a mile or so away from each other in Los Angeles, distance is no excuse.
For more information on Felix, visit:
Official website / Instagram / Twitter
For more information on Salvador Santana, visit:
Official website / Facebook / Twitter
Learn more about this single in Salvador Santana’s following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now?
I’m currently in the studio working on some music. What else is new? Ha!
Now that 2019 has started, what musical goals do you have yourself this new year? Did you make any new years resolutions? Mine was to read more for fun!
Right on! Yeah one of my goals for this year and from here on out is: for every project I’m apart of, I want to envision, create, follow through, until its complete. No more unfinished ideas that end up on the shelf.
Growing up, how important was music in your life?
Music is, always has been, and always will be my first love.
Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician?
The moment I was born.
Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Not at all because it’s what I was born to do.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else?
Yeah sure. At one point I wanted to be an athlete and a veterinarian.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career?
The biggest surprise was understanding that it doesn’t feel like work or labor when you do what you love and love what you do.
What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I’m still learning how to get out of my own way…by being patient and to allow the natural unfoldment to happen during the creative process.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
Growing up in the San Francisco bay area of California we have a little bit of everything. It’s a melting pot of different cultures from all over the world. So I incorporate and integrate a little bit of every type of music. Both of my grandfathers were musicians and spent a lot of their time performing in the bay area. I’ve been saying for some time now that the genre of music I play is called “life.” All the amazing music that we know and love that has inspired us in this life…that’s what I play.
Let’s talk about your newest song, “Panic Mode.” What was the inspiration for this track?
Yeah so I got together with my dude Felix at my home studio this past summer and he played me a few instrumental ideas he had been working on. This one track in particular immediately jumped out at me and I was like “woah! I like this vibe right here” and Felix was like “cool!” We started to discuss lyrical ideas and subject matter based off the vibes and sounds that were in the instrumental. We both came up with this idea about the duality of this end of the world, apocalyptic like, vibe and simultaneously people are out in the streets partying like its literally their last day on earth.
What was it like working with DJ/producer Felix on it?
It was a blast! Felix is a super cool dude!
How did this collaboration first come to be?
This collaboration came to fruition through mutual friends in the music industry.
Was there instant chemistry when you got into the studio together?
When do you hope to release more new music and a full album of new songs?
I have a few different projects in the works. I’ve been focusing a lot of my energy on producing and scoring and creating music for film and television. Check out my website salvadorsantana.com and also follow me on my social media pages to keep up and stay current on what I’m working on.
How would you say that your father’s musical legacy has influenced you and the kind of music that you create today?
My father has had a long successful career reminding people through music that we are all important, magnificent, significant, and with all that said we can all make a difference in this world. What better way to remind people of their own unique beauty inside and outside than through music.
I would love to know more about how becoming a father has changed the way you work with music now?
Being a father has changed my life forever. So far, I’ve learned how time is more important than money and how I choose to spend it is what will determine the outcomes of the future. When I’m not with my son or my family I choose to spend my time offering and giving 200% of my energy, so that I can provide the best life for my son. He’s my world and everything in it. Everything I do is for him.
How does your son inspire you?
My son is my biggest inspiration! He’s taught me how to be patient, how to be strong, and most importantly how to enjoy and celebrate life.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms?
Like everything in life, it’s been a learning process to keep up with social media. I’ve been learning about time management…how to delegate and dedicate a little time to create my music, a little time to manage my social media and how to utilize them to help me share my music with the world.
Also, its a great way to stay in touch with my family friends and colleagues since we’re all super busy these days.
Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
Oh yeah! Especially because it’s very easy to get distracted and lose focus because there are so many things happening every moment let alone everyday.
What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music?
Wow! I mean there are so many to name and choose from. The few that immediately come to mind are: Herbie Hancock, Thelonious monk, Keith Jarret, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Tony Williams…and Chopan too.
Also in hip hop, I’d include 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Public Enemy, Outkast, The Fugees, Jurrasic 5, E-40, Souls of Mischief. And some of the new and current artists like Anderson.Pakk, Griz, Little Dragon, El Dusty, Damian Marley, Ozomatli…
Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Herbie Hancock! That’d be like a dream come true.
If money and time were not issues, what would your dream music video look like?
I’d direct and produce a music video in outer space. I’m pretty sure that that hasn’t been done before.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
A solar powered synthesizer with built-in speakers. Because I wouldn’t have to worry about pluggin’ in any outlets and I could still hear what I’m playing.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on?
I’d go with God Friended Me.
Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
What has been a favorite show of yours in the past?
Wow! Again, so many to choose from.
Probably the time I got to perform on The Lopez Tonight Show. That was huge for me at the time and still is. Gracias tio George!
What do you think makes an ideal show for you?
A dope venue. An amazing, awesome crowd and the instruments and sound system on stage are working, ha!
Do you have any tour dates you would like to tell our readers about?
I’m currently working in putting together some tour dates. Stay tuned on salvadorsantana.com and my socials.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I just want people that listen to my music to enjoy it as much as I had fun making the music.
I’d like to know more about how you want your music to be timeless?
For me it’s simple: continue to create music that sounds completely new and at the same time make the music sound totally familiar.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
My mantra is “people are gonna remember you not by what you said or what you did, but by how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou