proof that asking your fave artists nicely can get you solid album features

We meet Santii, the producer duo from Milan who did just that.

by Frankie Dunn
25 May 2018, 2:11pm

Courtesy of Santii

Santii aka Alex and Miki are best friends who make music in Milan. When working on their debut album, S01 -- out today -- they slid into the DMs of their favourite artists and straight up asked if they’d consider featuring. Turns out, that works. The result? A shiny electronic ten-tracker with an impressive list of co-signs from across the world.

There’s Rejjie Snow, the mellow af Irish rapper we’ve had a sonic crush on for years now; Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins; Lord Narf from Atlanta’s Awful Records; South Korean singer-songwriter Morrie; Bala Club affiliate ULI K; hedonistic Cakes Da Killa; Russian rapper Thomas Mraz; as well as JR Josephs, Jay IDK and Supah Mario. Super international, the whole thing is wrapped up nicely in their distinctively fun production.

We asked the boys to talk us through their debut album, track by track.

1. NEVERSORRY ft. Supah Mario
Miki: NEVERSORRY is the last song we wrote for S01. We wanted something with the colours of Supah's productions, a glossy pre-party song, but reworked in our own way. We contacted him and sent some ideas. Few days later Supah sent us a draft song he was working on. NEVERSORRY evolved from that.”

2. OUTSIDER ft. Rejjie Snow
Alex:Rejjie Snow is one of our favourite rappers! We have been listening to Loveleen, from his fourth EP Rejovich, over and over again. We wanted a soft-groovy song with a melancholic shadow: every song, even the happiest one, reflects melancholy. OUTSIDER is not the celebration of those who are at the outside of something, ready to create another bubble. You know, the outcast depicted as someone cool. Instead, it is written for those who occasionally try to stay out of something, completely, not out of boredom, but because they want to create new forms of life. It's a song about the process of writing music, of creating things, and most of all it's a love song.”

3. OUTSIDER (the monologue)
Miki: “It’s kind of a jazzy outro: like the closing credits for a movie. We used a pitch on the voice. The monologue is about trying to deal with the fact that there’s no reasoning behind the most important things in life.”

4. TWENTY ft. Mick Jenkins
Miki: “This is the first song we wrote for S01. It is pretty old, probably from 2016. Mick Jenkins was the first guest we wrote to. We decided to start everything by contacting our dream guest. We got very lucky. He answered immediately and sent back a first draft that same evening. Medal for fastest and most competent feature :) This first feature is what really sparked the idea that the collaborative tracks approach could really become something interesting to develop.”

5. TOOFAST ft. Jay Idk
Alex: “This song is about the stressful life and the deep obsessions behind our writing process. Those days in which everything goes too fast, too wrong. And all you need is some time to reflect and realise that out of your bubble, the world lives and is still alive in a serene indifference.”

6. ROCKSTARS ft. Lord Narf
Miki: ROCKSTARS has to do with the early stages of falling in love. The lyrics are saccharine and slightly megalomaniacal and so is love at the beginning, so I think this song is a pretty accurate rendering of what infatuation is. We had a very mellifluous instrumental and we wanted a female voice but with a punk mood, just to create contrasts in the song. Lord Narf was just perfect for that.”

7. BODIES ft. Uli K
Miki: BODIES was born by singing various melodies over a 10-second audio that Alex had sent me. The lyrics were improvised. I only remember that the sounds made me feel the need to sing “in Mojave we were free”. I’ve never been to the Mojave desert. The song is called BODIES because it’s, in some ways, about space -- where we’re taken to when we play or listen to music? We got Uli K from Bala Club involved because he has an angelic and ghostly voice that takes you to another dimension. For a sweet, but crazy song, he was perfect!”

8. SUMMER ft. Morrie 모리 & J'R' Joseph
Alex: SUMMER is a song with many facets. The voice of Morrie, from South Korea, gives the song a very anime feel. To contrast that feeling we decide to let our friend J'R' Joseph sing the second verse. It was a good way to balance things. It’s actually dedicated to Rick’s sister Summer from Rick & Morty .”

9. LOVEME ft. Thomas Mraz & Paula
Alex: LOVEME comes from a demo that Miki sent to me in 2015. We found it on my computer by pure chance, liked it, and tried to restructure it. We absolutely wanted a Russian rapper cause we just love the flow of the language. A Russian girl I know sent me Thomas Mraz’s Soundcloud. We wrote to him, he liked the project, we exchanged a lot of material and finally found the square for the song.”

10. 1000000AWAY ft. Cakes Da Killa
Alex: “We are very fond of 1000000AWAY. At the beginning we contacted Cakes Da Killa for another song. Then we tried to bring his part on the instrumental of 1000000AWAY and immediately we realised that everything sounded as we wanted, and Miki's melancholic ‘soft porn’ singing in the chorus, gave to the song the good vibes it needed.”
Miki: 1000000AWAY is another song about trying to experience catastrophes from another point of view. It's about the trials of thinking about things from a million miles away, just to see things better. Then stopping and asking yourself: do I really need to see better?”

If you like the sound of S01, catch Scintii live at The Waiting Room on 19 June.

New music
Cakes Da Killa
Mick Jenkins
Awful Records
Lord Narf