First stepping on the scene in 2009 as a rapper-rapper, and then getting introduced to the sounds of Vampire Weekend, the indomitable Santigold, and the songwriting talents of Ezra Koenig, informed a quiet and seamless metamorphosis from Ozzy B as he was known, to Santi, manifested as his second mixtape The Birth of Santi.
Being resident in two contrasting worlds - Nigeria, where he was raised and UAE where he went to uni and never left - keeps his palette diversified. Born Osayaba Ize-Iyamu, his musical references range anywhere from Fela's Afrobeat, to 90s pop punk, Blink 182, stadium/stoner rock of RHCP, to dancehall of Shabba Ranks. His many hats include his love of storytelling visually as well as musically - self-directing every single one of his videos including the breakout ones for singles, Rapid Fire and Sparky. Videos acclaimed as exuberant, evocative and provocative, visuals that are collaborative pieces of art, proving his commitment to delivering the vision from inception to completion. It would be near impossible to listen to ‘Mandy & The Jungle’ without appreciating Santi’s craft, the work brings forward the sound of the times, nothing is contrived, the alternative becomes relatable, the soundtrack becomes yours.