Santana Banga SF 2

Words by: Marcus DeKova Smith

AndroidGang Music Group is known for having a dedicated team of talented members/partners in music and other aspects of the industry. At the core of their unmatched talent, there stands a pillar of Family Values. Stronger than friendship and miles ahead of just being label mates, the bonding adhesive of Family is apparent and strong in their videos and mini-documentaries. At the center of their kinship sits a multi-talented/multi-faceted artist known as Santana Banga.

Banga an artist hailing from Ocala, Florida, with a history of being a troubled teen, is now a mature man that has dedication and wisdom along with more than enough motivation to apply them both. You’ll know that if you’re already subscribed to his weekly newsletter via his website.

Its been a while. Two years, Four months and 17 days to be exact. That’s the time since we’ve last had a formal conversation with the “Bang or Die” artist–till now. It’s 10:41pm Eastern, 8:41pm Local (I’m in the Mountain Timezone). He’s busy but manages his time well. With attention torn between him composing a new instrumental, designing artwork, and holding a conversation with me, he juggles the multitasking at hand very well and professionally. We dive in, conversing about the past, present, and future. Enjoy the results below.

THE INTERVIEW

If a person has ONE chance to listen to your music, what SONG would you recommend they listen to first? [and Why?]

“Cassius”. [It’s] Produced By J Tha BeatMaker; because it’s a statement track. Lyrics like “I been through that Jungle, Almost lost my life. Don’t swim in that water if you’re scared for your life.” aiming to teach the youth the truth.

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Alright, So before we get too immersed in other aspects of your music & life, and for people who might be new to Santana Banga, allow me to get basic and ask you, What do you do and why do you do it?

I wear many hats. I’m a producer, Recording Artist, Graphic Designer, Engineer, Actor, Aspiring Screen Writer (working on my first short film), Song Writer and the list goes on. I’m not going to disinterest you with the “I do it for my Niggahs” speech. Truth be told I do it because I believe that your gift and your time are two things that should not go to waste. We all were placed here with a purpose. Some live out that purpose and some don’t. I’m prepared to live out my purpose.

Not too long ago you took cameras into your childhood neighborhood. Was it there that your purpose became evident? and What exactly was your eureka moment?

That’s where I had my wake up call. During that time I was battling anger problems. Getting kicked out of schools for fighting and skipping class etc you know ignorant shit. That’s when I learned cause and effect the hard way. Almost losing my life.

My eureka moment was when I competed for a record deal in Columbia, SC and came in 1st place. The Judges told me that I had the total package and that I’m the type of artist to come in the industry and have no problem blowing up. That’s when I knew I had something. Everything before that point was done to fill in time. I knew that if I sat still long enough not doing anything I would eventually end up in trouble. Music has always been my passion and getaway.

Speaking of getting into a lot of trouble as a youth. You expressed some of that history in your song “Renee” featuring none other than your mom, Renee. How emotional was the process of making that song?

Aww, man, it was like a dream come true and emotional for both of us. She sat through the whole recording process of [my mixtape] Bang or Die 2 (BOD2). To have her a part of that it was an amazing and humbling experience that I will never take for granted. When I was young I used to sit in her recording sessions at Titan Studios. To witness such a beautiful soul do what she loved doing always gave me goosebumps and made me smile. She has the voice of an angel. I blamed myself for years when she gave up her music. I felt as if I left her with no choice. I was really messed up in the head, man, at an early age.

That night I was wrapping up BOD2 and I had this beat that I made and said ‘hey, Ma, come hop on this hook.’ lol We wrote the song and you know the rest was history.

And to add to the list of what I do it for, I do it for her. I want to see my mom live the rest of her life Happy. That woman has been through a lot and she is the strongest lady I know. So yea Family I do it for them 1st quarter.

Santana Banga Renee

It was definitely good to hear the song, and cool that it is still on autoplay on your website. Your past sounds pretty, legit (for lack of better words at the moment). It’s not uncommon for artists to express things outside of themselves. How much of your music, if any is not DIRECTLY reflective of personal situations you’ve experienced?

Not many, I make music off of emotions. Whatever I’m feeling at the time that’s what’s recorded. Songs like “Go Away” was really how I felt at that point in time. A lot of people hear the song and think that it’s just [any other] song but that was true emotions. L-T and Corleone sat in the recording process of that song. We actually recorded two different songs to that beat. I just wasn’t feeling the original song. It was on some RnB type shit [and so] I came back and said I got to express myself, It’s a lot on my mind and I need to free myself from these emotions. I told L-T to turn the autotune on [and] hit record and I just started screaming lol. But everything was real.

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“Go Away” was a dope ass song too! You nailed the cover art for that by the way. It’s pretty evident that you care about what you say because you care about what you’re doing, at least it appears that way. Your work ethic seems to be non-stop and paralleled by FEW aspiring artists at a similar place in their musical pursuit. At least the few that we’ve had a dialogue with. What’s a typical day like for you?

Appreciate that. A typical day for Banga is waking up to a Dead iPhone lol but all jokes aside my day consists of promoting, making beats, Producing, making calls, setting up meetings, photo shoots, writing, and exercising. I’m often told that my work ethic is crazy but this is what it takes to get to where I want to be. I have to sacrifice. Like, right now I’m literally designing artwork for a Single and making a beat. It never ends. You’re a reflection of your work.

Yeah, your promoting is pretty dominant. It’s rare that I scroll more than four page folds (on desktop) without seeing your name, which speaks volumes…

I have to stay working. This journey is far from over.

You’ve recently launched a new website. There’s not a lot of push on there for other services you offer. Can we look forward to a separate site for stuff like album covers and beats?

It’s all part of the plan. Expect a lot from me— A LOT MORE!

Your last song release was “Renee”, any other tracks/projects in the immediate future? Features?

We’re currently working on an AndroidGang Compilation Album. All dope beats. All dope lyrics. Diversity. It will definitely be one of those releases worth grabbing, trust me! Featuring AndroidGang artists such as L-T Terror, RedBoy Droid, P Weezi Shabazz, L Tha Don Patric, Big$ J, Myself, Gj Corleone, Mizzle Khalid and more.

Our first song to be released is a track called “Stranger Danger” [and] it’s dope as fuck. Produced by Mizzle Khalid.

Sounds dope! They’re all talented. Two years ago, in our first interview, I asked: “Where do you think you’d be in five years from now?”. So, can I ask you: Where do you think you’ll be in 3 years?

In 3 years I see myself releasing movies and stepping outside of music, getting into merchandise and acting more. Currently writing my first film and were set to start filming this year. [The film is] Still in the “Hush Stages”

Is there anything else you would like your current and would be fans to know about you or Androidgang?

We’re from Florida, The Sunshine State, Home of bipolar weather (lol). Some may recognize my name from my most recent productions on “The Last Mohawk Left” and “Tinted Windows and Testimonies” by Mook Boy featuring beats from Zaytoven, myself and Cassius Jay. Expect a lot from us as a group. It took a lot of hard work to put this together and the road doesn’t end here

 

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