Mitch Santiago is a Soaring Through His Career with Fiery Devotion
“Six years ago, I was playing Ed Sheeran and Passenger covers – so we’re not doing that anymore.”
Off the back of the Ones To Watch showcase in Melbourne, Australia and a highly-anticipated debut EP Later In Life, Mitch Santiago has kept himself busy in the past few months.
Young and unafraid, this 16-year-old is not one to take lightly when it comes to indie-rock. With his ever-growing interest in the scene and his morale to take every opportunity that comes his way, this self-taught multi-instrumentalist has earned himself the title of Perth’s prodigy.
If you’re into Sam Fender, Tash Sultana or a bit of War On Drugs then this is just up your alley. A character as laid-back and passionate as his music, you can expect to be blown away by his soaring vocals and sonic melodies that bare all truths. His most-listened track (of ours) “Seeing Straight” defines just that. It’s a track that makes us long for a long walk on the beach – as cheesy as it sounds! You can leave it to Mitch to confess all your well-kept longings.
“I find what works for me now is sort of being honest with how I write and what I write about. Also not lying about what I want to write. If I don’t want to write about something I’m not going to write about it for someone else. I just want them to feel anything that they feel like their feeling but can’t express. Just giving someone that inner voice to express [what they’re] deeply feeling but don’t feel comfortable and, having them relate to my lyrics is the end goal.”
Some may think he’s still in the infancy of his career, though Mitch has garnered many avid fans far and wide despite still being in his adolescence. His interest sparked from picking up a guitar at around the age of ten. Having his hand in busking for a few years he’s learnt the ways of the industry through humble beginnings, encouraging other emerging artist to do so to.
“I love busking. It’s the most raw and uncut way to see what people think of your music without directly asking them, because if someone doesn’t like what you’re playing or singing – they’re just going to walk or stay walking. They won’t stop for you, and they don’t have or need a reason to. Just keeping people engaged is hard but it’s also a lot of fun because you get to work out what people like or what people don’t.”
While he simply describes his songs as “deep, easy and fun”, his sound remains effortless but demanding in attention, with lyrics strikingly embracing his heartbreaking vocals mixed with elements of psych-rock, indie-pop and even jazz.
“Your perspective when you’re young about the things you know are quite deep because you don’t know quite else in reality. It’s pretty cheesy but basically all of my songs are love songs or are about heartbreak or just disguised as other things. That’s really it, just love songs or falling out of love type of songs. I just find that they are very easy to write, and I feel very deeply about.”
His live shows are even more captivating, with his voice and instrumentation as clear as day – you’d wonder whether it’s a pre-recorded track. Expect Mitch Santiago to show his flair and flaunt all that he has, with multiple live-loops often comparable to the likes of Fred Again’s set up.
A must to see live at any chance, Mitch Santiago is one to keep tabs on. Fitted with fire, courage, and an easy-going nature we only see great things coming from him in the next few months and years as he continues to make his way through his creative endeavours.
Listen to his debut EP Later In Life here.