J. Santana is using his inspirational lyrics and modern sound to reach and inspire the masses. Most recently, he’s released his new single, “Wanna Be” to minister to people around the world.
The song, which dropped Jan. 22, is nothing short of uplifting and infectious. J. Santana chants, “I wanna be what God called me to be” over a fun and busy beat. He has called “Wanna Be” an “anthemic song,” and it definitely has what it takes to be just that to many fans.
We spoke to J. Santana and asked him a variety of questions about his music, his inspirations, and the man behind the ministry.
When did you know that being a musician was your calling?
Music has always been a part of my life in some way, even as a child, but as I grew older I began to play an instrument (drums) which made my musicianship stronger. But around 24 years old when I recorded my first song and uploaded it to my MySpace music page, all the testimonials I received once people listened to it let me know it was my calling.
Describe three other occupations you’ve held.
I am a licensed minister, youth leader and life coach.
What inspires you to perform?
To know that my lyrics encourage, uplift and promote a positive message.
What instruments, if any, do you play?
How would you describe your brand of music?
I would say it’s a universal sound with a message that can be conveyed to any walk of life and creed.
When you are on stage, what do you want to convey about your style?
My style is energetic. I sing with conviction. And I want the audience to feel each lyric.
Name three musicians who have influenced your approach to being a musician?
Michael Jackson, R. Kelly and Deitrick Haddon.
Describe your creative process from concept to complete song?
The hook/concept of the song is the first thing created, followed by the verses and bridge. Additional vocal arrangements are created during the writing process as well.
How do you select your creative music partners to fashion your musical voice?
I select them by listening to their previous work and production to see if their musical ear is similar to mine and if their sound will cater to my voice.
What advice would you give anyone preparing to enter the music business about publishing and management?
Both (publishing and management) are essential to have in the music business. Without those two behind your career, you will be stagnant, and it’s only so far you will go.
If you were going to sing for any famous person as a celebration of what they have done for humanity, who would it be?
It would have been Michael Jackson, but he has passed. So the next person would be President Barack Obama, and I would sing “Change the World” by Michael Jackson.
What are the effects to society that you would like the results of listening to your music to be?
To change the hearts of men and to live a more positive and spiritual life. Life is so much better when you have a relationship with God. I want our youth to dedicate their lives to God and be influenced to do so by my stand for God through music.
If you could go outside of the USA to write and produce music, what country would you choose and why?
I would choose London. It’s something about the environment there; it seems very peaceful and tranquil.
What do you like the most about being a musician?
The ability to touch people with lyrics that came from my mind, heart and spirit all over the world. Knowing that lyrics touch and have the ability to change an individual’s direction in life is an indescribable feeling.
What producers are you looking forward to working with soon?
Looking forward to working with Warryn Campbell, Timbaland, Kanye West, R.Kelly, Donald Lawrence and Pharrell Williams.
Name three musician you would like to record with that are hit makers?
Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Babyface.
If you could make a duet with someone, who would it be and why?
It would be Chris Brown, because I feel me and him can relate very well, being male entertainers. Although we sing different genres, it would be awesome to record a inspirational God inspired song and hear Chris in that light vs. his normal R&B records that he records. I believe it would touch this generation in a huge way!
What musical awards have you aspired to receive and actually won?
I’ve aspired to receive a Stellar award, Grammy and BET award. Although none of them have happened, I’m making preparation for when that time comes and how much of an honor it would be for me as a artist.
What musical achievements have you yet to obtain?
I want to do a world tour, for my record to go platinum or gold, for my single to sell a million, to become one of the best new songwriters in the industry, perform in a stadium, perform on “Good Morning America” and TBN, and be interviewed by Ellen Degeneres.
Finish the sentence:
When I hit the stage I feel… FREE!
When the crowd is responding to my music I know… I have written and composed a record for the everyday lover of music in general — something relatable.
I appreciate my fans because… they are die-hard fans! They’ve supported me through the ups and downs of my career, and they support every project I’ve put out this far. They go hard for me.
Music is my calling… because there’s a need for my gift in the world. My music makes a difference in a lot of people’s lives, and they depend on my music to lead and guide them through life.
My method of studying music is… to constantly stay current with the sound and production of music of all genres. I study the concept of songwriting.
When you find my music, I want you to… be empowered, encouraged and uplifted! I want to change your perspective on life and the way you live it. I want to impact your mind.
Name your favorite two books.
I Declare by Joel Osteen and Saint with Sinner Problems by T.D. Jakes.