“Who the fuck is Santamanu?” is her motto; an old school beauty mixed with hip-hop beats are her peculiarities and the voice of an angel is her gift.
In this interview we are going to show you who the fuck is Santamanu and how she is going to put us in line.
Who is Santamanu? What changed from the Manuela we met at X Factor in 2012 to what you are now?
Santamanu is a girl who decided to do a lot of things; taking and cherishing the best of each experience, understanding what to do with her life. I am a curious person and I love experimenting different things like rock music and hip-hop vibes. Santamanu comes from “Santus” which means “Inviolable” – and it is a promise I made to my grandma, who was the coolest person in the world – and from my real name “Manu” and that stands for “no compromises”.
Now I am definitely more conscious of what I used to be, but I am still learning from what I do and what I live everyday, sometimes I still feel a bit naïve.
Artists like Beyoncé made “feminism” as an it-anthem of their projects, but honestly what role do you think feminism can have in music industry at the moment?
I think that it is so difficult to be in this industry as a woman, even though it does not look like this.
Being a woman physically and mentally talking does not always lead people to see you as a person or as an artist, it is arduous. You find yourself working in a male context where sometimes they do not understand the route you have made to be what you are today (as a person and as an artist). They think you can not make it without them but it does not work that way; Woman can make it…even without them.
Is it ever happen to you to be discriminated for being a woman? (Private life\work-life)
Everyday, even in little things.
When you are dressing up for a night out and you look in the mirror and ask yourself if it is worth it dressing like this because it could get you into trouble or in dangerous situations. it happened to me to be followed in the heart of the City, I did not feel safe. Another example is that a woman is not so free to travel alone, I would love to, but I would not feel so safe and that is not the way it should be. Men do not think about these consequences.
In my work too, it happened that people did not really valuate me the same way they would with a male artist, because they do not think I can do what I say I do. They are perplexed.
Recently during an interview, Ariana Grande has been asked if she could use make-up or her phone one last time, what would her choose. She answered very bothered because she does not think this is the main choice a girl would do. What would you have answered?
I would have laughed. These kinds of thinkers are tough to change, and we need to underline that sometimes it is women’s fault, so in this case it is okay, people say what they see.
Let’s talk about your new projects, what is happening after the X-Factor boom with your brother?
We can talk of a very long route I’ve been making, I got back to my things soon after we finished the talent show because before being a duo, we used to be two separated realities.
I started writing again, meeting new people and understanding new processes and beats, but most of all I started discovering my inner self and I am finally seeing the results – I see myself in what I am doing.
I have to say that I suffered a lot because I used to be alone for a lot of time, when you are touring you are living your dream but alone, but it helped me a lot. I am working on a new EP which is written by me because I want it to be personal and honest, but also collaborating with different guys who are beats-maker and producers. I am looking forward to you to listen to it.
How much does the woman figure influence what you are doing in your works?
I would say a lot, because first of all I am a woman: I lived and grew up with my grandmother, a crazy and religious person who could feel free at the same time. She always told me to do things for myself first, creating something that was completely mine, she used to collect flowers for herself, every single day. What a woman.
The problem is when this figure becomes a subordinate of men’s figure, showing freedom of acting and thinking that is actually just apparent; we live in a perfect moment to be what we want to be or feel in every single way; the next generation has more freedom potential than we used to have so it is important to use this “revolutionary contemporaneity” in order to solve this “inequality”.
Pics by Mattia Zoppellaro