The Deli Philly's Featured Artist Poll Winner: Santi Slade

By: Alexis V.

November 20, 2016

Singer-songwriter Santi Slade sounds like he had some pretty cool parents, being raised on a steady stream of Beck flowing throughout his household as a child. After getting his feet wet, writing songs in high school with pal Catherine Dwyer, whom he also now backs on drums in Spring Onion, Slade released his sophomore EP Afloat this past summer, a breezy, laidback collection of tracks, rooted in tropicalia. Expect to find Santi performing out around town more in the coming year with a backing band, and you can get to know the up-and-coming musician, who is our latest Featured Artist Poll Winner, below.


The Deli: How did you start making music? 


Santi Slade: I first started writing songs back in high school with my friend Catherine, who I now play drums for in her solo project Spring Onion. Our high school band was called the BFGs. It was a really fun experience and not very serious, but we did manage to record a decent amount of songs. That project taught me a lot about writing and recording music. I started recording my own songs at home about a year and a half ago. That process of mixing and recording has been really exciting; there's so much to learn and experiment with. 


TD: What are your biggest musical influences?


SS: My parents played a lot of Beck throughout my childhood, and I think he has most deeply affected me from an early age. Mellow Gold is one of the first albums that I remember listening to and really liking. I love all the layers of his more maximalist songs and the wide range of genres he plays with. Another artist that I more recently got very inspired by is the Magnetic Fields for similar reasons. Besides them, I mostly listened to classic rock as a youth with some Strokes, Gorillaz and James Brown mixed in there.


TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?


SS: I've recently been digging Andy Shauf lately. His most recent album is such a tight, cohesive collection of songs. I also saw Big Thief play at All Night Diner on Halloween, and have been listening to their songs a lot. Local band Friendship is also really nice listening, particularly their song “Workhorse”. Their live set makes me feel like I might float away. This weekend I craved ABBA. It was a good weekend.


TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?


SS: The first album I ever bought was Soul Coughing's Irresistible Bliss. My dad got El Oso for Christmas, and I wanted more. I just listened to that album again, and still find it fun and catchy - particularly “Soundtrack to Mary”. The first concert I ever went to was Kings of Leon at Roseland Ballroom during their Aha Shake Heartbreak tour with my dad. I really liked their early albums when I was in middle school.


TD: What do you love about Philly?


SS: House shows - so many friendly people go to them every weekend. It's such a welcoming and wholesome environment to hear and play music in.


TD: What do you hate about Philly?




TD: What are your plans for 2017?


SS: To keep writing and recording. Work on booking some shows with my backing band in the near future.


TD: What was your most memorable live show?


SS: Probably the first one that I played under my own name at the Diner, it was cool to finally play the songs with a full band.


TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?


SS: Arizona Lemon Iced Tea all the way.