Drummer and singer Santiago Hernandez enjoyed a successful music career with the Colombian band Sin Animo de Lucro, even earning a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Tropical Contemporary Album in 2009. But after years of making music with the band, he became enamored with EDM.
"I was looking for a producer who could [make] electronic music because I didn't know how to produce that kind of music at the time, and I had a new project in mind." Hernandez wanted to create music that blended vallenato (Colombian folkloric music) and EDM. After an unsuccessful partnership with another producer, he decided he'd learn how to produce the music himself. Hernandez adopted the producer pseudonym Jack Massic, found inspiration in Kygo's tropical house music, and got to work on creating his own fusion-EDM sound.
The results can be heard on his new song, "Always," which has all the makings of a certified summer anthem. The video for the song, shot in Liberty City and Wynwood, premiered last month. It follows two young brothers as they bond and build a bicycle from spare parts found around their neighborhood. "We had the 'love' word in mind, but from a different point of view," Hernandez says. He and director Nicolas Achury collaborated on the video treatment, and Hernandez wrote the song. They wanted to shed light on an often-ignored side of Miami.
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"I'm from Colombia. I'm Latin," Hernandez says, "and most of the people in Latin America [who] come to Miami [come] to make some Latin music like reggaeton, and I don't know why the videos always show the beach in Miami — those white buildings, those chicks on the yachts and expensive cars, champagne. I didn't want to show that side of Miami. We always make music with a message inside. We didn't want to show nudity or drinks or whatever. We wanted to transmit a powerful message, which is 'With love, everything is possible.'"
It appears his audience has gotten the message. In just over two weeks, the video has racked up nearly 30,000 views on YouTube — not bad for an independent artist stepping out of his comfort zone and into an entirely different musical genre.
"I put [in] a lot of effort searching for the sound I have now," Hernandez says. He released the singles "Gravity," "Hold Me Tight," and "Uncover" before "Always" and plans to release a full-length debut album by the end of this year.