Venezuelan Pop Singer Santi Talks About Latin Machismo and Kim Petras | Miami New Times


Pop Singer Santi Explores Femininity and Queerness Through Music

Venezuelan pop artist and queer bombshell Santi wants to put the puta in slut pop.
So far, Santi has released two EPs in his short music career.
So far, Santi has released two EPs in his short music career. Photo by the MethPhotography
Share this:
Make no mistake, Venezuelan pop artist and queer bombshell Santi wants to put the puta in slut pop. Through his music, the sexually liberated rapper and OnlyFans model subverts the machismo-dominated reggaeton genre with a trap-feminista style.

In the six months since the 25-year-old launched his music career, he's produced two EPs, Slut Pop, and, more recently, Reggaetech, and five singles that exude unmistakably erotic energy.

"It's for all the bad bitches," Santi says. "As [Latino men], we don't really get to experience our feminine side that much or love that part of ourselves because society teaches us not to."

Most recently, the artist born Santiago Garcia was on stage at Miami Beach Pride 2023 and hosted a perreo, where he performed his first show in collaboration with local event organizer Queer Parties.

Santi embraces a futuristic camp sense of fashion, where gender-bending street couture meets bubblegum pop. Since releasing his latest single, "PerreON," he has shown out in slicked-down curls, larger-than-life spiky updos, and metallic body armor that never fails to show some skin.
Santi dedicated his five-track EP, Slut Pop, released in February, to his idol and transgender icon Kim Petras. He covered and remixed Petras' songs, such as in a slowed-down version of "XXX" and a Spanglish remix of "Throat G.O.A.T.," which he dubbed "Reina de MamaRtela" (AKA Queen of Sucking).

"I wanted to do a little tribute. She really elevates what queerness is and how queerness looks because she's so confident in her music and fashion," Santi explains.

Back in his hometown of Cagua, Venezuela, trans people faced greater violence and discrimination than cisgender gay men or women. Most of the queer representation he saw growing up were "homeless trans people who were sex workers or prostitutes," he says.

"The sex workers would get killed. There would be days or months where there was nobody in the streets because they were all killed," he adds.

At 10 years old, already experimenting with his gender expression, his sister told him he'd end up like the prostitutes. Little did she know, her brother would turn out to produce titillating content on OnlyFans as his primary source of income.

"I don't do porn, but I do make erotica. It can be really freeing," Santi says.

However, the artist sold everything he owned to get here — his phone, motorcycle, and "coupons on the street," he says. At 18 years old, after saving a few hundred bucks, he fled Cagua for a hopeful future in Miami — where he could eat food and earn a living wage, things far from usual back home. Anything was better than what Santi describes as the abuse he was going through.

"People would wait in long lines outside of the store all night just so they can buy food," he explains. "I was so malnourished at that time."
click to enlarge
Santi performs at Miami Beach Pride 2023.
Photo by the MethPhotography
After arriving in the U.S., he spent some time working at a factory. These days, he takes on any artistic gigs, including photography, choreography, direction, production, and promotion. His OnlyFans content helps sustain him paycheck to paycheck.

With a limited budget, Santi's music videos, hand-me-down wardrobe, songs, and practically every aspect of his artistry are produced on a whopping zero-dollar budget.

"No publicity team; I just have a solid team of friends," Santi says. "Everything that looks all money is literally free."

He credits his independent streak to his mother and grandmother, both single mothers and breadwinners of the family.

"They were the only ones who went to college and took care of the rest of us," Santi says. "I was just waiting for the day I would turn 18 to finally leave Venezuela and show them what I could do and who I could be."

With his next project, Santi intends to pay homage to the maternal figures in his life.

"I hope I can bring my country's history and queer expression to Miami," Santi says. "Both countries could really use it right now."
KEEP NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls. Make a one-time donation today for as little as $1.