Larisa Santiago

Radio Station: Toronto

Larisa Santiago was born with music deep within her genes and a never-give-up attitude. “Birth was a mission” to quote her mother. She survived the odds! ”You were born a warrior” her dad tells her. In fact, Larisa was born in the grand designed Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. BH is also the birthplace of the Clube da Esquina music collective, one of the most important musical movements in the music history of Brazil. Larisa believes that when she was born, the first breath she took was from that very air enriched by the music of Clube da Esquina. After all, singers need good lungs and lungs need good air.

Larisa has wanted to sing and perform since she was a toddler. Her mom tells how she would perform for her and then at the end of her little show Larisa would be like “thank you everyone” and then clap and laugh. At school, she joined the choir and took Ballet and Jazz classes. At age 17 Larisa left Brazil on her own to study and improve her English in Canada. She landed in Victoria, British Columbia where she attended St. Michaels University School, which had a great music program. She sang with the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the school choir. After graduating from grade 12 she moved to Toronto to attend the University of Toronto. She graduated with a degree in International Relations. Starting out after graduation, she decided to pursue work in the creative industries. She interned at Ontario Creates the cultural industries agency, Canadian Music Week Conference and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Eventually, she landed a job in the financial sector then moved on to work with the leading music reproduction rights agency. In between working her day jobs, Larisa was digging into the music business, seeking out her creative muse, writing songs and taking vocal lessons. Her passion for music was a strong force and she was taking its lead. While music and performing had a strong draw for Larisa, so did languages. Now that she lives in Toronto, one of the most diverse cities on the planet, she is able to use her fluency in five languages (English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French). Her linguistic skills are now part of her brand as an artist.

After experiences with various producers, in 2018 Larisa went into the studio with producer Trey Mills which resulted in her first English pop single entitled “Home”. The recording evolved from an original song written by Larisa. The release of “Home” was strategically put on hold while Larisa worked on new songs. In the spring of 2019, Larisa signed on as a songwriter with The Pangaea Music House owned by her long time mentor and music industry veteran Tony Tobias. Through the PMH label and its distribution deal with Believe Digital, “Home” became Larisa’s first English Pop release.

In 2019 she joined forces with Toronto based, Latin Music producer Medylandia (Medy Capellan) who had gained success with Universal recording artist Alex Veliz. Medy produced Veliz’s EP which included the international hit “Dancing Kizomba” which he also co-wrote. Larisa and Medy decided that they would write a reggaeton song that would be performed entirely in Spanish. The result was “No Soy Tu Niñera” (I’m Not Your Nanny). There is nothing like reggaeton with its fusion of Latin rhythms, dancehall, hip-hop and Caribbean roots to get you moving. And Medy nailed it punching out those reggaeton beats. “No Soy Tu Niñera” is Larisa Santiago’s first Spanish language single. And for Larisa, this is just the beginning of the chapter in her life story where she realizes her dream of making music and singing for the world.


Listen to Larisa Santiago

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