Five Questions With Holly Santonato

Toronto, ON-based artist, Holly Santonato has unveiled her sultry, yet decisive single, “Materials”. Built on an irrepressible groove that echoes R&B legends Lauryn Hill and Janet Jackson, the track explores the public’s incessant fixation with keeping up with the latest trends and how those obsessions can become outsized, deciding factors in what makes or breaks a relationship.

“When you take a step back and look at what people share on social media, they’re always sharing the idealistic view of their lives. People like to show off and talk about the things they have, and more often than not that includes what makes them feel loved,” Holly says.

“It’s terribly misleading because material things are not what love is supposed to represent. You can’t help but wonder if all those things are serving as a cover for something they don’t have within themselves. Are they comfortable with who they are or are all these material things trying to make up for something they might be afraid to acknowledge is lacking?”

Self-awareness has become an increasingly critical quality that is highly sought, especially when it comes to relationships. And though she concedes that it’s inevitable that status symbols will matter more to some than others, Santonato insists she’s looking for something money can’t buy at the end of the day.

“I feel as though a lot of men think they know what women want and it’s those stereotypes that continue to perpetuate themselves in the media. And while that might certainly bode true for some, you can’t paint all women with the same brush. What I’m looking for isn’t something tangible, though. It’s chemistry, a connection. Having a deep conversation with someone, where you’re just so engrossed in one another and the topic at hand, is far superior to anything else in my books.”

“I feel that we have become so consumed with stereotypical thoughts of a relationship and what defines love. I’m looking for a love that isn’t tangible.  It’s all about the chemistry and sharing a genuine connection. It’s those deep conversations with someone that mean the most and show you who a person truly is.”

Check out “Materials” below, and find out more about Holly via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey! My name is Holly Santonato and I’m an R&B singer/songwriter born and raised in Toronto. I’ve been singing ever since I was young and started to release my own music back in 2016. Through the years I’ve been able to develop my sound and my style of music; I would say from 2018, I truly started to know what I was going to represent as an artist and ultimately as a brand. Currently, I am working on an EP release and my latest single “Materials” is one of the songs that will be on it. I’m really excited to continue to share my journey and build an audience of people who love intimate, deep lyrics and enjoy basking in raw emotion. 

Tell us about your single, “Materials”.

“Materials” is a song that I created as I was going through my own personal experience with dating. I noticed how more often than not, love was being expressed more through materialistic possessions, and the goals that were being shared focused more on the monetary side of things. I just felt like ‘wow, how many other people experience this type of “representation” of love in life?’ and from there I was inspired and started to write. At that point ‘Materials’ evolved into an anthem of some sort for myself, representing how much more a connection and raw emotional energy holds so much more value when building a relationship. Love is deeper than the surface, deeper than the things we possess in my opinion, just like J-lo said, “Love don’t cost a thing”.

How have you been keeping creative during the pandemic?

During the pandemic, I worked hard to make time for myself, build opportunity, and dive deep into my writing skills. Building opportunity meant finding ways to brand myself more effectively via social media, marketing my content, and being consistent in developing content. I feel as though this time being at home has allowed creatives to buckle down and work on their craft, especially since a lot of people have been laid off of work or out of a job, it has opened up a lot of free time. I feel grateful for this time because when you are constantly putting in work towards your passion it’s truly a gratifying feeling overall. One of the ways I have been keeping creative during the pandemic is creating my own morning ritual of writing out my intentions and grounding myself before I begin my day. Doing this has allowed me to grow spiritually and embody a clear space to be effective within my creativity.

 If you could have one post-covid wish, what would it be? 

One post-covid wish, hmm… I would say to run another in person Show Love Session. Show Love is a live event curated by me and I hosted this event in 2019, bringing on many artists from the city and it was so amazing! Show Love is about uplifting creatives, networking, and supporting one another within the community of the arts. I was planning another Show Love event in 2020 but that came to a halt when COVID hit.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

My current favourite Canadian bands/ artists is tough because there are so many! I would have to say that I love music by Daniel Ceasar, Alessia Cara, Drake, Shay Lia, Tyra Jutai, and Sean Leon. This is just to name a few, there are so many talented artists!

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