Santino, 23, said he wrote “Gemini” as a release. “At the time I was dating an abusive man in the closet who was a Gemini,” he said. “He had so much duality — one minute he would love me and the next would despise me.”
So, Santino, like the best songwriters, wove his pain into powerful lyrics, added a high energy beat and a track reminiscent of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and wound up with a sure-fire hit. Well, maybe the Geminis out there won’t care for it so much.
“People can relate to what the zodiac sign Gemini is known for being,” he said. “Toxic, two-faced, sweet yet mean, never knowing what to expect.”
A diva lover, Santino said he lives for one in particular. “As a product of the school of Mariah Carey, she is the reason I focus so hard on writing,” Santino said. “Like her, I don’t think I could properly connect to a song if I didn’t write it.”
Santino said his writing process is “chaotic, since I derive so much inspiration from life experience. Nothing I have written so far was written in peace. Nod to Lady Gaga, another of my inspirations. I was homeless, sleeping on cots, in abusive relationships and struggling to survive throughout my life. Praying these songs could take me out of situations and help me heal. And they did.”
Lots of singers out there have great voices but, Santino said, all great voices need great songs to display that great voice. “A well written song can be the reason why one artist with a not-so-great voice makes it over an artist with an amazing voice,” he explained. “‘Gemini’ proves to be as well written as it was recorded.”
Since the release of his first EP, 2019’s “As We Go,” Santino said his growth is evident. “With age, my voice has gotten stronger, and I have way better technique and control throughout my range than I did on the EP. Those additions allow me to display more musicality with embellishing lines and being emotive. Before I was trying to figure out what was my sound; ‘Gemini’ is the reflection of the artist I am today.”
Santino is obviously proud of the track. “It’s a strong song, and I want people to enjoy my pain and suffering,” he said. “It’s in tribute to all the toxic men I’ve ever met who’ve inspired this song, whether they were straight, gay, DL, our or a Gemini.”
Toxic relationships behind him, Santino said he isn’t looking for love at the moment.
“I used to think that I had to put up with situations because that’s the only way I saw love exist in our community. I used to find myself chasing love, giving so much of myself because that’s what I’d seen growing up,” he said. “Over time, I learned love isn’t something you chase. Love is something you let come to you and nurture with healthy boundaries.”
“Right now, at 23, I don’t think love is in the cards for me, and I don’t feel I have to rush that. However, who knows what the future may hold?”