top of page

3 Months On... MEMORIES

'Memories' the debut collaborative underground tape from North London duo; producer Luca Santamaria and vocalist J Rhys dropped 3 months ago yesterday, and it's still landing on the ear with just as much impact now, as it did on that very first listen. This refreshingly raw, experimental and introspective 10 track tape, blew us away with both the production and lyrical elements cooperating effortlessly.

The 17-year-olds flex countless styles and genres with skill far beyond their years. Without surrendering the album's core sound, each track delves into completely unique territory. It's rare you hear this kind of confidence to experiment so early in someone's career. Memories captures a grassroots snapshot of modern-day London over an array of intricate yet slick sounding beats, all jam-packed into one solid no-skip package.

Hailing from Highgate, Luca Santamaria has been making beats and experimenting with different sounds since he was about 14. Although he is most well renowned for his production qualities, he also hosts a range of talents that are helping him establish his name within the music industry so convincingly. Along with curating some of the coldest beats coming out of the underground scene right now with artists such as Laurel Smith, Natanya Popoola and Dfunds, Luca lends his hand to the photography, marketing, and editing aspects of his art too, describing himself more as an entrepreneur above anything else.

Drawing influence from a span of different cultures and sounds, Luca has recorded from his bedroom studio since he was in year 10, working with a handful of rappers on various loose projects and singles he dropped on Soundcloud. Yet he was always pushing on to take things further, more seriously and hone in on his craft. Currently studying sound engineering at Elam Music College, Luca is hopping from strength to strength and has serious plans in the works soon to launch his Studio2001 and Santamaria Records brands over the coming weeks. Even though primarily the producer constructs 'Hip-Hop' beats, his sound includes elements heavily inspired by his Argentinian X British heritage and artists such as the Gorrilaz, Moby, Mobb Deep and the Pharcyde. Luca has this knack to keep it relatively straight forward yet unconventional simultaneously.

''Hip-hop came naturally to me, I felt like I was living hip-hop''

explains Luca.

Luca and Jake attended Fortismere Secondary school together. Although they spent 4 years in the same actual class, they bothered with separate groups of people and it wasn't until they were finished sitting their final exams that they began to become closer through music. By the sounds, Jake was a bit of a 'myth' to his fellow pupils and Luca says he actually never really saw him around.

Like us all, J Rhys had his troubles growing up. Yet it never held him back from soaking up the things that were happening around him with a level head to arrive at his own conclusions and perspectives. His measured approach conveys a maturity of people twice his age and this is something you really hear throughout all his lyrics. Although he was eventually kicked out of his high school, Jake is currently studying a theatre course at BRIT School; the same place that nurtured artists such as Blaze YL and Loyle Carner. He admits people had their doubts about him at the time, but now he's back grinding music seriously again they are beginning to see his progress.

Jake has been writing bars since he was just 11 years old. Starting out with poetry when he was younger, Jake soon turned his mind toward a more serious pen game. Nailing it down to when Stormzy dropped his blow-up track 'Shut Up' way back in 2015, he feels it inspired him to take his evidently brewing talent more serious and focus more of his energy into it.

''That's when I first sat down and thought, right, I can write something''

J Rhys' ability to portray such clear messages and vivid scenes is really compelling. It installs a depth into every song on the album that keeps you fixated on what he has to say. What's even more impressive is Jake's versatility on how he presents us with these statements and stories. Countless flows, chopping and changing them up within songs, floating in and out of melodies, dabbling in double entendres and punchlines. Representing his JTR (Journey to Riches) collective, Jake Summers is here for the long run.