Santa Fe Klan is constantly innovating. His free-flowing style has taken him to the next level, including arenas like on his upcoming 38-date U.S. tour, Todo y Nada (or All and Nothing), which kicks off June 10 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Like his tour name suggests, the 22-year-old Mexican rapper lays it all on the table with a nothing-to-lose approach. “My people know everything about me. I have never hidden anything from them. I am that way,” he told Billboard Español. He’s an artist who candidly spits rhymes on his experiences in the hood, family life, romantic encounters and Mexican pride.
As a dynamic lyricist with a passionate flow, and with the ability to navigate a diversity of sounds — from mellow rap to dancehall-style toasting — it’s almost impossible to turn a deaf ear to his music. His fanbase continues to grow as he expands the outer limits of rap.
“The truth is that I always come up with crazy ideas and this time I wanted to do something that no one would see coming,” Ángel Quezada (real name) told Billboard last August. “I wanted to show that an artist can do whatever he wants regardless of genres, and I wanted to do acoustic ballads to connect even more with my fans.”
Emerging from the underground of Mexico’s booming rap scene, he began showcasing his candid wordplay when he was just 12 years old from the barrio of Santa Fe, the capital of Guanajuato in central Mexico, just north of Mexico City. From dropping viral tracks on YouTube and SoundCloud since 2016, the prolific rapper has built an ever-growing international following — his overall video view count currently clocks in at a staggering 3.9 billion streams.
In between, he has also released a cumbia sonidera-leaning album (Santa Cumbia), collaborated with the likes of Run the Jewels and M.I.S. (“Ooh La La” remix); and on his latest 2022 efforts, Mundo, Santa Fe Klan soothes his usual hard-hitting bars for a more melodic approach, where he dedicates songs to his mother and newborn son Luka. The album also features a collaboration with romantic pop group Reik.
“It was difficult to open up in this album because it reflects my day-to-day reality,” he previously said. “This specific album mirrors the experiences my community is going through; I wanted to project that so my people could identify with mine.”
Mundo debuted at No. 4 on Latin Pop Albums and No. 11 on Latin Rhythms Albums. The single “Mar y tierra” earned him his first entry on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart.
Santa Fe Klan talks tattoos, his artistic evolution navigating various genres — he’s pivoting to regional Mexican music on his next efforts — and bringing Snow The Product and Tornillo on tour with him.
1. Todo y Nada is your first 30-date arena tour in the United States. How do you feel?
It’s already 38 dates and I thank all my people in the United States for all the support! I’m bringing you a new show and we’re going to have a great time.
2. In each album you’ve released, you have constantly shown your artistic evolution. We’ve seen you emerge from the underground rap scene in Mexico, then do cumbia sonidera and more recently, regional. What can we expect from your next material?
(Laughs) Yeah, right? I like to experiment with genres and I also like those genres. They are the ones I have listened to since I was a little kid. And now we are coming with a regional Mexican album that includes several collaborations. Expect that soon.
3. Tell me about your latest single, “Mecha Corta.” How did this collaboration with Remmy Valenzuela come about?
That was badass. We met at the Akron Stadium [in Zapopan, Jalisco] when Grupo Firme was there [on September 24, 2022]. We were both invited to sing, and there we chatted and agreed to record. A few days later, he came to my studio in Guadalajara and we got together. I showed him the lyrics of the song and the whole thing went off (laughs).
4. What inspires you when you compose music?
Daily life, what happens in the hood. Many of my songs are stories that I’ve been told and others are things that I have gone through. For example, the song “Luka” [from the album Mundo of 2022] was written for my unborn son at the time.
5. Last year you made your debut on the Hot Latin Songs chart with “Mar y Tierra,” and your album Mundo also made it to several charts. What is your reaction seeing your music on the Billboard charts?
No well, it makes me very happy that everything is going good, that my people continues to support me, and that more and more of my music is being listened to. Thanks to Billboard for all the support. I will continue to represent the barrio.
6. You have been at the forefront of the new generation of rappers in Mexico, such as Gera MX, Aleman, Neto Peña, to name a few. How would you describe the rap scene in Mexico compared to other parts of Latin America?
Rap is a culture that my carnales (friends) and I in Mexico — and the world — represent in the same way. Much respect to all the clika (the community) for representing the genre. Each country expresses itself differently with its own style, but we are all the same.
7. You have some very cool tattoos, what is the newest one? Can you explain the meaning of some of your most special tattoos?
I just tattooed the word “Lealtad” (or Loyalty) on one hand because it is something very important in life. Without that, there is nothing. I have my parents tattooed, without them I wouldn’t be here. I also have my son Luka’s name on my fingers, and on my abdomen I have part of the streets of my barrio.
8. You will be touring with Snow Tha Product and Tornillo. What do you like most about the work of each of them?
Rifan machin my two carnals (my two friends have skills). For me it’s a pleasure to have both of them with me on the tour. We are going to have a great time with my people. Their work says it all. They have come a long way.
9. What is the origin of your stage name Santa Fe Klan?
That’s the name of my hood back in Guanajuato, the state capital.
10. How has Santa Fe shaped your personality?
In everything. The barrio saw me grow up and taught me loyalty and respect for people, and that we are all equal. ¡Arriba el barrio, arriba la Santa!
11. What do you consider your biggest achievement?
Professionally, that my music has reached so many people and that it has charted in the best lists. So far, I have filled the Monterrey arena and the Mexico City arena. Let’s see what’s in store for us in 2023. And personally, my greatest achievement is to have all my family well and the hood.
12. What is your favorite food?
My favorite food are tacos, aguachile, ceviche and carne asada with the compas (homies) pouring caguamas (drinking 40s).
13. Favorite sneaker brand?
I like the white [Nike] Air Force One. They never fail.
14. Besides your music, who or what have you been listening to lately?
I listen to the music of my carnales in [the collective] 473 Music, so you all can hear them. They turn up.
15. Who was your favorite artist when you were young?
Chalino Sánchez. Big time.
16. What’s your favorite movie?
I don’t have any. I like a lot, but more the horror or action ones.
17. What do you like most about being a rapper?
Recording, writing songs, and singing to the whole gang. It’s a good time.
18. For someone who has never been to Guanajuato, how would you describe it? What do you love about your hometown?
Downtown is really cool. To go eat a guacamaya or some chicharrones with cueritos (pig skin), rolling around with a joint. And [what I love is] my people, my neighborhood.
19. What is something your fans don’t know about you that you would like to share?
My people know everything about me. I have never hidden anything from them, I am that way. The only thing they don’t know is what’s coming on my next album that they’re going to love.
20. What can we expect from your U.S. tour?
Lots of partying! Lots of rap! Lots of cumbia… We’re going to get everyone lit. I want to see you all.
Read the full article here