Ivana Santilli


ivana[From Facebook] Born to an Italian father and French Canadian mother, Ivana Santilli’s background is nothing if culturally rich. She tasted major label success while still a wide-eyed teen with the funk-pop outfit Bass is Base. In 1999 the tri-lingual multi-instrumentalist ventured out alone and released her debut solo album Brown. The album won Ivana an impressive collection of awards and nominations and put her firmly in the vanguard of the then nascent indie music scene. Corduroy Boogie, her 2004 follow up, featured a host of guest appearances and critically acclaimed singles, garnering favorable reviews and further endearing her to her legions of loyal fans. Since then she has established herself as the sought-after vocalist/ keyboardist in the Nu-Soul, Broken Beat and Electronica scenes and has collaborated with heavyweight producers including: Dwele, Omar, Dego(4 Hero), King Britt, James Poyser, Stuart Matthewman (Sade, Maxwell), Mitsu the Beats, & Circle Research. Ivana is recognized for her winning musical formula by combining soul bearing lyrics, strikingly beautiful music, with high energy live shows having toured with the likes of: The Roots, De La Soul, Tito Puente, James Brown, and Jamiroquai.

After a period of extensive international touring from London to Tokyo, Ivana took a hiatus from the stage to establish residences in London and New York. “For the past few years I’ve lived abroad, but Canada is always in my heart, especially Toronto,” says Ivana. “The stories and energy of New York are what put new guts into my songs and what kick-started the writing of this album. But many of the songs were recorded in Toronto. So this album is the dichotomy of living in both cities.” While living abroad, Ivana found the time and inspiration to compose the songs that now make up her third solo album TONY. She returned to Toronto to record with producer Adam Messinger creating a new sound that brings her into uncharted territory.

TONY is full of catchy hooks and sweet harmonies. The first single “Whateva U Want” recalls the rich vocal harmonies, married to the 808 beats approach, of vintage Hall & Oates. While “Still Anymore” and the Stuart Matthewman (Sade, Maxwell) produced “All Afternoon” exemplify the easy flowing, lushly orchestrated arrangements that dominate much of TONY. The infectious grooves of “Been Through This” and “Hollywood” represent her signature boogie sound. The album’s got Soul, Boogie, Pop, and Ballads, reminiscent of your old mixed-tapes and the classic dance albums of the 80’s —when Pop Music was not confined strictly as a musical genre. “When I was a kid, I was exposed to my sister’s R&B and Funk collection, to my dad’s Neapolitan love songs, but I was also raised on pop music,” says Ivana. “This is my reinterpretation of pop music before it became a canned genre, from when pop really meant popular and everyone was into it, not just sold on it…”

Artist / AlbumYearCreditPurchase
Ivana Santilli
Jun 2010
Phil Demetro