Santana Ali is an anomaly in the music industry, inspired directly by the animal kingdom in all his endeavors. When it comes to his music, the DMV native holds nothing back, injecting endless creativity, inspiration, and passion with each release. Currently based in Los Angeles, the rising star has been putting in the work in the studio perfecting his craft.
Nicknamed “Child of the pyramids,” Santana recently embarked on a newfound spiritual and physical journey that encapsules his animalistic influences, which includes no smoking, no drinking, 6am workouts, Boxing and a 40-day fast. When it comes to his mental state, he’s living proof that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Stemming off the release of his previous single “Raisin In The Sun,” which was premiered on Flaunt, Santana unleashed his newest banger titled “B.O.A.” Flaunt caught up with the vegan recording artist, who had just returned from Atlanta after working with all-star producers ChaseTheMoney and Kid Hazel. Read below as we discuss his fasting, meditation, the making of “B.O.A,” recording in the A, his dreams, and more!
How are you since the last time we spoke?
Feeling great! Feeling blessed. It’s love.
I know you’re vegan now, talk about this lifestyle change.
I just got done with a 40-day fast. The family put me on the health, my health coach and Brother Heem. He put me on a fast and it got me more intuitive, more spiritually aware of what’s going on around me. I can’t do nothing but thank him for that, thank the universe for all the premonitions that are coming to me because I made myself available for it. Real shit.
What is the 40-day fast composed of?
It’s so funny, when people ask me what the 40-day fast entails, they really think I’m drinking water or I’m starving. Nah the 40-day fast is all herbal teas, all cold-pressed juices, and alkaline water. No food, 40 days straight.
I put my mind to it. He did 40 days, I did 41 days because I fast on Sundays and it fell on a Saturday. We did the extra day. I put my mind to it. All I’ve done is fast for 7 days before that. I never fasted for 2 or 3 weeks, I’ve only fasted for one week and jumped straight into the 40.
You don’t get hungry?
After the first week, no. It’s all in the mind, it’s a placebo effect. Hunger, you’re never really hungry. You’re not really hungry like you tell yourself you’re hungry. The juices are basically a meal replacement, you get all the same energy from the juices. When you put some celery or some fruit like an apple or pineapple, all it does is take all the energy out of the solid form and make it liquid. Same thing, just liquid form.
Are you back to eating now?
Yes, I’m 100% raw vegan so I don’t eat anything cooked.
What’s the difference between raw and cooked?
Raw is food that doesn’t touch fire at all. You could still eat vegan food, but people who eat vegan food when it’s cooked, it’s dead. It’s touching fire. The only thing I drink that touches fire is herbal teas. I’m new to this shit, my mans put me on to this lifestyle and I love it. My soul attaches to it. I’m living it.
Talk about embarking on your spiritual journey.
For me, it really started with the food I was intaking. It clogs your brain and memory up, clogs you as a vessel up. You have to understand, we’re a vessel for the higher beings to give us certain information and certain premonitions for us to take it. The premonitions we get in our dreams, we have to take more heed to them. That shit be telling us about certain shit that’s about to happen, it warns us. I’m still working on it but when I began to eat differently, speak differently, I began to see myself being more clear for certain higher messages. I make sure to meditate every single day, pray every single day, and try to be consistent. Once you open yourself up to that realm, you can’t be on and off with it. You can’t do it one day then stop for a week and try to get back on, that’s when you’ll get smited.
How long do you meditate for?
2 or 3 hours. I turn the lights off, all white candles. I sit there and don’t put a time limit on it. When I look at the time after, what the fuck? It’s been 3 hours. Real shit.
Every 2 days. Before I went to Atlanta, I was doing it every single day. Now I’m back and getting back into my regimen.
How often are you working out?
We get up every day at 6am and workout. I got homies who run a whole mile, do biceps, all different types of workouts. Now we’re getting into the calisthenics where we don’t have to go to the gym. Pull-up bars, push-ups, crunches, it makes it way easier. I got bars in the house, we can do workouts off of that. People feel like you have to be in a certain environment to do this, it’s not about that. The workouts we do, you can do it anywhere. I look at all the different opportunities to put myself to the test.
If you get up at 6am, when do you go to sleep?
I go to sleep at late as fuck sometimes. It’s hard when you’re out all night, then you come home and you try to go to sleep. You can’t sleep, you’re up an extra hour. I try to go to sleep by at least 10pm, stop eating by 9pm.
How does it feel to quit smoking and drinking?
I’ve been smoking since I was young. When I first started to fast, I was smoking for a week into it. I started to feel sluggish, waking up not feeling like working out or doing anything. I’ve had experiences with liquor where we’re on some reckless stuff. I don’t want to be reckless, I don’t want that side of me to ever come out. I want to be able to tame myself at all times. Beyond the fast, I don’t ever want to drink again. Smoking clogs our mind and dociles us, it makes us more laidback and chill. We don’t have time to be, at least I don’t.
Marijuana doesn’t boost your creativity in the studio?
Nah. I was on Day 25 of the fast, I recorded 5 songs in my studio session. My other homie recorded a few songs, but they’re smoking and I wasn’t. I didn’t eat or drink anything that whole day, but water. I recorded 5 songs. When I did that shit, I’m like “damn, I don’t need the shit that they tell me I need.”
You released “Boa” in July, what do you want fans to get from that record?
“Boa” is the most current song. It’s a lot of shit going on right now that coincides with the message of “Boa,” especially all this ADD shit. All this shit going on, it coincides directly with the message of the song. For me, it was my effort to jump into the current world and let people know I’m right here with you. I can jump on your frequency.
Speaking of frequency, talk about all the heat you have in the vault.
I just left Atlanta, me and ChaseTheMoney were working on a project. Me and Kid Hazel, we’re locked in making heat every chance we get. I have 300, 400 songs in the vault unreleased. Iit’s a test of strategy, being very strategic and knowing exactly how I want my rollout to go. I know me doing this the right way will open the correct doors for me to make the right moves, it’s quality over quantity. I could drop 100 songs right now but what if they all fall on deaf ears? Or I can drop one video and it goes Platinum, then I have all these songs in the vault I can strategically move off of.
How did you link with Kid Hazel?
Kid Hazel’s like my big brother, me and him speak every day.
He’s vegan too right?
That’s the base of our relationship, that health conscious, spiritual conscious. Chase is getting on it as well. It’s a brotherhood really, it’s more than music. We don’t really speak about music that much. We literally be on our real life shit, real life time. Everything else falls into place after that. Me and Hazel talk about real shit all day long, he says “oh yeah, I sent you a pack.” Okay bet. I go knock the pack out and the records are what they are.
What about ChaseTheMoney?
Chase tapped in with one of my bros regarding something else, then he heard my music. Chase is a real one off-top. Me and him locked in automatically, he sent me a pack. He saw my work ethic. When I’m in the A, he gives me access to all his beats in his studio. I’m out there for a week, I knock out 15 tracks with him all off love. All off strength. It’s love, them guys are my real big bros.
How’s the vibe in Atlanta compare to LA?
The A, the sun doesn’t come out like that. It’s gloomy, but it’s a great place to work. Great place to be in the studio and be in the cave. I love working, I love being in the studio. I come here to be in a social environment, I come here to network. When I go to the A, I also go there to network but I go there to work.
On “Boa” you say you’re a dreamchaser, what are your dreams?
That’s a good question. I represent child of the pyramids. I really want my shit to be the next Walt Disney for real. I understand Ye’s really doing that shit, but I’m in the younger generation. I truly feel like I have what it takes to be the next Walt, that next guy. My dreams are whatever that entails, creating my own story world and living within that. That’s a vague way to put it.
You said you have the best independent project we’ll ever hear, what can we expect?
It’s called ALI, which stands for All Love Intentionally. My real name is Santana Ali Bowie. The premise of the ALI project is overcoming adversity, I’ve been through so much shit that people don’t even know about. I don’t have no major label push, no OG sitting in the studio with me giving me game. I really had to sit with my bros and figure this shit out. For me, that’s the intention that’s been put into the album. The frequency of the music is so high, nobody’s ever done that before. To put it in simple terms, nobody’s on our level.
I’m interested in doing features with people I respect. When I was in the A, I did a feature with my guy KT. Shout out OZ, my guys out in the A that’s hustling, doing what they do. I don’t do features off some Hollywood shit. If the vibe’s right, we’re going to do the feature.
How do you plan to reshape the industry?
Showing them the new module of independence, it’s all about subject matter and the narrative. Everybody’s talking about the same shit, everybody’s using the same template to rise to success. I’ma literally flip the script on everybody. Yes, I’m raw vegan. Yes, I don’t eat nothing cooked. That shit people normally would look at like “nah, what’s that?” I’ma show them this ain’t what you think. This is the new Roc, this what Jay Z and them were dreaming of back in the day. I’m that for real.
Are you still releasing a workout mixtape before the official project?
Yes, the records on that project are crazy. Me and Gabe, the best videographer in the world shooting us right now, me and him locking in on that frequency. I’ve been influencing a lot of people that watch me to workout, to eat differently. People be telling me “damn bro, I did a 3-day juice fast!” I see people doing water cleanses, all kinds of stuff. Damn, let me put out a body of work with that. Let me also tap in with my bros who do workout stuff as well so you can workout with the music. I got a song on there called “Beating The Bag,” it goes “if I got the bag and he got the bag, then we got the bag.” Really influential music that’s pushing people to strive and be successful.
What can we expect next?
The workout mixtape is coming next. Me and Gabe are on our Gatorade break shit, that first through fourth quarter vibe is what you can expect from me. We in it for the long run, it’s all about consistency. My name is Santana Ali and I’m coming hard and I’m coming consistent! I appreciate you.