Vic Santoro’s energy through the screen was almost palpable - with a frequently smiling face, he was nothing but good vibes. Vic Santoro seemed like a calm guy - not just a ‘nice’ person but rather someone who intentionally inspired positive feelings within people, and that also manifests in his music.
We started with his EP, Pain: Glory Days Pt.1 and I asked him why he put the words Glory Days and pain together. “[I chose] Glory Days specifically because those words remind me of the period where I started doing music - where I was doing it for the love of it; the fun. I wanted to beatbox - anything to do with the sound, I wanted to do it.” He adds that he was even part of the choir in primary school playing a percussion instrument. “and I think now, I’m falling in love with music all over again, so it reminds me of my glory days.”
“In terms of the art itself, I’ve always has a love of practicing and not releasing,” Vic starts as he tells me what reawakened his music, “for me, I can only talk to myself; that’s my only therapy, and it’s like, a release every time I record a song.” On how he feels about sharing art that would help him work through his emotions to the world, Vic shares candidly, “I think that some of my life experiences are so personal that I had to be ready first within myself before I could give it to people. I needed to first go through my own healing and find myself out before I could tell my story to people. I think that’s the point I’m at now.”
His perspective is one that I’m sure resonates with a lot of creatives; the art is therapy long before it ever becomes a commodity. Vic had been to prison, and was able to really turn his life around after, much of which he covers in his music, “my music totally comes from all those different experiences. In my younger days I think I only had the comprehension to speak on the physical aspect, whereas now I can articulate the emotions - I understand them. It’s crazy because I don’t live in that environment anymore, but I understand it way more now than I did when I did live in it - it’s kind of a conundrum; it’s weird because I see it clearly now. I can allow myself to feel whereas before, there was a certain period where I was just numb. Through my teenage years, I don’t think I knew what real feelings actually were, I was just going through the motions.”
What he said struck me in particular, especially when you think about young men’s experience with their mental health in Britain. Though he touched upon it, I wanted to know what it was like to have the emotional epiphany of suddenly feeling all of these formerly repressed feelings. “It definitely knocks you off your feet,” he reveals, “something that was really hard for me to overcome was the realisation that I had never loved myself. When I was younger, I was full of myself and I had a certain arrogance about me - I’d tell you I was this and that, but getting into adulthood I realised, ‘hold on a minute, I never actually loved myself,’ because the things I subjected myself to - you don’t do that if you love yourself. And for me, that made me feel very low within myself, like, ‘how could you not love yourself and this whole time you thought you did?’ It’s quite difficult; it feels like a sucker punch, definitely knocks you off your feet and the more you find out, the more you have to embrace in order to overcome it.”
His most recent project, Progression: Glory Days Pt.2, was released in partnership with Morley's #FeedTheVillage the campaign to provide free meals to the community in Lewisham. Following the introspective first instalment of his trilogy, Vic leans into his newly embraced self love as he envisions a brighter future for himself. The project is now out on all platforms.