by Lauren Raziano, Staff Writer
Samantha Santiago, a freshman from Yonkers, New York, is studying biology with a side passion for music. She loves to sing and has been doing it since she was young.
“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember,” Santiago said. “It has always been a way to express myself in a way that was fun. I’ve always loved it.”
Santiago chose to come to Manhattan because of the community.
“I came to Manhattan because I felt that the atmosphere was really nice and matched what I wanted,” Santiago said. “I always wanted a small school because I value that tight knit community feeling so Manhattan just fit perfectly.”
Compared to singing solo, Santiago favors group settings.
“I prefer to sing in a group because I love hearing how different voices can come together and make beautiful music,” Santiago said.
Although performances are limited during this COVID-19 era, she is still able to practice singing being that she is a member of two musical groups on campus, Music Ministry and Manhattan Singers.
Her favorite part about being able to sing at Manhattan is the group of performers she has been able to meet.
“I really love performing and like singing at Manhattan,” Santiago said. “My favorite thing would be the people. They are really awesome, everybody is really nice and we all work together to make awesome music together.”
Before coming to Manhattan her last performance was at graduation.
“Before coming to Manhattan my favorite performance was my graduation,” Santiago said. “I did the interlude and I sang “Everything I Know”, which is from my favorite musical, which is, “In the Heights.”
Santiago believes that New York is such a great place to be able to sing, as it has so many styles like Broadway, rap, jazz and so many others.
“There are so many different styles of music, definitely, like because New York is so diverse, there is a very wide range of things you can sing and a lot of different languages you can sing them in,” Santiago said.
While she is beginning to settle in at Manhattan College, she is not sure what she wants to do in the future and whether or not her future will include music.
“I’m not sure, right now it is just a hobby, but if it goes further I don’t know,” Santiago said. “Maybe professionally like in churches or something.”
The internet has been an inspiration for Santiago to maybe start writing her own songs.
“I’ve tried on a few occasions to write my own music but I only get a few verses in before I get writer’s block,” Santiago said. “It’s something that I’m considering more now though because I’ve seen so many new songs on the rise on the internet.”
When asked to give advice to new singers, Santiago said that the best way to start singing and be comfortable is to be okay with making mistakes and learning.
“I would say to new singers that it’s ok to make mistakes because that is the only way that you’ll learn,” Santiago said.
She knows better than most that is not always easy to start singing.
“When I first started singing I always wanted to get the notes right on the first try,” Santiago said. “But I realized that it’s only by trial and error that you can truly end up with a beautiful outcome.”