To Top

Daily Inspiration: Meet 48 States Away

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Santiago, lead singer for the Lakeland band, 48 States Away. He and the band share their story with us below:

48 States Away is Raf III on bass, acoustic guitars, and backup vocals. Clint “The Mule” Woolley on drums, keys, and sampling. And, Alex Santiago on guitars, vocals, and percussion. We came together in 2005 as a studio project after several band breakups in Lakeland, Florida.

After releasing our first EP in 2006, Integral X Bar, the band has gone through many ups and downs, including a nearly eight-year hiatus. From the beginning, however, our mission was to move minds and shake asses. That idea has kept us true to ourselves, music and fans.

Our music is different because of the unique backgrounds of our members. All of us have come from diverse races, states, countries, and really—stories. The beauty of these events occurring is that these journeys ended up with an open, yet similar view of life for all of us. We’re all songwriters, which has always been a fun dynamic when we come together with different ideas. We have strong Latin influences and a unique experimental force that have allowed us to create a sound that can only be described as 48 States Away.

For the past few years, music became our therapy, and we wanted to bring that new place of creation to people. Through different life struggles, we’ve been steadily producing our new EP, Lead the Way, completely on our own. We are planning to release it early 2022 and play a few shows supporting the album. We’re excited for the new music, band identity, and upcoming merch to keep supporting our independent run.

We can’t wait to bring our energy to venues around Florida again. We want to connect with people during a time where there’s so much disconnect and uncertainty.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Life is not easy and bringing three lives in creation comes with its challenges.

Back in 2009, I (Alex) moved to South Florida to start a new career. That time apart was hard. We were great friends, but we didn’t get to finish a lot of the projects at the time.

Once we got back together, all of us went through series of struggles with our health and losing family members.

And, of course, working on an album during a pandemic has brought unspeakable amounts of obstacles delaying our release and ability to play live shows. Yet, music is still therapy for us, so we’ve made it work as safely as possible because often times our time together was enough to get us through so many struggles.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Being 100 percent independent has given us the opportunity to experiment and not stress. We’ve been steady in our writing and producing, but we play by our own rules in our own timelines. It’s always been us bringing our writing into a room, then refining over time.

I believe what sets us apart is all three being songwriters and leaning on the power of diversity and inclusivity. All three of us are completely different people, but being open-minded and positive in creation has always been present. This diversity has brought so many styles and sounds together that “shouldn’t work,” yet totally do. Some of our more popular tunes live and online are the ones that take people through ups and downs from style to style.

At the end of the day, music moves us, mentally and physically. And, we want to facilitate that moment. We want to move you in every way we can. If that’s with your headphones in or in a live crowd, we’ll take it. We live for those moments.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
The best way people can support independent artists is by amplifying their art, coming to live shows, and picking up their music online. Obviously, you must be moved by the artist, it’s not meant to be coercive, but it is amazing to feel supported by the community. And, that’s what’s cool since we started, our community was global. Early on we got most of our love from Europe, the UK specifically. We were in every social platform available to us back then, and the music simply found its audience through the years. It’s been surreal.

Today, we simply ask to pick up our albums online or stream it on their favorite services. We don’t get much financial benefit from it, but it does help amplify our cause and mission. In the near future, we will also have merch available for folks, which will be created by local artists and printed locally, so we can keep our community thriving together. There are ways for everyone to win at the same time, and we love that.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Alex & Charity Santiago
Rachel M. Pollock

Suggest a Story: VoyageTampa is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories