Meet genre bending ambient Canadian song-writer and artist Audra Santa

Audra’s work is what you may describe as ‘genre-bending’ (think dark pop, trip-hop, ambiance) but is also hugely informed by diverse influences such as Portishead, Goldfrapp, Radiohead, Pink Floyd and more…)

Audra is very into intuitive spirituality, tantric energy, and meditation. She also isn’t afraid to explore desire and sexuality in her work. Her recent release in Canada, Afterglow, was banned from Facebook promotion due to its provocative nature, sexual content and nudity. It’s time to meet this genre-bending star!

1. Who is Audra Santa?

I am an artist currently based in Toronto, Canada, enjoying exploring sensuality and different modes of expression in my art. I write music, play and sing, and also produce, edit and direct my own videos. I work for a charity as my “day job” and recently I began a new endeavour providing intuitive readings and mentorship/coaching to support others on their spiritual journey.

When asked who we are we often define ourselves by what we do (as I just did there), but I believe who we are is so much bigger than that.  I find it helpful to use meditation to explore all the facets of myself.  That’s actually how Naked and the rest of The Boudoir Project EP came to be – I discovered tantric energy and meditation through sensual expression and writing these songs in secret. Once I figured out how healing it was for me, I dove deeper and combined songwriting with meditation to bring it through.

2. Describe your sound in 3 words…

Sensual Noir Soul

3. Tell us about the single Naked and also your forthcoming EP The Boudoir Project

Naked was written alone in my bedroom when I first moved back to Canada. I had just left my marriage and my life in Australia after living there for ten years, and there was so much bottled up inside of me. Rage, sexuality, grief, pain…and a powerful woman in hiding. I wrote The Boudoir Project in secret, using it as my own personal diary.  Never ever did I think I’d release it.  

I sent a demo to a producer I met through an online songwriting club in Australia, Nick O’Donnell. I loved his work and thought he might be interested in hearing these secret little bedroom productions I was working on. Everything just clicked. He loved the songs and understood exactly what they were meant to be as if he heard the music inside my head. So The Boudoir Project was born.

4. Who is your biggest music influence & why?

Mmmm…this is a challenging question. I feel like Tori Amos had the greatest influence on me but I didn’t even realize it until recently.  She was in my life during those formative teen years, and I was so drawn to her expression, the fry in her voice, her bold and her nuanced lyrics, and the way she leaned into dark and raw places.  Tori was powerful and sexy and I could FEEL her music in a way the music on the radio didn’t quite touch me.  

5. If you could collaborate with either Portishead, Goldfrapp or Radiohead who would it be & why?

I would love to collaborate with Radiohead. There are multiple layers of genius to what they do. I think both Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke are incredible. I kind of feel like Jonny and I would make better music together and he’s done some other amazing collaborations.  If I was with Thom I’d probably just sit in the corner in awe and watch him make magic. I once ran into Radiohead while boarding a plane in Australia, and told Thom Yorke they played a great show the night before. He said “thanks” and I blushed and continued down the aisle.  

6. Besides music, what are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about personal and spiritual growth. I have changed my life through self-examination, an open mind, beautiful support from others when I needed it, exploring my shadow, and allowing for new life to bud and grow. I’ve seen others do it too and it’s so inspiring. We don’t have to stay trapped in the same patterns. We have a choice. I’m also passionate about social justice, and I feel spirituality and social justice go hand-in-hand. Loving our neighbour requires action.

7. What motto do you live by?

“Radical Responsibility”  We can all change our lives and the world if we choose to accept how our choices influence everything.  Lean in to discomfort, own our mistakes.  Keep going and keep growing. 

8. What’s one thing you can’t leave the house/hotel without? Lip gloss or lip balm.  I feel naked without something on my lips.

9. What’s next for Audra Santa?

I’ve started doing intuitive readings. That’s a big thing that’s emerged for me during this strange time of pandemic.  My tantric energy and spontaneous kundalini awakening resulted in opening up this intuitive awareness and I became even more connected to it during quarantine. Now I do online readings for others via zoom and it’s been the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done. The messages that come through blow MY mind.  I’ll be moving more into this work in the coming months, with hopes to shift my life to allow more time for music and creativity, and maybe even move to a beach somewhere.

10. Where can we find you on Social Media?

@audrasanta on all platforms  / @littlecopperlighthouse if you’re interested in the more mystical side of me

Ok now a few fire round questions ….

Ooh fire round!!  okay, you’ll get my stream-of-consciousness responses then.

11. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you? Morgan Freeman

12. If you could go anywhere, be with anyone, be doing anything, right now: Where? Who? What?

Greece. With my lover, on the beach, feeling the breeze of the Mediterranean in my hair.  I keep having a recurring vision during meditation of being high up in a beautiful room, overlooking the water and watching the sunset.  If anyone has a hook up for such a place please send me a message.  

13. Favorite dinosaur?

Pterodactyl. hands down.


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