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Santana credits humanity’s birthplace — and Metatron — for his life and sound

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

While every one of his albums until 1984 had enjoyed some level of success, afterwards he became a thing of the past. That’s why Clive Davis, the man who signed him to Arista in 1969, went to see him live at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in the late ’90s to change his life. Again.

He wanted Santana back on the charts. To do that he first needed to know if the musician was willing to work with some of the better-known names of the time. “[Davis] said, ‘What you do live is incredible, but to enter the ring of radio is another thing. Are you open with willingness to play with Rob Thomas, Dave Matthews, Lauryn Hill, and Wylclef Jean and write songs with them?’”

“Yes, I’m not afraid,” Santana replied. “I’ll open my heart and complement what they give me, no matter what they bring.”

They brought pop songs, and Santana made them explode.

Supernatural sold more than 27 million copies and won nine Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. But don’t credit Santana or Davis — credit Metatron, the Biblical angel some believe is the person who stopped Abraham from sacrificing his child. “That [Supernatural success] was something God wanted,” said Santana. A year before he and Davis reconnected, Santana says he began consulting with the angel Metatron. “A lot of people think I’m crazy, but I don’t care. They say, ‘You say you speak to Metraton and the Virgin of Guadalupe, how can you say that?’ And I say, ‘How can you believe in God and not be able to speak with Him? You speak to Him but He can’t speak to you? What kind of relationship is that? That’s fantasy.’”

It was through those conversations that he knew it was time to up his game, he said.

“Each person, you and I, have a lot of voices, like monkeys yelling, that make us criticize, be afraid, and all that. But we also have another voice, more calm, lower, but more clear than all those monkeys. That’s the voice I’ve followed from an early age, and that’s why I am who I am and I am where I am.” •


Santana feat. Michael Franti & Spearhead

7pm Sun., Sep. 11
AT&T Center
One AT&T Center

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