We had the good fortune of connecting with Scarlett Santamaria and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scarlett, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Because I know that this is what I was born to do! I have been involved in entertainment, music, dance, and the arts my whole life. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else that wasn’t in the creative field. It’s what makes me feel the most passionate and alive. From performing in crazy costumes at music festivals to editing short videos for my YouTube channel. I’m the happiest when I have multiple outlets to express my creativity and provide unforgettable experiences for my audience. I battled against pursuing my profession for a long time, thinking that I had to go into the corporate world to be successful after I graduated college. But the universe showed me otherwise and gave me the signs to follow my dreams. I realized I couldn’t let my gifts to go waste and live a dull life. I followed my intuition and made the right choice for myself. Doing what I love is what gets me up in the morning and gives me a sense of purpose.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What started as the first radio show featuring DJ’s of the underground electronic music, grew into a bigger platform for diverse members of the industry. Scarlett Letter Show highlights the best of the nightlife through a weekly web series, event reports, artist spotlights, and vlogs. I dig deep into the mind of the leaders of the music and entertainment industry by covering topics of creativity, mental health, emotional intelligence, leadership, and gender & sexuality. What makes my show unique are my interactive interviews consisting of special sections and games, including a match of Jenga, discovering my guests’ level of self-awareness on the Human Experience, picking a bonus question from one of the Scarlett letters, and pulling out a random souvenir from the mystery box. I’m thrilled to take my brand to the next level by transforming it into an entertainment company made up of 4 elements. First, is my YouTube channel mentioned above. Second, is a spin-off podcast called, Behind the Nightlife, where I’ll interview executives in the music and entertainment industry. Third, are entertainment services including, a pop-up Scarlett Letter lounge for speed interviewing guests, event report videos, emceeing/hosting, creative experience advising, equipment rental, and more. I will also create a digital catalog featuring the best talent in California so they can be connected with other creatives or business opportunities. The fourth element is a gender-neutral clothing line with a dark aesthetic. All of this will be presented on my website coming soon! I have been working in the industry since I was 15 yrs old, starting as a second-generation mobile DJ business owner. Since then, I’ve played different roles including promoter, event planner, emcee, entertainer, social media marketer, and video editor. In 2018, I got to experience producing and hosting my first radio show (Scarlett Letter) and learn how to be a one-woman creator. After a year and a half of hard work and consistency, I got the opportunity to get sponsored by the beautiful studio where I currently produce my show and work with a team. All my choices have led me to where I am today but it hasn’t been an easy road. There have been countless external factors that made the road challenging. But the biggest obstacle has always been me. My mind can be my best friend or my worst enemy. I can decide to deal with adversities constructively or let them destroy me. What helped me have the right mindset is following the road of self-improvement. Reading self-help books, watching inspirational videos, expressing gratitude, etc. I learned that I’m the architect of my destiny and I’m responsible for making the best choices for myself. I just have to keep moving forward and never give up on my dreams. Something that I want the world to know is that beyond being entertaining, my goal is to make a positive and long-lasting impact in music and entertainment. I aspire to raise the levels of empathy through shared human experiences and connect passionate artists with opportunities to reach their professional goals. I want to normalize discussing topics of wellness and emotional intelligence, especially during these times. So many of us are suffering in silence because our industry was eradicated by the pandemic. It has been extra challenging staying optimistic and motivated when we can’t be in the environment that fuels our inspiration. But Scarlett Letter has been the glowing neon sign in the darkness that has helped keep the nightlife hopeful and alive. It gives creatives a space to share their stories and even during hardships. And it’s given me the resilience and determination to keep pursuing my passion.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pre-pandemic I would take them to all my favorite clubs and bars including Rich’s, Spin, Blonde, Gossip Grill, Kava Lounge, and Bang Bang. But now, I will mainly focus on foods of the world and outdoor activities. For restaurants I’d take them to Kindred for their vegan dishes and dark aesthetic, Urban Mo’s for their big plates and fun environment, Morning Glory for a cute brunch date, City Tacos to catch my dad DJ on Taco Tuesday, Pomegranate for their Georgian cheese pie and Russian pierogis, GIHON Ethiopian Kitchen for a flavorful veggie platter, Liberty Public Market for all their food and drink options, and many more. We can’t forget about dessert shops including Extraordinary Desserts, Salt & Straw, Up2You Café, Cake de Partie, Ghirardelli, and Babycakes. I can keep going, I’m a big foodie. As far as activities I’d take them to Hillcrest for their lively community and thrift shops, Balboa Park for a nice picnic, Sunset Cliffs to walk and watch the sun go down, OB farmers market, North Park’s unique stores and murals, the Patriot Boat Ride on the bay, Mission trails to get our workout on, Little Italy if we’re feeling fancy, etc. San Diego has so much to offer, the lists can go on!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My best friends and family! Thank you for encouraging me to follow my passion and for all the love during my most challenging times. Shoutout to the KCR College Radio team, I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t started my radio show host journey in their studio. Thank you for giving me the space for self-expression even after graduating. To my very first sponsors, the Techniche team. Thank you for your support and all the valuable industry knowledge. To my business growth strategist, Shaun Cassidy. Thank you for your mentorship and for helping me look at the bigger picture. A BIG shoutout to Darin Andersen and Mike Carroll of the Seamless Podcast. Last year when I thought my show was coming to an end and was losing all hope, they offered to sponsor me the beautiful studio where I currently produce my web series. Thank you for believing in me and helping me take my vision to the next level! Lastly, thank you to all the fans of the show and to everyone that gives me amazing feedback when they meet me in person. I’m forever grateful to all of you!