How FIU Alumnus Is Making It In the Music Industry

Photo via Cesar Santalo

By Jessica Reem Abilmouna // Staff Writer

For many students at FIU, their passions often lie in what happens after lectures end. For 23 year-old FIU alumnus Cesar Santalo, he found his passions outside the classroom creating music and sharing it with the world, earning himself millions of streams across multiple platforms.

Santalo booked his first session creating music in the studio at 18, with no real preparations or experience besides the curiosity and willingness to learn and produce music. Soon after his first session, he realized how passionate he is for the art and how he wants to continue to pursue it. 

After graduating in 2019 from FIU with a degree in organizational communications, Santalo was persistent in writing and creating his own music and finding inspiration around him in Miami.

“I am heavily influenced by my city. I attribute my passion for the arts through what my City and Cuban roots represent,” says Santalo. “Artistically, I am inspired by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Frank Ocean, Justin Bieber, and Drake.”

After having quite a few successes with his music including his song “Purple,” which has over 1.5 million streams on spotify, Santalo feels that his favorite song he has is one he has worked on recently. 

“My favorite song I’ve made that’s out would have to be my newest ‘I’M DONE CALLING.’I hope that with my hardwork and dedication that I contribute towards my music, I can be one of the greats one day,” claims Santalo.

Whenever Santalo has struggled musically in getting over an artistic block, he’s found various ways to help him get over it as he has gained more experience within the industry. 

 “I understand that sometimes the ideas come out when I put myself in the situation to create. I don’t like to overwork myself creatively, but I know that the only way to get ideas flowing again is to put myself in the position to think. Another thing is going back to the basics and reviewing my past work. What has worked for me in the past and how can I be better overall?” says Santalo. 

Santalo feels that working in the music industry has positively shaped him in becoming a better person and having a stronger work ethic. “It’s made me work harder for everything else in life. I know that nothing is free in this life and in order to attain something worthwhile, hard work needs to come with it.”

Santalo claims he continues to be working on and creating music and is excited for what’s to come in the future. 

“As I continue to work on more projects, I keep reminding myself of who I am and where I come from and ways to incorporate this into my life and work.”