Santa, AKA Samanta Cotta
| July 1, 2024 |

“My first guitar was an acoustic Gibson from 1965 that I inherited from my American bluesman uncle”

The latest addition to the Gibson Artist Spotlight program, Santa plays all the instruments on her debut solo album Recommence-Moi

In line with the brand’s ongoing commitment to elevating new music from emerging musicians around the world, the annual Gibson Artist Spotlight program will showcase an evolving roster of musicians who will be featured across Gibson’s global and international channels.

The Artist Spotlight program debuted in January 2024 with Austin Sexton and recently added Mona LindgrenAlex Ritchie, Zach Person, and Devon Thompson to the ranks. It also welcomed Ayoni, The Picturebooks, Camilla PNK, DeWolff, Tigirlily Gold, and now, Santa.

Santa, whose given name is Samanta Cotta, is widely recognized as the lead singer and a key member of the French electropop band Hyphen Hyphen. She has been noted for her powerful and emotive voice, which has contributed significantly to the band’s success in the French and international music scenes.

Video: Santa’s “Recommence-Moi” official release is full of visual humor

In addition to her work with Hyphen Hyphen, Santa has a new solo project, showcasing her versatility as an artist and multi-instrumentalist. Her music often explores themes of love, identity, and personal growth, resonating deeply with a wide audience.

One of her notable tracks, “Popcorn Salé,” reflects her ability to blend catchy melodies with profound lyrics, making her a standout figure in contemporary French music​.

We caught up with Santa to find out more.

How would you describe your music?

“It’s always difficult to describe music. Sometimes there are too many words, sometimes not enough. I would say that I write songs that cross my path, that I capture them and sing them. It’s in French, and it’s very intimate.”

What is your favorite piece of gear?

“My first guitar was an acoustic Gibson from 1965 that I inherited from my American bluesman uncle William Eckert. Unfortunately, I didn’t know him, but a bit of his electricity was passed on to me, notably through this invaluable piece of wood. Since then, all guitar pieces have been written on it.

“It will always be my favorite guitar. When I first held it in my hands, I was surprised by its power and the projection of sound it emitted; I have never found such a sound again. I wanted to project sound myself, so I learned to sing loudly to match the power of this guitar and tell my stories.”

What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?

“The highlight was writing my first song in French, ‘Popcorn Salé,’ and playing the same song suspended with my grand piano to a crane over 40 meters high. It was so impressive and as high as it was beautiful.”

What would be your dream artist or producer collaboration, and why? 

“My biggest dream would be to write a song with Billie Eilish, Madonna, Celine Dion, Mylene Farmer, and H.E.R. together! It would be a girl-band united only for this occasion, a song that is soft and vocal—very powerful and full of energy. It would start acoustic and gradually become electric, ending in a blazing solo duo.”

What does being part of the Gibson Artist Spotlight program mean to you?

“It’s such an honor to be part of the program. The guitar has always helped me convey emotions and is a part of my electricity. Long may it last!”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

“My first solo album came out on May 24th! I’m so excited and looking forward to playing it live everywhere!”

Find out more about the Gibson Artist Spotlight program and visit Santa’s profile. Listen to Blonde by Tigirlily Gold.