Respecting Her Hustle

Above: Angelica “Geli” Santos. Photo by Steven King

Angelica Santos was only 13 when her voice was recorded for the first time. She was inside a clothing closet with nothing but a computer microphone and a dream to perform. Santos, known as Geli, had an appetite for singing ever since she can remember. As a toddler, she jumped in front of her mom’s camcorder, invisible microphone in hand, singing and dancing along to the freestyle hip-hop playing in the background. The 21-year-old Worcester resident and South High graduate soon realized her passion for hip-hop and R&B was too big to be confined to a tiny closet, so she upgraded to an official studio, where she recorded her first album, “Odd Beauty” in 2013.

During Geli’s career, she has reconnected with her mother’s longtime friend, hip-hop artist and CEO of Show Boyz Entertainment and Bangaville Management, Klep. In 2012, Geli was scheduled to open up in support of Grammy-nominated R&B artist Omarion at the Venue Night Club.

“Omarion was scheduled to headline but due to some time constraints out of our control, Omarion played first,” Klep said. “During the show, I just see Geli bawling her eyes out in the corner because she thought she missed her opportunity to perform. I saw the passion, and she really wanted to perform, she sold all her tickets.”

Geli was still able to perform in front of a sold-out crowd that included Geli’s family, friends and soon-to-be Geli fans. Since then, Klep and Geli have remained close music companions. In 2012, Klep invited Geli to be featured on his song “Rush.”

Geli is currently working on recording her second album, “Fight Like A Girl” (FLAG), scheduled for release next year. Klep wrote the chorus for Geli’s first single from “FLAG,” entitled “Fly Guy,” for which a music video is scheduled to be shot in mid-December.

Worcester, Mass

Klep was heavily involved in Geli’s first album, and now he sees Geli’s musical maturity reflected in “FLAG.”

“I’ve seen a lot of growth. Her lyrical content is more mature. Music has now become a second nature to her. She has learned to use all of life’s day to day emotions in all of her writing and I have become less involved in helping her with her song writing.”

“FLAG” will center on Geli’s modern day journey to establish herself and her music. Geli said, “I’m asking myself: What is life? ‘FLAG’ deals with my struggle to find my next step in my music career. I’ve seen a lot of struggle in my family and I want to help people deal with these struggles.”

The R&B and hip-hop songs on “FLAG” are stories dealing with love, heartbreak, taking the next step, giving back to family and sacrifice. Geli also promised the album will include plenty of club songs to dance to.

One primary inspiration for “FLAG” comes from Kristen Lucas’ Respect Her Hustle social media campaign.

“My album deals with respecting a women’s hustle. Women can be firefighters, teachers, artists and women can change the world,” explained Geli. “My role models will always be my mother and grandmother. I saw the sacrifices they made just to make me and my brother happy. They wanted nothing more than for us to be successful.”

As for what listeners can expect from “FLAG,” Geli said, “I want to allow my music to have a purpose. Music needs inspiration and I want to motivate others. Music needs standards and respect. I am trying to deliver a positive message through ‘FLAG.’ Always remember to never give up and remember that you are not alone. Someone else is fighting with you. ‘FLAG’ deals with my journey. On this album, I let it all out. It’s hard for me to open up emotionally but I’ve dealt with struggle and I want to be able to provide for myself and find adversity while welcoming others to join me in my journey.”

On December 5, Geli will be opening up for rap veteran Rick Ross at the Echo Stage in Washington D.C. Information about Geli can be found on her official website, www.geli-music.com.