Words by: Billy Ward

The 10 Best Guitar Solos, according to Santino Le Saint

"I remember trying to play this solo aged twelve or thirteen in school assembly with my band thinking I was killing it"

When it comes to defining the genre of rock and roll, few things have been as influential as the guitar solo. Most iconically championed by Jimi Hendrix, his sweltering axe work set the benchmark for what could be done with the instrument and inspired generations after him to pick up the electric guitar. One of those people happened to be Brixton singer-songwriter Santino Le Saint.

The son of legendary South London producer Charlie Parker from 57th Dynasty, a hip hop crew active in Brixton during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Santino grew up around music and saw the guitar as a way to emulate his rock icons such as Hendrix, Nirvana and Bullet For My Valentine. Since releasing his first EP ‘Cloud 304’ in 2018, the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength, showing off a buttery guitar solo of his own during his widely popular COLORS performance, as well as dropping his acclaimed ‘Rage of Angels’ EP last year.

Out November 19, his debut album ‘Beautiful Disaster’ promises to marry an eclectic range of sounds, from alt-rock and trap, to melodic pop and new-age R&B, establishing a unique identity for himself which intersects each of these genres and beyond. As someone who looked to the likes of Jimi Hendrix for guitar-shredding inspiration growing up, Santino hopes to encourage a new generation of young black children to learn the instrument while showing that there are no genre constraints when it comes to making music. With his own childhood in mind, Santino sat down with Dummy to discuss his ten favourite guitar solos of all time.

1. Jimi Hendrix – ‘Little Wing’ (Live at Winterland 10/12/1968, 2nd Show)
“Me and my dad used to listen to this driving to my grandma’s, specifically this live version of the song which is one of the first Jimi Hendrix songs I ever listened to.”
2. Funkadelic – ‘Maggot Brain’
“I found this solo the first time I smoked weed as a teenager, once you listen to it you’ll understand why it has made this list.”
3. Bullet For My Valentine – ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)’
“Bullet For My Valentine are one of my favourite childhood bands. They have so many amazing solos that it was hard to choose but I chose one that I think is different from all the other ones on this list and also one of my favourite songs of theirs.”
4. Slipknot – ‘Sulfur’
“Another one of my favourite childhood bands, this is one of my favourite solos of all time, it’s the tone of the guitar and the phrasing for me.”
5. Avenged Sevenfold – ‘Nightmare’
“I remember trying to play this solo aged twelve or thirteen in school assembly with my band thinking I was killing it haha, I most definitely wasn’t but it was one of the first metal solos I tried to learn.”
6. Jeff Beck – ‘Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers’
“For 5 minutes and 42 seconds you will go to heaven.”
7. Eagles – ‘Hotel California’ (Frank Ocean ‘American Wedding’ Version)
“This solo is super cinematic and I’ve loved this song forever. When I heard Frank Ocean’s cover ‘American Wedding’ I fell in love with the song again and even more with the solo.”
8. Guns N’ Roses – ‘November Rain’
“This was the first full solo I ever learnt playing guitar. I learnt most of my solos by listening to the track, watching YouTube tutorials or going on Ultimate Guitar.”
9. Santino Le Saint – ‘Love, Drugs, Anarchy’
“Two of the boys and brothers I made the album with, Benji and Thomas Totten, are two of the best guitarists I’ve ever met. It was only right for me to give them space on the album to do the craziest solo ever.”
10. Nirvana – ‘Come As You Are’
“I love the simplicity of this solo and the tone of this guitar.”

Stream ‘Love, Drugs, Anarchy’ by Santino Le Saint below:

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