Meïa Santiago copes with an age-old irresistible urge in her romantic new single I Can’t Stay Away From You — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Produced by Prince’s former music director and keyboardist Morris Hayes, the Spanish singer’s latest song tells the full arc of a love story. Blending pop, jazz, and Latin with yearning lyrics, Santiago infuses each note with sensuality, infatuation, and heartbreak.
Meïa found inspiration from a relationship that bloomed and ended in the middle of the pandemic. As a Spaniard living in New York City, she was particularly vulnerable — being far away from home, friends, and even sense of self. Despite love lost, Meïa’s lyrics center hope:
“Through the open window I hear
Three little birds singing
To make a new start
Sweet love bring me your wings
So I can fly away.”
And in the midst of darkness, she rekindled another love: her love of music. Santiago and Hayes, Prince’s collaborator for 15 years, began working together in 2022 and have since brought together a breadth of talent from Spain and the U.S. Working almost entirely remotely, they found a rhythm sharing sketches and demos until they landed on the special composition for I Can’t Stay Away From You. Meïa co-wrote the lyrics with Hayes and Grammy-nominated songwriter Elsten Torres.
The band is made of international prestigious musicians as Shelby J (backing vocalist for Prince for almost 10 years, D’Angelo, NPG), Chris Bailey (drummer for Chaka Khan, Britney Spears, NPG), Malcolm Joseph (bass player for Grace Jones, Neneh Cherry, Massive Attack) and David Pastor (trumpet player for Celia Cruz, Santiago Auserón, Presuntos Implicados), among others. The resulting song combines their wide-ranging musical backgrounds to create a wholly unique production, fluctuating between passionate intensity and sleek coolness.
Santiago notes, “My work has always explored femininity and sensuality, but I Can’t Stay Away From You goes deeper. Aphrodite is the muse — acting as a guide for my lyrics and musical approach. I am eager to write music about love and passion through the lens of the feminine, highlighting the unique power women have in their bodies and emotions.”
The accompanying video for I Can’t Stay Away From You was directed by Blake Davis, who also shot the single cover. Davis and Santiago were looking for a retro aesthetic, that could visually translate into images the nostalgia and the sensuality of the music. The clip was shot at Blake’s DreamTone NYC studio.