Instrumental Insight • Spanish Diego

Photo by Robby Beckman [L: Spanish Diego, R: Sterling Hayes]

Photo by Robby Beckman [L: Spanish Diego, R: Sterling Hayes]


Age: 21 • Neighborhood: Hyde Park • Follow: Twitter // SoundCloud


When I first heard of Spanish Diego, it was after he had produced a song for Sterling Hayes. The track was “A Minute” and it dropped during the autumn of 2014. At the time, it was pitched as the first single for Hayes' debut EP, BIGshorty, an EP that would never see the light of day. Sixteen months later and plans have changed. 

Now, Spanish Diego continues to work very closely with SaveMoney cadet Sterling Hayes on his debut full-length, Antidepressant. The EP BIGshorty never dropped and Hayes spent 2015 evolving his ideas into a proper album. According to the production credits in the tracklisting (which you can find here), Spanish Diego will be handling thirteen of the sixteen instrumentals. Cohesion, chemistry, call it what you will, but the four songs that we have already heard between Diego and Hayes are undeniably effective. Some of the songs will feature production from Diego strictly on his own (like “A Minute”), while others he is credited alongside Chicago LPeezy studio fiends like Peter Cottontale, Knox Fortune, Carter Lang, and Papi Beatz (like “OTS”).  

Although Diego has little to his name outside of his work with Sterling Hayes (including one track with Taylor Bennett), the self-proclaimed "SaveMoney Space Cowboy" sent me some of the strongest beats for W3NDCH3LL, a Chicago instrumental compilation that I curated last summer. His submissions were so strong, in fact, that we ended up selecting two of the eight songs that he sent me. Since we only chose one song per person, we had to combine Diego's submissions into one track. I couldn't pick just one. 

Not much else is to be said on Spanish Diego. He hasn't spent much time in the spotlight yet, but his time is coming. While Spanish Diego is not yet a household name, as Sterling Hayes preps Antidepressant, hopefully dropping sooner than later, Diego is seconds away from being a much larger name in the Chicago scene and beyond. If his 'essential listens' playlist (included here) is any consideration, he certainly deserves it.