Originally from Minneapolis, MN, two-time Grammy nominated Matthew Santos (MA/SA) began singing and songwriting when he was a young teenager. He later ventured to Chicago in 2001 to attend Columbia College for music composition and performance. Santos soon recorded his first full length album “Change Is Better” (2004) and follow up EP “As a Crow Flies” (2006) at the Attic Studios where he met a young and budding Lupe Fiasco. The two hit it off and went on to collaborate on many songs together, most notably the Grammy nominated hit “Superstar” (2008).
After touring North America with Rihanna, Kanye, and Pharrell Williams on the Glow in the Dark tour of 2008, performing at Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and appearing on Letterman, Kimmel, and Ellen, Santos stepped back from the pop lime light to focus on his own musical inclinations.
Before moving to LA after 16 years of living in Chicago, Santos recorded three more full-length, studio albums and became the front man of the deep-electro-pop band MONAKR. After the success of the first two singles “Diamond” and “Calling Out”, MONAKR signed to Berlin-based, indie record label Embassy of Music, landed a publishing deal at Songs Music Publishing (KOBALT), and released their debut EP “Calling Out” in 2015. Soon they were picked up by William Morris Agency and began touring the states extensively.
On screen, MONAKR's music earned placements in the Hollywood film “Love, Simon” and TV show “Shades of Blue.” In recent years, he has collaborated with Grammy-winning Daveed Diggs (from Hamilton, Blindspotting, Snowpiercer), Rafael Casal (from Blindspotting, Bad Education, The Good Lord Bird), NGHTMRE, and Saba Pivot, while touring with fellow Minneapolis native Dessa throughout Europe, China and North America.
Matthew's upcoming single "In My Breath" was recently placed in the BET show "Games People Play", and he has had music featured in the hit show "LEGO Masters", along with the feature-length film, "Berlin, I love You".
Currently independent, Santos is slated to release two upcoming EP's and various singles in 2022, while composing for film and TV. Upcoming scoring projects include the feature-length documentary "Beyond The Trees", and the short film "Kasama".
Santos recently placed two songs ("Lil' Drop" and "Too Late, Too Little") in the Netflix series "First Kill", and wrote two original songs for the series as well, including his upcoming single, "Give My Life For You".
“There’s something special, blissful and, yes, melancholic about Santos’ voice. Maybe even haunting.” -Chicago Tribune
“Such a beautiful voice” -John Legend
“If I had one word...it would be captivating.” -John Sebastian; Program Director, CBS Radio