Matthew Santos certainly isn’t short of high-profile endorsees. Rihanna’s a fan, along with Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, John Legend and Eddie Vedder. And all of these stars have the same thing to say - this man has an incredible voice.
It’s a voice that was originally unleashed upon the world via Lupe Fiasco’s platinum-selling 2007 hit “Superstar”, which featured Santos on lead vocals. The success of the song led to a string of amazing experiences, including appearances on David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen, performances at Lollapalooza, Coachella and Glastonbury and two Grammy nominations. Santos toured the world, mingled with the stars, and began to make a serious name for himself.
But long-term success in the music industry is never as simple as it seems from the outside. “People think that I must have made it from [Superstar] alone,” says Santos, “but ultimately I didn’t get a piece of that pie”. Undeterred, however, the singer-songwriter set about establishing himself as an artist in his own right, releasing two solo records between 2010 and 2012 and touring North America and Europe, building a cult following one show at a time.
Santos’ soulful, indie rock sound - bolstered at live gigs by the canny use of effects pedals, beat-boxing and looping - has invited comparisons to Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver and Paolo Nutini, and his latest record Into The Further represents the Chicago artist at his absolute best.
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