Matthew Santos

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For the fictional character appearing on The West Wing, see Matt Santos.
Matthew Santos
Matthew Santos.jpg
Background information
Birth name Matthew Santos
Born (1982-12-28) December 28, 1982 (age 34)
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Genres Rock, folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, painter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2006–present
Labels 1st & 15th, Atlantic, Candy Rat
Associated acts Dessa, Lupe Fiasco

Matthew Santos is an American rock and folk singer-songwriter, musician and painter. His music was used in a series of two Radio ads, for American Family Insurance.[1] He became well known for his collaboration with Chicago native Lupe Fiasco on the single "Superstar." He was signed to Lupe Fiasco's 1st & 15th Entertainment record label, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.


Early years[edit]

Matthew Santos was born on December 28, 1982 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His mother, Judy, is from Denmark and his father, Dave, is of Filipino and Spanish descent.[2]

He graduated from Southwest High School in Minneapolis.[3] He moved to Chicago in 2001 to study music composition at Columbia College Chicago.[4]

Music career[edit]

Santos released his album Matters of the Bittersweet in November 2007, under indie-label Candyrat Records. Following the release of the album, he developed a following surrounding his video performances on YouTube.[5][6] His five-piece band includes Aviva Jaye (vocals, keyboard), Robert Tucker (drums), Graham Burris (bass), and Matthew Nelson (keyboard).[7][8]

In 2006, Santos was featured on Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor album on the song "American Terrorist."[9] Santos was featured on three additional tracks on Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, released in December 2007; "Superstar", "Streets On Fire", and "Fighters."[9][10] Santos joined Fiasco on his world tour in 2008, including appearances on MTV's TRL and Spring Break, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and a debut talk show performance on David Letterman's first live show after the 2007 Writer's Guild of America Strike.[11][12]

In 2007, Santos opened the mtvU Woodie Awards with Lupe Fiasco and performed at the 2008 mtv's Video Music Awards.[13] In addition, Santos performed at Glastonbury Festival, Bonnaroo Festival, the Las Vegas Vegoose Music Festival, Lollapalooza Chicago, South by Southwest, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Summerfest, and Chicago's Around the Coyote Arts Festival.

In 2009, Santos was featured in the single "Chaconne" by Twin Cities hip-hop artist Dessa, a member of Doomtree, from her album A Badly Broken Code. That summer, he was also featured in Chicago magazine as one of the city's top singles.[14]

In 2010, Santos released the album, "This Burning Ship of Fools."[15]

In 2012 Santos released his newest album, "Quickly Disappearing".



As a Crow Flies[edit]

As a Crow Flies is Santos' first solo EP, released in 2006.

# Title
1 My Remedy
2 Fill My Cup
3 Shadows In a Shoebox
4 O' Montreal
5 Masquerade
6 Unnamable

Matters of the Bittersweet[edit]

Matters of the Bittersweet is Santos' first solo album, released in November 2007 on Candyrat Records.

# Title
1 Shadows in a Shoebox
2 Uncertainties
3 Humming Bird
4 Love Sick Fool
5 Waiting for the Day
6 Daughter of the Sun
7 My Remedy
8 Old Man Winter
9 Unnameable
10 Drop a Coin
11 Lady Luna
12 Matters of the Bittersweet

This Burning Ship of Fools[edit]

This Burning Ship of Fools is Santos' second solo album, released May 28, 2010 on Love Sick Fool Records.

# Title
1 Daughter of the Sun
2 At My Table (ft. Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews)
3 You Will Be Saved
4 Wide Eyed Firefly
5 The Good Life (ft. Rachele Eve)
6 Break Free
7 Day of Our Day Dreaming
8 Drop A Coin
9 Born To Do
10 Time Still
11 December's Ghost
12 Death, Sex and Regret
13 Days Like This

Quickly Disappearing[edit]

Quickly Disappearing is Santos' third album, released January 31, 2012 on Candyrat Records.

# Title
1 Quickly Disappearing
3 Shallow Grave
4 Scarecrow
5 Burning Up
6 History of Ice
7 Dead Star Watching
8 Not Such a Big World
9 Swans Song
10 Just to See You


Featured singles[edit]

Year Song Chart positions[16] Album
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Pop 100 U.S. R&B UK UK R&B
2007 "Superstar" (Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos) 10 13 19 4 1 Lupe Fiasco's the Cool
2009 "Shining Down" (Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos) 93 Lasers

Guest appearances[edit]

Year Song Artist(s) Album
2006 "American Terrorist" Lupe Fiasco Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor
2007 "Superstar" Lupe Fiasco's The Cool
"Streets On Fire"
2009 "Shining Down" Lasers
2010 "The Chaconne" Dessa A Badly Broken Code


  1. ^ Matthew Santos' MySpace page. Accessed January 2, 2008.
  2. ^ Spanglish Magazine interview. Accessed March 25, 2008. Archived May 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Star Tribune interview (December 20, 2007). Accessed January 8, 2008.
  4. ^ MetroMix and The RedEye interview Accessed February 15, 2008.
  5. ^ Billboard Magazine interview (January 2, 2008). Accessed January 5, 2008. Archived September 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Singersroom article (November 28, 2007) Accessed January 9, 2008.
  7. ^ Staten Island Advance interview Accessed January 31, 2008.
  8. ^ Chicago Flame interview Accessed March 3, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Lansing Lowdown interview (December 5, 2007). Accessed January 8, 2008.
  10. ^ Washington Times interview (January 25, 2008). Accessed January 25, 2008,
  11. ^ Pitchfork Forkcast: Matthew Santos on David Letterman (January 3, 2007). Accessed January 9, 2008.
  12. ^ Columbia Chronicle interview (January 30, 2008). Accessed January 30, 2008.
  13. ^ The Michigan Daily interview (December 7, 2007). Accessed January 8, 2008.
  14. ^ Chicago magazine's top singles: Matthew Santos (June 2009). Accessed June 12, 2009.
  15. ^ On Matthew Santos and his new record “This Burning Ship of Fools” (March 2009). Accessed March 29, 2010.
  16. ^ Artist Chart History Billboard. Accessed March 7, 2008.

External links[edit]