Singer/songwriter Matthew Santos has his fingers in a lot of musical pies.
He's the featured singer on rapper Lupe Fiasco's top 10 hit "Superstar." He's performed at Lollapalooza, Vegoose, Coachella, Bumbershoot and SummerFest festivals and did a few shows at South by Southwest in Austin. He's toured with Gym Class Heroes and has played with such diverse artists as the Roots, Bob Schneider and Josh Kelley.
Some would call Santos a musical chameleon. But he prefers to call himself a musician, although his first artistic dream was to become a visual artist.
"I was at a crossroads in my life," said Santos, during a phone call from Seattle, Wash. "Music was my hobby and art was my main focus, but I decided to study music composition at Columbia College in Chicago a few years ago. And it was there that I met most of the people who have helped me in my musical career."
Still, the choice of studying music was probably
spawned when he heard the Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones soundtrack to the Daniel Day-Lewis film "The Last of the Mohicans."
"The music just touched my soul," he said. "I was very young. But the music was amazing to me."
In 2004, Santos released his debut solo album, "Change Is Better." It was followed up last year with "Matters of the Bittersweet."
"The difference between the two CDs is the fact that 'Matters of the Bittersweet' was recorded live," he said. "The songs were live versions of what I had going at the time. I recorded it in my basement with my band. We did one or two takes of each song and that was it. At the same time we recorded the CD, we filmed videos that can be seen on YouTube.
"It was enjoyable, but also a bit challenging, because recording everyone live leaves a lot of chances for something to go wrong."
As for appearing on Fiasco's "Superstar," Santos said it was a natural thing.
"Lupe and I have known each other for a while," he said. "We met in Chicago and have been good friends ever since.
"Anyway, I didn't expect the song to be this big," he said. "It was a nice surprise.
If you go
What: Matthew Santos
Where: Ogden Amphitheater
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (coincides with the Ogden Marathon)
How much: $10
Phone: 801-626-8500 or 800-978-8457
E-mail: [email protected]