AHAA Annual Conference | Romeo Santos
Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más Presents A Conversation With Romeo Santos
Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más presents an enlightening conversation
with Romeo Santos, former member of the multiplatinum bachata super
group Aventura. Balancing dual languages and cultures, Romeo continues
to effectively amplify his voice and brand within multicultural
audiences, breaking records and topping Anglo and Latin charts across
the country. Now in his solo career, Romeo will discuss the Hispanic
Millennial universe and share his journey to success from a personal and
Jose Tillan, GM & EVP of Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más
While most 13 year-old boys were out chasing girls and shooting hoops, Romeo opted to stay home, penning his first songs. It is well known that Romeo’s idol in bachata is Antony “El Mayimbe” Santos. However, his fascination with the art of the popular song commenced when he discovered the likes of Camilo Sesto, Manuel Alejandro, Juan Gabriel, Omar Alfano, and – of course – Juan Luis Guerra. Most people focus on the artist, but Romeo always wanted to know who wrote the song. His blossoming love affair with songwriting was only the beginning of a journey he had barely envisioned. As fate would have it, Romeo soon joined his church choir with his cousin Henry. Shortly thereafter, Romeo and Henry would meet their destiny and join Lenny and Mikey to form Aventura. From inception, Romeo wrote (arranged and produced in collaboration with Lenny) Aventura’s songs, recording only one cover (“Gone” as contained on We Broke The Rules) throughout the group’s amazing trajectory. A string of hits – “Obsesion,” “Cuando volveras,” “Todavia me amas,” “Hermanita,” “La boda,” “Un beso,” “Mi corazoncito,” “Los infieles,” “El perdedor,” “Por un Segundo,” “Su veneno,” “Dile al amor,” “El malo,” to name a few – were Aventura’s catalyst to stardom. Romeo has been almost fanatic about releasing original material and was almost disappointed when his incredibly soulful rendition of “Lagrimas” – recorded for a TV tribute to Jose Jose, went viral overnight.
However, this is not the story of Aventura; this is the story of Romeo and another “aventura” that has just begun.
When fans look at Romeo today, they see a charismatic and natural artist whose formidable showmanship captivates his audience and whose suave sensuality has enslaved hearts around the world. This, however, has not always been the case. It is hard to believe that as recent as 3 or 4 years following Aventura’s debut, Romeo was a shy boy, afraid to show an ounce of emotion. Through his music and with the help of his fans and friends, Romeo was able to shed his skin and release the tiger within. Today Romeo owns the stage as well as the “skin he is in.“ His confidence, humor and intense connection with his fans are what keep drawing them back to him.
Romeo wears multiple hats - producer, composer, vocalist - the sky is the limit. He is, above all, a master wordsmith, whose colorful palette of metaphors paints vivid portraits of love, passion, anger, and jealousy; he possesses a profound ability to tap into the human psyche, captivating the tough young audience, even when he turns to serious themes such as domestic violence. Romeo’s unquestionable creative flow has made him an icon in the music industry with multiple awards separate and apart from the myriad of honors bestowed upon Aventura for nearly a decade. Almost every year since 2005, Romeo has won awards in one or more categories at ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors & Publishers.) and Billboard. By late 2002 Romeo’s Megahit, OBSESION as performed by Aventura, had traveled the world – Latin America, Asia and Europe, including Israel, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, to name a few. There was a preponderance of cover recordings of “Obsesion,” including one by Third Wish, a band based in Germany. At one point in 2004, Obsesion by Aventura was #1 and the Third Wish version #2. In 2006, after Frankie J had covered Obsesion and the song was #1 on mainstream charts for nearly 22 weeks, Romeo took the ASCAP Song of The Year in tropical music and another in the American market in Pop – the first time a Hispanic writer had won an ASCAP award in the American market. In 2007, Romeo took the Billboard Composer of the Year Award over legendary writers such as Marco Antonio Solis and Joan Sebastian. In 2010 Anthony took ASCAP Composer of The Year with. He has also penned hits for artists such as Wisin & Yandel (“Noche de sexo”), Thalia (“No no no”), El Torito (“Me voy” aka “El anillo”) and Anthony “El Mayimbe” Santos (“Matame”).
It is well-known to insiders that Romeo will not write songs for just anyone. He has been extremely selective, as he believes there must be a visceral connection between himself and the artist he is writing for. As a matter of fact, a defining factor in Romeo’s career is his continuing quest for exclusivity and privacy in general.
Today Romeo embarks on his journey as a solo artist with his debut solo album, entitled “Formula,” slated to release in fall, 2011. The artist has chosen an eclectic mix of Bachata, R&B, Ballads - up tempo and fusion to delight his fans. With all of the Bachata tracks to be written, arranged and produced by Romeo himself, he has invited selected A-list producer to collaborate in the Anglo tracks – just about anything can be expected. Romeo’s wild ride has just begun.