His family, his country, his culture: they all drove Altur Santos to become a musician. 


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His mother was a renowned trumpet player, and the Dominican Republic-born Santos followed in her footsteps, becoming a professional saxophone player by the age of 14. 

“They used to sneak me in places at the back because I wasn’t old enough to play in the clubs,” he says. “I was in the studio recording saxophone for other bands. My friends and I would go outside and serenade people. That’s how it all started.”

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Altur, who became one of the most sought-after saxophone players in the Dominican Republic, would lend his saxophone playing to prominent artists including Amarfis, Omega, Sin Fronteras and more. He has since expanded his musical horizons and is now making a name for himself as a solo reggaeton artist, songwriter and producer. His new single, “Vice Versa,” released on April 12th, is a fitting introduction. 

“It’s that sound you can play at the club or jam with in the car or at your house,” he says. “It’s about a girl who likes to play games and even when I know she’s playing games and I know what she’s doing and I think I’ve got her figured out, she’s always three or four steps ahead of me. She’s making me believe, to get what she wants from me.”

“I’m bringing saxophone into my songs, and the way I perform, my delivery, my way of writing and saying things, even the way I look––that’s what makes me unique,” he says. “It’s the energy I bring to the table, the energy I bring into the room.”

Altur grew up without a father in his life, and when his mother got into bad habits, he and his three little brothers went to live with his grandmother, and Santos would give money he earned with his saxophone to her to help buy food for the family. 

“It’s hard in the Dominican because it’s a Third World country and the work and the jobs you can get, it’s not so much,” he says. “It was just us and we had to figure it out ourselves.”

Altur eventually put together a small home studio and started recording himself and other local artists, while also helping write music and lyrics for other musicians. But when his mother passed away when he was 21, he stopped making music completely. 

“I didn’t want to make more music, I didn’t want to play more saxophone,” he says. “When she passed away, she was the musician, the one who brought this into me and now she’s not here. It didn’t make sense to me to be playing music.”

Then a girl came into his life, and Santos transitioned to Canada. Music came back into his life. He released his first track, and then got a call from his current manager. 

“He said he wanted to sign me,” Santos says. “I came to Toronto and I remember having a moment telling him about my life and we cried in the car. He told me I promise you I’ve got your back for the rest of my life and you’re going to be big.”

A few years later, he dropped the single “SIN DUDAS” last fall, and it’s already garnered more than a quarter of a million plays. He plans to release a few more this year after “Vice Versa” and then release an EP project. 

“My sound is constantly changing and getting better, even the writing,” he says. “I’m always adapting my vocals but keeping the essence that is my sound. It’s always getting better.”

Each of his three brothers has sought a career in music, as well. One of them is a composer who is also Altur’s primary songwriting partner. 

“I’ve mentored him since we were kids, and now he’s the only writer that I have,” Altur says. “We didn’t try to do it, it all just fell into place and now we’re all musicians.”

Follow Altur Santos on all platforms for new music, videos and social posts. 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ60qD8ZnENwtXJQAY0qODw 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/022RWmmEi2RWjL5RsOPOqR?si=WQcv6iXsTDmo5xwQbZGqJQ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/altursantos 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/altursantos/?hl=en 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/altursantos 

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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