Carlos Santana, Musical Legend
Carlos Santana is a Mexican-American artist who rose to fame in the in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His band, Santana, brought something entirely new to the American music scene – a combination of traditional Latin music and rock music. Though is career has seen several rises and dips over the decades, he is still a force for innovation. Carlos Santana is, and always will be, one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Santana, the Man and the Band
Carlos Santana came from Mexico, born in the town of Autlan de Navarro in 1947. He showed great musical talent from the start, learning the violin when only five years old, and picking up the guitar when only eight. When he was young, Carlos heard the music of Richie Valens, and was inspired to become a musician himself, at a time when few Latinos were involved in the world of American popular music.
Eventually, the Santana family moved north, first to Tijuana, then San Francisco. After graduation from high school, Carlos decided to pursue a musical career, despite being accepted to more than one university. There were many amazing opportunities for a musician in San Francisco in the late 1960s, and Carlos Santana wanted to talk advantages of them.
Many of Carlos’s idols would play in San Francisco, such as B.B. King, and the profusion of hippie culture gave him the chance to add folk music and jazz to his influences. Still, it would be a few years before he made a big break. He made a living as a dishwasher and supplemented his income by busking on the side. After some years of this, he decided to really try to become a full-time musician.
His big break, when it came, came mostly by accident. Santana was attending a show as a spectator, but the main attraction was too drunk to perform. The show’s promoter, Bill Graham, quickly assembled a band, but they still lacked a guitarist. Santana’s manager suggested the young Carlos Santana, and his playing impressed everyone who heard it.
Carlos Santana formed a band of his own, which decided to call itself after its leader, Santana, and they immediately became very popular in San Francisco. The band’s performance at Woodstock in 1969 attracted the attention of Columbia Records, and Santana signed a contract to make recordings under that label.
Though the band was wildly successful, it seemed to have trouble holding on to members. The roster would change frequently through the 1970s and 1980s, until Santana finally left Columbia Records in 1990. Santana went without a contract for a while until the same man that had offered him his first contract with Columbia offered him another deal, now with Arista Records. From this came the album Supernatural, featuring Santana with a number of the best up and coming young artists, as well as some old favorites, like Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Matchbox 20, Wyclef Jean, and Cee-Lo, among many others. Supernatural would go on to sell more than 15 million copies, making it his biggest success thus far, earning him personally eight Grammy Awards.
Carlos Santana Fragrances
To make the most of his resurge in fame, Victory International offered Carlos Santana a chance to produce fragrances in his name. Out of this proposal came two fragrances, one for men, one for women, both launching in 2005.
Carlos Santana for Men has woody overtones, with touches of spice and fruit. Its notes include musk, cedar, cypress, sandalwood, cinnamon, leather, tonka bean, benzoin, apple, vanilla, bergamot, amber, and patchouli.
The women’s fragrance (Carlos Santana for Women) is much more feminine and floral, with a twist of oriental fragrance. This perfume has notes of Japanese plum, cassia, freesia, iris, lily, coconut, dark chocolate, neroli, and pear.
More than the Music
New generations can still hear the music of Santana. It is so unique and so iconic, that no one could ever replace him. He was even featured as a playable character in the popular video game series Guitar Hero. In this game, he recorded a live version of “No One to Depend On”.
Santana also has a chain of restaurants called “Maria Maria” after one of the most popular songs in his comeback record Supernatural. With the collaboration of Chef Roberto Santibanez, he has opened a number of locations across the United States, including San Diego, California; Tempe, Arizona; Walnut Creek, California; Boca Raton, Florida;, and Austin, Texas, along with a few others.