Out Take: Sandro Morales-Santoro

Sandro Morales-Santoro


Web: sandromorales.com

Contact: [email protected]

Most Recent: Kold x Windy, Restaurants at the Edge of the World

Sandro Morales-Santoro is an award-winning composer as well as a part of the executive committee of the Composers Diversity Collective to help connect composers of color with opportunities to advance their careers. He recently worked on WeTV’s Kold x Windy, pulling inspiration from hip-hop and drill music, and National Geographic/Disney+’s Restaurants at the Edge of The World, his second collaboration with co-composer David Benjamin Steinberg and director Jeremy Simmons.

His musical background includes popular and folk influences from his native Venezuela, an education in classical music, as well as interests in jazz and electronic music. “When I started as a composer in L.A., I was afraid of bringing too much of my cultural background into my music,” he says. “There have been a few times when I was interviewing for a composing job, and they said, ‘So all you can write is Latin music?’ I wanted to prove I could do music that wasn’t necessarily representative of where I come from, and when you start out, you’re trying to just imitate what the greats are doing. With time, I’ve learned to accept and embrace who I am, not care so much and try to bring those elements into my music.” 

Morales-Santoro says he loves the challenge of working on a variety of different projects, from animated film to documentaries. “The work is unexpected. I constantly need to evolve my sound, learn new instruments, new sound libraries. Having to face that and figuring out how to define a project’s concept through music, work with the director―I love those challenges.” 

Morales-Santoro advises aspiring composers to remember the old adage: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. In the beginning, I always felt in a rush, worried about things happening fast enough, but you have to take it one step at a time,” he says. “You have to network, you have to work on your craft, and then you have to work on your voice, which is what sets you apart from the rest and makes people interested in hiring you over someone else.”