Aventura is one of the most unique artists on the scene today. After well over a decade of sparring in the music business, these four young, dynamic guys with a seldom-seen chemistry continue to auto-produce soulful, original music that gleams with excellence. Their nouveau sound fuses bachata (a guitar-based Dominican folkloric music sometimes called the "Dominican blues") with R & B, hip hop and other American pop and urban styles. Lead singer and songwriter Anthony "Romeo" Santos' original songs are often deep, dealing with social issues. Even when they tackle timeless themes, such as romance and heartbreak, Romeo's approach always comes from a different angle.
Because the Santos boys are so young, it seems incredible that they struggled for eight years before exploding on the scene in the summer of 2002. Bachata's conservative base was not accepting of their signature sound; for years the traditional audience either "booed" them off the stage or refused to acknowledge them. After all, on a scene dominated by traditionalist stars such as Anthony "El Mayimbe" Santos and rising romantic minstrels such as ZacarÃas Ferreira, Aventura's music was truly radical.
However, in summer of 2002, the song "Obsesion" hit the airwaves and "Aventura-mania" was born. Loyal fans from the group's Bronx neighborhood ran with the innovative sounds of their local band, and the fanaticism soon spread across the tri-state area, into the Northeast and across the country.
If Aventura fever in the US and Latin America is a phenomena, the band's impact in Europe has been utterly astounding. For 16 straight weeks the single "Obsesion" charted number 1 in Italy; the album We Broke The Rules topped the charts for months as well. From there Aventura charted number one in Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, Romania among others. In France, 20 days after release 400,000 singles had been distributed with 139,000 CDs. In Germany, "Obsesion" by Aventura held the number one spot with more than 200,000 CDs sold, while a cover version of "Obsesion" by German pop group Third Wish, held the number two position. The song spread through Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Israel, to name a few. "Obsesion" had penetrated the mainstream European market to the point that the "Smurfs" in Germany and Spain have created a parody of the song for inclusion in a future "Smurfs" record release.
In April, 2005 Aventura released GOD'S PROJECT, its 4th studio production. It continues to be one of Sony's most important sellers having sold in excess of 500,000; it remains number one in sales on the Billboard Tropical Chart and in the top ten in Latin Albums; it continues to chart in Billboard General Heatseekers in the top 15. This album is a successful experiment in blending world cultures, hip hop, R & B and bachata - it features UN CHI CHI which contains a sample of an Indian pop song performed by the Queen of Bollywood, Asha Bhosle; UN BESO which is flamenco-bachata; Yuly Terrero of Goodfellas Enterprise produced an urban style video for UN BESO as well as for ELLA Y YO a reggaeton-bachata featuring the performances of Don Omar. Dominican producer great Juan Basanta produced a mini-movie video for the hit single, LA BODA.
On March 10th, Aventura sold out again - this time at the Madison Square Garden Theater; the concert was recorded and is yet unreleased. On March 25th the group sold out once again at Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, one of the most revered ampitheatres in the hemisphere. Selections from this landmark event have been released on KOB Live and in the DVD package containing the hit Dominican film, Sanky Panky.
Aventura's fifth album KOB Live (Kings of Bachata) was released on 12/19/2006 and has sold 460,000 units as of May, 2008. The album is an elegant three disc project - two audio discs (containing 5 new studio songs, the best-of international performances and comedic skits by Aventura's members) and a video component with excerpts from the sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden and Altos de Chavon (La Romana, Dominican Republic) as well as the studio video "Los infieles" directed by Jessy Terrero and a pot-pourri of B-roll footage to delight fans). KOB features a number of industry personalities including Don Omar, a Miri Ben-Ari (The Hip Hop Violinist who has performed with artists such as Alicia Keyes, JayZ and many others) and Luis Jimenez from El Vacilon de la MaÃ±ana, to name a few. The lead single, "Los infieles" hit number one across the country, soon to enjoy similar success in Europe where it debuts on 12/19 as well. The second single, "Mi corazoncito" had a more significant impact; it won multi awards at Premio lo Nuestro, Billboard Latin Awards, Premio La Juventud, Monitor Latino and received an ASCAP Award for Song of the year.
On September 1, 2007 Aventura performed at the Madison Square Garden Arena. The show featured a number of guests artists including El Torito, Don Omar, Miri Ben-Ari, Olga TaÃ±on, Wisin & Yandel and Anthony Santos "El Mayimbe." The DVD, released on 11/13/07, has sold close to 400,000 units, unprecedented for a tropical DVD containing no new material.
In September, 2008 Aventura performed once again at the Madison Square Garden Arena together with mega-stars Marc Anthony and Alejandro Fernandez and capped off their fall program on a multi-city tour with Enrique Iglesias. The tickets recently went on sale for Aventura's long-awaited Puerto Rican December 5th concert at El Coliseo, a 16,000 capacity venue. Within hours the date was sold out. Aventura beat the previous record held by the Rolling Stones - they sold 8,000. Eventually, the single concert became 5 dates at the Coliseo, all sold out.
On June 9th, 2009, under the auspices of Premium Latin Music/Sony BMG, The Last, Aventura's 5th studio album, debuted at #5 on Billboard 200 and #1 across the board on Latin Charts, selling more than 47,000 units according to soundscan. The group participated in 10 In Stores across the country - New York, Miami, Canovanas & San Juan, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Bronx, NY, Boston and Washington. With 3,000 plus fans in attendance at each in store, the tour was a success of historic proportions - a phenomena.
Since the year 2003, Aventura has been a consistent award winner. However, 2008 was unprecedented because Aventura had not released a studio album since God's Project in 2005. At Premium lo Nuestro 2008 the group took four awards: Album of the Year (KOB Live), Duo or Group, Song of the Year ("Mi corazoncito"), Tropical Artist. "Mi corazoncito" took Song of the Year and Tropical Airplay at the Billboard Awards. The band has been nominated in four categories for Premio la Juventud 2008: Voice of the Moment, Favorite Concert (KOB Live), Best Tropical Artist, Favorite Ringtone ("Un beso").
The members of Aventura are Romeo (lead singer and featured composer), Lenny Santos (musical producer and guitarist), Max "Mikey" Santos (bassist and rap artist) and Henry Santos Jeter (singer and composer).
Romeo, lead singer and featured composer, was born on June 21st, 1981 in the Bronx, New York to a Puerto Rican mother and a Dominican father. At twelve years of age Romeo became a member of the church choir. Around the same time, he commenced his love affair with Bachata, long before the style became so explosively popular. A natural songwriter, Anthony's early compositions were steeped in the tradition of legendary artists such as Blas Duran. Undoubtedly Romeo's sweet, soulful voice has played a key role in the group's success. However, Romeo's songwriting is exemplary - progressive, poetic and down-to-earth; he is a Bronx version of Juan Luis Guerra. Spinning tales of the tough reality of growing up in the concrete jungle, Anthony's tunes captivate audiences from all walks of life, young and old. In 2006, Anthony took an ASCAP award in tropical music for his megahit song "OBSESION" and another yet in the American market in Pop - the first time a Hispanic writer has won an ASCAP award in the American market. In 2007, Romeo took the Billboard Composer of the Year Award over such legendary writers as Marco Antonio Solis and Joan Sebastian. In 2008 he was nominated once again in this prestigious category. Frankie J's cover version of "Obsesion" was #1 across the country in all markets for 22 weeks; this recording earned Romeo ASCAP awards in Latin and Pop. He has also penned hits for artists such as Wisin & Yandel ("Noche de sexo"), Thalia ("No no no"), El Torito ("Me voy") and Anthony "El Mayimbe" Santos ("Matame").
Lenny Santos is the group's guitarist and musical producer/arranger. Born in the Bronx, New York on October 24th, 1979 Lenny fell in love with music at age 15. Like most kids his age, his music of choice was hip hop. However, with Dominican parents, Bachata was a permanent household staple - the soulful twang of the "requinto" always in the background, day and night. It was only logical that Lenny would experiment by blending his two favorite musical styles - bachata and hip hop. It is Lenny who created unique the Aventura sound; his excellence and creativity as producer are evident from the first bar of any tune on Aventura's albums. Lenny's approach to bachata has been imitated by young, aspiring guitarists, as well as professionals who have added elements of his signature style to their own productions. Lenny is an active musical producer in his own right, having signed and produced his own group "Huellas de tiempo;" he is also the musical producer for Sony artist "Optima" among others.
Max "Mikey" Agende Santos, the band's bass player, was born in 1982 in the South Bronx. He started playing at 12 years of age, borrowing a bass at school. At home he collaborated with his brother Lenny experimenting with rhythms in duo, bass and guitar. Max was always a rock lover and thus brings elements of rock into Aventura's sound. Max is also an excellent rap artist and is featured on the album LOVE & HATE on a track entitled "Don't Waste My Time" and with Nina Sky on the GOD'S PROJECT track "You're Lying." Mikey and Lenny have prepared a solo hip hop project and hope to arrange for its release later this year.
Henry Santos Jeter, singer and composer, was born on September 15, 1979 in Moca, Dominican Republic. As a youngster Henry was already a diehard music fanatic. He moved with his family to New York at age 14, where he continued to develop his musical skills. He subsequently joined a band called Los Teenagers with his cousin Anthony, a group which later morphed into Aventura. Henry is the group's comedian, delighting the audience with spontaneous antics on stage. He is also a hard working business person with a myriad of creative projects on the front burner, including an excellent bachata group, The Hustleheartz aka Los Robacorazones.