From: Ciudad Jardín Lomas del Palomar, Argentina. LA Opera: Dracula (2024, debut).
A two-time Oscar-winning multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and composer, Gustavo Santaolalla is recognized as one of the most highly acclaimed and prolific contemporary Argentine musicians in the world. In the mid-nineties, Santaolalla created his own record label Surco and has produced more than 100 albums by some of Latin America’s most relevant alternative musicians, including Café Tacvba, Julieta Venegas, Molotov, Los Prisioneros, Juana Molina, Bajofondo, Los Tigres del Norte and Juanes establishing him as one of the fundamental pillars of the history of the movement known as Rock en Español. In 2020, he produced Break It All (Rompan Todo), Netflix’s mini-series about the history of rock in Latin America. Santaolalla has won two Grammys and 19 Latin Grammys.
In 2000, Santaolalla began composing for television and film. He has written music for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful, Walter Salles’ Motorcycle Diaries and On the Road, and Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, for which he received his first Oscar for Best Original Score and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, “A Love That Will Never Grow Old,” co-written with Bernie Taupin. The following year, Santaolalla received his second Oscar for Best Original Score for Babel. He went on to work on television series such as Jane the Virgin, Hell on Wheels, Narcos: México and The House. Music from his solo album Ronroco has been used in Michael Mann’s The Insider and the HBO series Deadwood. In 2014, Santaolalla composed for the successful and award-winning film The Book of Life, not only the score, but also original songs with the iconic Paul Williams. He collaborated again with Williams along with Gary Clark, Jr. in Freak Power: The Ballot of the Bomb, a documentary inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s run for sheriff of Pitkin County. In 2018, Santaolalla was chosen by Eric Clapton to score his autobiographical documentary Life in 12 Bars. In 2019, Santaolalla was invited by Clapton to perform at the Crossroads Guitar Festival alongside artists such as Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, Vince Gil, John Mayer and Clapton himself.
In 2013, for the first time in his career, Santaolalla submerged himself into the gaming world and created the music for a video game. The Last of Us, developed by Naughty Dog and created and directed by Neil Druckmann for Sony PlayStation, won more than 200 awards, including BAFTA's Game of the Year, becoming one of the most successful video games in history. Following the release of the much-anticipated sequel The Last of Us II in 2020, Santaolalla was invited by Druckmann to score the HBO series based on the beloved video game. With Druckmann and Craig Mazin at the helm of the series, The Last of Us was released in January 2023 and has received outstanding reviews from television critics and gamers alike. Santaolalla received his second Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) and the series won eight Emmys overall for its first season.