MONAKR is an ethereal deep-pop group formed by Grammy-nominated artist Matthew Santos (featured vocalist on Lupe Fiasco’s Superstar) and Saam Hagshenas and Jonathan Marks, formerly of indie band Hey Champ. Having tried to collaborate for years, the timing and music came together in 2015 with Diamond, a song written by Hagshenas after he lost a family member. Santos added his incredible vocals to the track, and the result led the two to decide this collaboration should live beyond a single song.
The sound of MONAKR has echoes of Hey Champ’s synth-laden pop but with the heart-wrenching gravitas that only Santos’ voice could provide. Working with producer Dan Brunelle (Gemini Club) they crafted a wonderfully received EP, Calling Out. Calling Out featured 2 resoundingly loved songs - Diamond and the eponymous track, which charted Top 20 on Spotify's Global Viral Hits Chart. Consequence of Sound called Diamond "a radiant and uplifting gem, full of glimmering synths and equally polished hooks”; and Beautiful Buzzz commented that "This is pop perfection". The record was also picked up for much of Eastern Europe by culture-defining label Embassy of Music.
After selling out their debut show, MONAKR played a series of shows and festivals including Mamby on the Beach, CRSSD Fest, and a packed appearance at 2016's NY Fashion Week finale as guests of Hudson Jeans. Their gorgeous cover of Massive Attacks's celebrated song Teardrop was also recently released (and featured in the Jennifer Lopez drama Shades of Blue on NBC. The band is currently finishing their follow-up EP, entitled Dos. Slated for August 2017 release, the lead track is Ophelia, a song that is rooted in Shakespearean drama. The accompanying video was shot by Nick Cavalier and features acclaimed dancer Tracy Lynn.