Wágner dos Santos, a prodigious talent, found his way to the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in New York City at just seven years old. There, he honed his craft in classical piano, flute, violin, conducting, performance, and music theory.
The vibrant new wave and punk rock scene of the early eighties in New York City ignited Wágner’s passion for synth and electronic music composition. By fifteen, he had released his first single, and only two years later, his EP, “A Way of Life,” found considerable success on new wave radio stations and dance clubs. His work began to reverberate in new wave and goth club scenes across the country.
Soon after, Wágner set out to produce other artists, launching them via his first record label, Novus Records. In 1990, the BMG-distributed label, Imago Records, recognized his talent and assisted in catapulting his career. This platform led to collaborative opportunities with artists such as Henry Rollins and The Rollins Band, Baby Animals, Paula Cole, Aimee Mann, Love Spit Love, John Waite, Basehead, and Modern English.
Concurrent with his musical journey, Wágner became a trailblazer in online services, designing, building, and launching two popular online services that paved the way for competitors like AOL and the eventual public release of the Internet.
From Imago, he transitioned to one of the largest independent labels of the time, TVT Records. He produced an acclaimed compilation series of digitally remastered live performances from The Ed Sullivan Show under the 1001 Sundays imprint.
In 1994, Wágner joined Continuum Records as their Director of A&R, collaborating with Kid Rock, Ron Wood, The Charlie Watts Quintet, Bobby Womack, and Roger Daltrey.
His executive production of Ska: The Third Wave reached Billboard’s Top Reggae Albums chart, leading to a production deal with Shanachie Entertainment.
During his time at Imago Records and TVT Records, Wágner moonlighted as a recording artist and lead singer of two prominent NYC alt-rock bands: Buzz Prophets and Nerve. Despite his growing responsibilities in A&R, dos Santos’ dedication to performing remained strong, frequenting legendary venues such as CBGB, Webster Hall, The Bank, Brownie’s, and The Knitting Factory.
His career in A&R, however, inevitably took center stage over his band. This decision was influenced by a sage piece of advice from Kate Hyman, then VP of A&R, who warned him about the demanding nature of both careers.
The establishment of Beloved Entertainment Group saw the amalgamation of a mixed music catalog from its propriety imprints and a multitude of new releases set for distribution through the Blackheart Records label. However, the rise of digital downloads in the early 2000s prompted Wágner to pivot his career towards advertising and marketing.
With decades of marketing communications experience, dos Santos has successfully transitioned into a futurist, brand strategist, and student of social anthropology. Before starting Beloved Advertising, an award-winning agency working with global brands, he gained experience at such powerhouses as Sony Masterworks and later global agencies like Momentum Worldwide (IPG), GMR Marketing (Omnicom), and Havas Impact.
His successful campaigns have spanned a range of international brands such as Coca-Cola, Google, Dell, Target, Ford, Sprint, AT&T, Blackberry, Nextel, Lowe’s, Autograph Collection, and McDonald’s, among others. Dos Santos has hosted and produced various live streaming programs and podcasts, currently hosting Wagner Live with over 100 episodes under his belt. Dos Santos has also begun production planning for a second podcast that deals with socio-political issues with great candor and hot debates, Speaking Out With Wágner.
Dos Santos is the founder and president of WGNR, a global marketing agency. Recognized for his contributions to advertising and serving as past president of the American Advertising Federation-Orlando, dos Santos is also regularly featured in the Orlando Business Journal as both a subject of interested and contributing writer. He continues to share his expertise as a public speaker, photographer, vlogger, and musician.