I had the pleasure to interview J Matthew recently, and the artist shared about his music, his career aspirations and his hopes for the future.
|Photo credit: Courtesy of Sasha Stoltz Publicity|
J Matthew: I’m 25, born and raised in Scarborough, one of the six boroughs in Toronto, Ontario. I recently completed my undergrad at University. I’m looking forward to pursue my Master’s in September. Since a child, I had a passion for R&B music and had favorites like R. Kelly, Michael Jackson and Aaliyah. Everyday I continue to learn more about music and have become open to all genres and decades of music. I want to contribute to the evolution of music and create great hits that people will listen to forever.
Victoria West: Please tell us a bit about your music career and how did you start as a singer.
J Matthew: I’m currently working on my first album which will help promote me as an artist by allowing the public to listen to a good amount of music, I hope it will help generate feedback about the music they enjoy most from me and their overall opinion. Singing is something I’ve always enjoyed, but knew that if I wanted to pursue it professionally, I would need vocal lessons which I have begun taking continuously, about 2 years ago.
Victoria West: What were the challenges that you faced along the way on your music path?
J Matthew: One of the challenges I face is releasing an efficient amount of material that will allow new audiences to listen to my music. With only one song being out at the moment, there are people that may be curious to hear more and they are not given the chance. Also, more content would allow me to take up more space on social media sites like YouTube so that more people can become more familiar with me and my music.
The second challenge I face is vocal control. As I continue to develop my vocal skills, there are many things I hope to accomplish so I can use these same skills within my music to bring out stronger emotion, performance and creation.
Victoria West: When was the first time you knew that you wanted to sing?
J Matthew: I’ve always wanted to sing. Since I was a child, I would always imagine being on stage in front of thousands. It was a place where I felt happy and free.
Victoria West: You just released your debut single “Can’t Stop”, please tell us more about the song and the story behind it.
J Matthew: “Can’t Stop” was released to get public feedback about my project. We are working towards the song “The Sound of the Six” by developing a new distinctive sound of music that I can brand myself to, while at the same time acknowledging the current sounds used within the music listened to today.
Most people that have heard the song at first were those who helped create it, friends and family who were also surprised with the result. We felt it would be the best choice for a debut single because the song caters to a wide audience. The song reflects a person stuck in a memory with someone they’ve cared for and hoping they could get one more chance to make things better. The music video is available on YouTube.
Victoria West: You will be performing on the TDOT FEST stage at the Yonge and Dundas Square this September, what does it mean for your music career, what do you hope this event will bring you?
J Matthew: TDOT FEST will give me an opportunity to sing live in front of a diverse audience and promote my music. Yonge and Dundas Square is one of the most popular places in Downtown Toronto and TDOT FEST is one of their biggest annual events. I hope this event will bring me the opportunity to gain more performances and even one day have my own show.
Victoria West: Is this your first performance of this scale?
J Matthew: Yes.
Victoria West: Please tell us what are your projects for the near future, say the next 12 months.
J Matthew: We are planning to shoot another video in a few weeks and debut another release near the end of August. I plan to travel to New York to meet and hopefully work with some producers. The main project I will be working on is to complete the album and to have each song be of something we can all relate to or have experienced at some point in our life.
Victoria West: What inspires you as an artist?
J Matthew: The mystery of nature. Its sounds and visual environments are always changing. I often visualize my music as a seed that is beginning to grow until the final project is complete. By doing so, it helps to try and think of ways I could help make things sound better.
Victoria West: Where do you hope your music career will take you in the next 5 to 10 years?
J Matthew: I hope to become established in the music industry and continue to develop my talent. I hope to meet and collaborate with other musicians who may also guide me to help develop myself by sharing their experiences. I would find it a big achievement to tour the world.
Victoria West: What is the advice that you could give to the young, emerging artists who are trying to make it in the music industry?
J Matthew: Don’t quit. There can be days when you feel as though things may never work out and it’s a long journey. Be patient, practice, and give it your best. Be thankful for the people who work with you and support and share the same goals as you.
Victoria West: And to conclude, please tell us about a hobby of yours, how do you like to spend your free time?
J Matthew: Some of my hobbies include: reading, world news, yoga/working out. I enjoy spending my free time with friends, dancing and parties.
J Matthew can be followed on Instagram and Twitter.