Matthew Genovese, more recently known as ANALOG IN THE DIGITAL, is an award winning, Toronto born artist, producer, and songwriter. After studying at Bostons prestigious Berklee College of Music, Matthew moved to Los Angeles where his talent has attracted many opportunities working with seasoned artists, songwriters and producers over the past decade.
He currently resides in Los Angeles and works out of his own studio, ‘The White House Recordings’, creating and collaborating with other writers, artists, and music industry professionals.
Question:What is your musical background? As a songwriter and a performing artist, how did you fall into producing?
I started writing my own music early on in Toronto. I played a lot of bars and clubs, almost weekly, for several years. I’ve always loved to be on stage. Seeing peoples’ reactions to your music in real time is priceless. It’s an amazing feeling to be up there and to feed off the crowds’ energy. I’ve always been very involved with the production of my own music, putting out my first album at the age of 15. After years both in the studio and on stage, and then later as a songwriting major at Berklee College of Music, I developed a solid background in production, recording and performing, and writing. Since then, I have been fortunate to have had many opportunities to work with talented artists and writers, in different genres. I realized that I could still write and produce my own music, but writing and producing for other artists has allowed me to develop these skills in every genre – without any limitations. And of course the more songs you have under your belt, the better you get.
Question: How has “building relationships” helped you get your songs heard?
I think building real relationships with people is half the battle. You can have amazing records, but if no one hears them they don’t mean anything. The industry is pretty small, so if you put yourself out there and work hard, eventually you’ll meet some great people. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a number of incredible mentors over the years who have helped expand my career in ways I never imagined.
Question: Tell me about your recent songwriting collaborative relationships and how they evolved.
I’ve been in the game for a while, and from that, combined with my years studying songwriting at Berklee, I developed some great relationships with a lot of other writers. That kind of got me started out here in LA. Long term, It has always been a dream of mine to build my own custom recording studio and put together a really great creative and collaborative team of artists, songwriters, producers, and engineers- an idea similar to the Brill Building in 1960’s New York City. Fortunately this year I was able to start making that dream a reality and built my own studio in West Hollywood – ‘The White House Recordings’ … It was completed in September of 2015 and this past year I’ve been settling in and am beginning to put together a really solid team of professionals that I have built great personal and working relationships with over the years. Question: Why should a songwriter collaborate with others?
First of all, I think music in general is a very collaborative thing… Music brings people together – period. When it comes to the creative process, collaborating and learning to be part of a team is crucial…. The more people in the room, the more brain power you have… ideas for lyrics, melodies, rhythms… the more you can inspire and push one another, and the more successful you will all become. Co-writing is getting together with one or more people and creating something bigger than anything you could have created alone.
Question: Do you have a typical writing process, or is it anything goes?
I find that I do my best work when I don’t think and I just dive right in with no judgments and do everything at once, meaning lyrics and music… There’s always a point in producing the record when I really slow down and get picky and start to pick at tiny details… But I find that if I start doing that too early on, I stop the flow of my inspiration and creativity, and it becomes very hard to finish writing the actual song at that point.
Question: How has the songwriting process changed over the past several decades?
I think the basics of songwriting will never change. Song form may differ slightly from genre to genre, or era to era, but the basics are always the same. One thing that does change, though, is the language. Language is always evolving and “slang” is very important to be aware of. If your lyrics are not speaking to your audience in a way that they understand, they won’t connect with it. You need to be able to know what genre you’re writing in and who your audience is in order to deliver the message of the song in a way they can relate to. The other thing that has changed, and will continue to change the process of songwriting is technology… Whether it’s an app, an instrument, or the DAW you use… technology plays a big part in how we create.
Question: It’s impressive how you are able to write in many different genres. How does this happen?
I was exposed to a lot of music growing up. I knew this was what I wanted to do very early on – as early as the age of nine, so over the years my taste in music has evolved and diverged so much. I usually get really into one style for a period of time, learn everything I can about it, and then move on… I could probably tell you specifically in which years of my life that I was focused on certain genres or eras of music. But blues, jazz, classical, American Standards, pop, rock, hip hop – I love it all.