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INTERVIEW: Matthew John

In what city, state and country do you reside?

I reside in the United States, outside of Philadelphia Pa., in Jeffersonville.

How long have you been making music, and what is your favorite part of it?

I have been making music, well writing songs, since I was a teenager in middle school. It was a best kept secret, because no one knew, I was writing songs in my spare time or had an interest in pursuing music. For me, the best part of music is performing, as I can feel all the positive energy and connection with the audience.

In what genre or style would you classify your music?

I would classify my music into 2 genre categories, because some of my songs are Country and other songs are considered Christian/Gospel, inspirational music.

Who are your top 5 musical influences?

Also, please tell us who inspires you?Wow, that is a very difficult question to answer and narrow down to 5 top musical influences. In Country Music, my influences would be: Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan.  On the Christian Music side, Chris Tomlin, Matthew West, Mercy Me, Toby Mac and Danny Gokey,  just to name some of my favorites. If I am to be honest, I am influenced by many different artists in various genres, because every artist has something special to offer.

What do you want your fans to take from your music after they leave the venue where you have just performed?

I want my fans to take away a positive energy and a feeling, that no matter what they are going through, things will get better. Life is tough, with many twists and turns, ups and downs, good times and bad. Therefore, if I can make people forget their troubles for awhile and have a good time, I have succeeded. My songs are upbeat, positive and offer hope for a better tomorrow. The best thing I can give my fans is a happy, positive musical experience!

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

Since I am a music lover, I have been to many concerts over the years. The best concerts, are the ones where the artists gives 110%, they go above and beyond. Also, they enjoy what they are doing and they put their heart and soul into each performance. They give off a vibe, get the audience involved and everyone has a blast and wants more. I know what it takes to be on the performing side and all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into each performance. There is a lot that happens before the artist takes the stage. So,  I appreciate all artists who give it their all and then some, making the audience want more and talking about it for days. There are many great artists who put on amazing concerts, Luke Bryan is one. He has the audience up and dancing, singing along to every word, forgetting about life and having an awesome time.

Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

On my latest CD release, The Best Of Matthew John, my personal favorite is “Shine For Me”. This song is very special, because it is a song for my grandfather and dad. My grandfather was my Number 1 Fan and battled Alzheimer’s for 18 years, until his passing. He loved music and listening to me sing.  Originally, this song was written for him, but never recorded. Then, 3 years after his passing, my dad passed away from cancer, after being diagnosed just two weeks before. So, I decided to record this song in 2017 for both my grandfather and my dad. It lets me know and others as well, that are loved ones in Heaven are always with us, guiding and loving us. Love never dies and our souls are connected. It took awhile to make the video for this song and capture the true meaning.  Also, “Shine For Me” was the song I used for radio promotion, when I was on an independent label in Nashville. This song, I hold very near to my heart and my fans have commented the same feelings.  Our loved ones are always shining bright and lighting our way, which brings great comfort.  For me, this is a song about love and how my grandfather and dad are guiding me on this music journey, shining bright and with me every step of the way.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

I have evolved over the past year, well actually, the past two years and continue to learn and evolve every day.  To begin, I went to a new recording studio and recorded two brand new songs, “Shine For Me” and “Let’s Begin Again”.  Along with a new studio, came a new producer with over 35 years in the business. Also, I did remakes on two previously recorded songs, “Reach For The Stars” and “You Are There” and took them up to another level. My songs were recorded with a live band and backup singers, which really took my music up a notch and the difference can be heard. My website was updated with new pictures, videos and more. I continue to write new songs and perfect some of the older ones. Over the past year, I was on an independent label in Nashville and my single, “Shine For Me” charted on several charts, Indie Aircheck, Spin Christian 30 and Americana BLVD Top 50. I have met new contacts in the industry and I continue to dedicate myself to putting out the best music possible.

If you could meet, play a gig with, co-write a song with, have dinner with or have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

If I could meet, play a gig with, co-write a song with, have dinner with or have a drink with (dead or alive) I would pick Elvis Presley. To begin, my dad had a big interest in Elvis Presley and loved listening to his music. As a young child, I was exposed to his music. I never really thought about Elvis much over the years, until just recently, when my aunt and uncle took a trip to Graceland. I was fascinated with all the online pictures and the good that Elvis did to help others. He donated a lot of money to St. Jude’s Hospital for Children and was about giving back. With my music, I have given back to various causes and participated in charity events. I am all about giving back and helping others, so I picked Elvis, because he was a legend and he helped people, especially children. And, I would definitely like to hear about his music journey , with all the ups and downs, good and bad, everything he went through to achieve ultimate success. This meeting with my Dad’s favorite, would mean the world to my Dad as well. It would be honoring my Dad’s memory, meeting a legend and learning about the music industry, all at the same time. It would be so awesome.

How many songs /albums have you released to date?   Would you mind naming them and telling us a little bit about them?

To date, I have released 6 songs, but only 4 that really count and are noteworthy. The 4 were done at the new recording studio with a producer who genuinely cared about my music and the direction.  I wanted my music to go in. We did remakes on two of the previously recorded songs to make them the best possible songs, adding the live band, backup singers and spending months putting the CD all together. My 4 songs are “Shine For Me”, which I have already spoken about in great length in Question Number Also,  “Let’s Begin Again,”  about a couple trying to find their way back to each other, despite being hurt, it’s about second changes. My remakes, which include: “You Are There” and ” Reach For The Stars”. Both songs are about going after your dreams, remaining positive, despite the odds, never giving up and holding on. Dream until your dreams come true ! They are very inspirational and offer hope for tomorrow. My songs are all heartfelt and come from my heart. I put my heart and soul into my music and I think it shows.

Can you tell us about your latest release and the background/inspirations behind it?

Well, my 4 songs were really all released at the same time on my CD. But, the last lyric video to be completed was for “You Are There” in October 2018.  At this point, I now had videos for each song.  As I stated, “You Are There” was a remake, I previously recorded this song in 2013. Since then, I have greatly improved and went to a new recording studio, with an outstanding producer. This song is about life and basically, never giving up. It is about going after your dream, despite what people say and holding your head up high. Or, just battling through everyday life circumstances, that may come your way.  The inspiration behind this song is my personal music journey since 2013. This song is very relatable and can be applied to any situation in life. It has received great reviews. The lyrics are very powerful in this song and go straight to the heart.

What’s your dream gig?

My dream gig would be in front of my hometown, maybe at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, or in New York at Madison Square Garden.  It would definitely be on the East Coast and I would have all my family and friends who took this journey with me in the audience.

Whose music do you listen to?  Who are your influences?

I listen to all types of music, as I think all music can be appreciated. In the car, I listen to Hip Hop and R&B. I also listen to Pop, Country, Christian. Sometimes, I go back and listen to the oldies, so it really all depends. I am a music lover, so I have a genuine appreciation for all music. My influences are the Country and Christian artists. But, I am also influenced by artists in the past too. Even though I am influenced, I want to remain an original with my own style and music. I want to be the best Matthew John and put out the best music in my category.

Where would you place yourself in the “Sounds Like” category?

In the “Sounds Like”  category,  maybe, John Mayer. I had people tell me different country artists, I don’t always agree. I really want  to have my own distinct sound and not sound like anyone in particular.  I think it is best to be an original and not a copy of someone else. I want to find my own way and be different from the rest.

How have you ended up in the music industry?  What would you be doing if you were not a musician?

I ended up in the music industry, because I always had a passion for song writing. I have written so many songs as a teenager and I just keep going. I am a good storyteller and my songs very often tell a story. My interest grew, as I began taking vocal lessons and really devoting my time into my music. My grandfather battled Alzheimer’s, but he loved music. His interest in music and how music really helped him through the tough times, persuaded me to give music a try. I went to a recording studio in 2013 and started recording songs. They were good, but not on the level they should have been. I had a website set up, EPK, videos, pictures, business cards, you name it, I had it. Then,  I grew more serious and hired a Music Consultant. He gave me suggestions, get a new logo, update website, get professional pictures taken, find a new producer who matches your style and voice, write new music and more. In 2017, I found a new recording studio and a new producer. I recorded 2 brand new songs on an entirely different level, remade 2 previously recorded songs, this process took months and months to complete. As a result, we put out 4 totally amazing songs and have received great reviews from all over.  I had the website updated again, new videos, my own YouTube channel, all my social media accounts set up, and a new presentation of Matthew John and his music. At this point, I was really ready to present my music to the world and share my music with everyone. If I wasn’t doing music, I would be a Pro Golfer, as I played golf for a long time as well. I was on a Junior tour and played in countless tournaments and charity events. The problem was, I didn’t devote enough time to golf, because music was always my true passion, just waiting in the wings for me to pursue it.

How do you and your musical style differ from other artists?

My musical style differs from others, because I try to make my songs relatable to life and life experiences. My songs capture the human spirit and touches the listener’s soul.  Also, my music is universal and any age can enjoy it, from young to old. Along, with being universal, my songs are timeless and the messages live on. There is really something for everybody to listen to. My music is upbeat, positive, hopeful and inspiring. I want to inspire others to live their best lives. I differ from other artists, because I am me. There is only one of me in this world and I am out to show what I can do with my music. I am down to earth, approachable, humble and yes, kind. I have my priorities in order and I know what is truly important. I work extremely hard and dedicate myself to my music. I am not trying to copy or be a copy of any artist, I am just myself. I write all of my own songs, I have my own publishing company, I am a go getter and I know what I want to do in life. One of my main qualities is my persistence to reach any goal.  I have a strong faith in God and his plans for me. I am about giving back and helping others, basically, just being a genuine person. I want to bring some GOOD to this world with my music ! People struggle everyday and they truly need to hear the words of my songs.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?

My hobbies and interests include golf, watching the Kansas City Chiefs football,  watching basketball, swimming, collecting sports items and team jerseys, participating in various charity events and spending time with my family. This is just a small snapshot of some of my hobbies and interests, besides music.

Tell us more about your upcoming project or this new project?

My upcoming project at the moment is a Summer Campaign for my music. My music is being pitched by a Music Publicist to music critics for reviews. These reviews will provide much feedback, appear in blogs and hopefully, give more exposure to my music.

Has your new album or single received any significant radio airplay?

My single, “Shine For Me” received radio airplay and charted for about 5 or 6 months on 3 different charts. (Indie Aircheck, Spin Christian 30 and Americana BLVD Top 50) It was definitely getting airplay and some positive feedback.

Can you tell us all of the music distribution portals where your music is available?

My music is available on most digital distribution sites, wherever music is sold. I also have CD’s available as well. Here are just 2 of the links: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1371503387  It is also streaming on Spotify athttp://open.spotify.com/album/25XZfnk6UzeeKyisi4EDt4

Can you have increasing commercial success and retain your artistic integrity?

Yes, I can have increasing commercial success and retain my artistic integrity. My integrity is who I am and is ingrained in everything I do. I think who I am comes out in my music, as I put my heart into each song. I will never lose the core of my being and what is important to me. No matter how successful I become, God is always at the center of my life. I want to do good work and help others.  Also, my family and friends who took this journey with me, will always remain in my life and keep me grounded. I am who I am, despite what I become in life or with my music.  Music is my passion and through music, I want to spread positive, uplifting messages of hope.

I assume you use Spotify to promote your music.  How are you doing there and how can fans find you on Spotify?

I am on Spotify and I provided the link in Question 20. Since I am an independent artist, I am doing okay on Spotify.  As an independent artist, I need promotion to bring people to my music. At this point, I really haven’t had the promotion to achieve big numbers on this site. Hopefully with time, this will change, as I receive more exposure and my music gets heard.

Can you tell us your official website URL and all Social website URLs where fans can find you online?

My official website link is http://www.matthew-john-music.com/

All of my social media is located on the top of the page, with a direct link to each site. There is an icon representing each social media site, just click into it.  It is very easy to use and locate each one. My website contains everything you need to know about Matthew John the singer/songwriter and it’s all in one place.

What’s in the pipeline after this project?

What’s in the pipeline after this project, is still undetermined. Of course, I will be working hard at my music, but I am not sure what will come next. I guess, everyone will have to stay tuned in and see what happens.  I am on a music journey and the best is yet to come!

Thank you for your time and may you continue making great music. 

I appreciate you taking the time to interview me today. It is always a pleasure to sit down and give some insight into who I am. This gives my fans the opportunity to see the person behind the songs and get to know me as a regular person. Through my songs, I share a lot of personal journeys that everyone can relate to.  Hopefully my music will inspire others and spread positive messages all around the world. We have enough negativity in the world, maybe my music, can be a positive influence.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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