INTERVIEW: Chicago R&B artist Matt B

Photo by Angela Benson

1. Hi Matt, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’m doing great, living my best life despite quarantine! 

2. Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Deep”?

‘Deep’ is that love song that describes a situation that everyone experiences in some way, shape or form in their lives. We all have had those moments or relationships where things were more complicated than it had to be. This record touches on those emotions, and the self realization that it’s best to be honest with yourself about a relationship that has gone bad and to move on. 3. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song? Sam contacted my manager, Angela, and said that he had some records that he had been working on with Tricky Stewart and Patrick Postlewait. He wanted to play them for me, so he came by one of my sessions. When he played ‘Deep’, I knew that it was a record that I wanted to cut. Of course, I had to put my own spin on it. I am a fan of collaborations, and was definitely a situation where collaboration between producers, writers, and the artist brought the record to life. 

4. Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

We released a lyric video to the record on Youtube, so definitely check that out! As far as an official music video, anything can happen. But one thing is for sure, when the fans speak and express that they want it, I will definitely respond. 

5. How was the recording and writing process?

After I heard the demo that Sickpen cut, I knew that the record was pretty much solid. There were some tweaks that I wanted to make creatively as an artist. The bridge was left wide open, so I approached that section with my own creative flair and made it my own. The recording process was seamless. I think that’s what tends to happen when you have industry veterans guiding you through it while allowing me the freedom to put my own artistic spin on things. 

6. What was it like to work with Sam Thomas and how did that relationship develop?

Sam is probably one of the most down-to-earth, genuine, and likable humans on this planet. It goes without saying that he is super talented. I met him through Bryan-Michael Cox. He mixed and mastered my EP ‘RISE’ that was produced by B Cox, and I knew from there that I wanted to grow both my personal and business relationship with him. So when he said that he had more records for me, I knew that we were going to make magic together. And the rest is history. 

7. How much did he get to influence the song?

Sam touches all aspects of all of the records we do together. Everything that we do is a collaboration, and we compliment each other. I think that truly shows in the final product of the record and our previous work together. 

8. You’re from Chicago – how much has the local scene influenced your music?

Chicago is a city where all genres of music meet. I listen to anything from hip-hop to jazz, to gospel and blues, to classical and more. Everywhere you go, there is someone performing on the streets. Chicago is one of the influential lifelines of the music industry. It shaped me in ways that I cannot express, and creatively when I tell my story, I tell the story of my city, too. 

9. What artists have had the biggest influence on your writing and sound?

There are a lot of male artists that have influenced me to become the musician that I am; however, there are also a lot of female artists that have helped to shape my sound as well. Some that I can think of off the top of my head are Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, and Keri Hilson. Some of my male artist influences would be Marvin Gaye, Maxwell, and Slim from 112. 

10. Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

I’m always in the studio and always working. Even if I’m not recording, I’m always writing poetry and other things to stay creative. I have a vault of unreleased music, but it’s about timing to determine when and what gets released. 

11. You mentioned you’re working on a new album, called EDEN. How’s that coming along, and how has working with Bryan-Michael Cox and Tricky Stewart been?

I’m proud to say that the album is done!…but is a body of work ever truly done? Haha, that’s up for debate! B Cox and Tricky are both amazing producers that both bring their own unique style and energy to the table. B Cox is very particular about interpretation of lyrics and pitch. You better know how to sing, or you’ll be in the studio for a long time! Tricky is about raw emotion and allowing the artist to do their own thing while guiding them along the path to help hone their sound. This always makes the outcome of each record unique. It meant a lot to me that B Cox told me that I have a very bright future in music and that Tricky said that my tone and vocal range was one of the best that he had heard in a while. Whenever legends in the game pay you compliments like that, it definitely is motivating and lets you know that you’re on the right track. 

12. How are you adjusting to less live shows / tours due to COVID – are you  doing livestreams or getting creative in other ways?

I always try to find ways to keep myself busy. A few days ago, I was asked by Rhymefest to participate in his ‘Smiling Eyes’ event, which donated food and masks to hundreds of families in Chicago. I also just recently did fundraiser show to raise money for PPE for essential workers. I have done a few other shows on Instagram as well with outlets like The Jam, which is a popular television show in Chicago. I am planning on putting on weekly concerts that my fans can livestream worldwide on StageIt, so definitely stay in tune for that! 

13. What else is happening next in Matt B’s world?

We are going to continue promoting my new single ‘Deep’, so definitely be sure to share that with your friends! Also, definitely stay in tune with my social media pages to find out the dates for my live-streaming concerts. And as always, more music is coming down the pipeline. The album EDEN drops at the top of next year, so be on the lookout for the next single!

Listen to “Deep”:SpotifyApple MusicTIDALSoundcloud

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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