For the first interview in our series, I wanted to sit down and have an interview with one of the most talented musicians in the industry today, Matt B. I recently did a brand commercial with Matt for Indstruktibl Clothing and wanted to do a follow-up. As his manager, I've had the opportunity to see him grow and build on his talents to truly become a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Matt's recent album "Love and War" hit #1 on the RnB iTunes album charts in Japan and his single "Plain Girl" hit #1 on the RnB singles charts. "Love and War" is currently being sold in TSUTAYA with over 1,400 retail locations across Japan.
Here is our interview:
1. When and why did you start doing music? What was the first song that you learned?
I grew up in the church so music was always a part of my family and life. I could never truly put a definitive date on when I started "doing music", but I remember the first song I learned was "Jesus Loves Me". I would say I truly got serious about music when I was about 8 or 9.
2. Did you grow up in a musical family? Was it competitive in your household with so many musicians?
I grew up in a musical family for sure and there was always some what of a friendly competition going on. As the youngest brother i usually got the short end of the stick, but i think it made me a better artist.
3. At what point in your life did you have that moment where you said to yourself "This is what I was meant to do and I'm going to make this into my career"?
I was about 17 years old and got my first two real jobs. I worked summer jobs with the Chicago public school system but these jobs were legit! I worked them at the same time, one was the electronic department at Walmart and the other was security at Target. Both were full time so I was pulling 80 hour work weeks. After my first pay checks I realized that I wasn't cut out to work modern day slavery.
4. For all the musicians out there who are struggling to balance music and relationships, how do you do it? Any tips/suggestions for others?
This question is probably the most difficult question to answer because there’s no real solution and it varies from person to person. I would say to put your music first above any relationship if you’re not married. Music should be your first true love, and anyone who tries to come between you and it doesn't truly love you. Your partner should be comfortable with being the "other women" if that makes sense.
5. How do you keep that burning desire inside you to keep doing music and continue to improve? What pushes you?
What pushes me is my family and God. I feel like I truly found my purpose in life and knew it for a long time. I want to use the gifts God gave me to shine a beacon of light in a world filled with too much darkness.
6. You recently had the #1 RnB single and album in Japan with "Love And War". Tell us more about your career in Japan. What's next for you out there? Do you speak any Japanese?
I hope to be touring soon, i think my fans deserve one; along with a follow up album. My Japanese is horrible(laughing), I know a few words but that’s as far as it goes. My career in Japan as it stands is a stroke of God/Luck/and good management. I am truly humbled by the opportunity Star Base Records offered me.
7. What 3 musicians (dead or alive) do you admire the most and why?
As funny as this might sound
LL Cool J
I know that’s a very odd combination but I respect these men not only for their artistry, but the fact that they didn't lose themselves in this industry. They know/knew that there’s more to life then how loud someone screams your name from excitement.
8. Do you still get nervous before shows/performances?
I guess it depends on what you would consider nervous. I've never done drugs and never plan on it but it’s my form of getting high. My blood pumps a little faster, adrenaline starts flowing, my senses rise. I just feel in the zone! There’s no greater feeling to me. That’s why I stay away from any stimulants or depressants. I want the full impact of the experience, something I cant get with anything that could impair me.
9. If a young musician walked up to you right now asking for advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
I know this is cliché, but I would say to follow your dreams.
Don't give up, because giving up is the easy way out.
Stay away from anyone who wants to bring you down or destroy you. There are way too many haters in this world and it makes no sense to allow them in your circle. Keep your circle small.
10. Anything else you would like to add?
If you want something bad enough it’s bound to happen, you just have to believe it will. Giving up on your dreams is like giving up on yourself. When you face cross roads in your life, pick your dreams every time.
Want to learn more about Matt B? Check out the links below!