Matthew is one of those artists you can’t not have respect for. He is a super talented singer/songwriter, performer and creative mind. I still remember seeing him for the first time performing on the tv show ‘Showtime’ back when he was the frontman of ‘Drive’. Then came Red Electrick which has now become one of Malta’s most favourite bands. Now Matthew James is back after a short hiatus as a solo artist so I wanted to sit down with him and get the lowdown of what his future plans are.
Matthew it came as a shock to many including myself when you announced your departure from Red Electrick earlier this year, you were the frontman for REK for the last 10 years. What have been your most memorable experiences from the past 10 years?
Without any doubt, Red Electrick was my life for the past decade. Pivotal moments took place in this band…I mean…I started out as a teenager and ended touching the thirties! Experiences were abundant and our overseas musical adventures are moments that make me smile every time I think about them! From writing Paul in my bedroom to performing in front of 12k crowds with the boys, Red Electrick blessed me from our first rehearsal in Rahal Gdid to the moment where I had to leave. I think one of the peaks was going to Los Angeles in 2017, working with Multi-Platinum music producer/songwriter/arranger/music director Nicolas Farmakalidis and networking with the people in the American music business: This introduced us to new working methods and ways of thought.
Who is Matthew James Borg outside of Red Electrick?
I always consider myself to be a songwriter primarily. It is my safe place. If something is bottled up, I grab a guitar and say it to a piece of paper. It’s always easier for me to talk to paper rather than people. A paper will never judge me. You might say that a lot of people will hear what that piece of paper has to say, as these thoughts bloom into songs people hear and sing to; by the time this happens, the healing process is complete and it is no longer hard to share them with the world
Apart from songwriting, I am lately reading more into the production world, which has always fascinated me. It is a world of limitless possibilities, forever evolving; and now that I have more liberty to experiment in this field, I can’t wait to learn more and more!
You are a talented singer and songwriter in your own right, what/who influences you musically?
Love, friendships, injustice, social matters, psychology, physics, the universe…well practically everything! I write about life because that is what I know. I feel it is very important that every word and note in a song is honest. You can go up and down a vocal scale 20 times per second. Actually that is impossible! But the point is, that if it isn’t placed there to convey an emotion, it won’t capture the audience.
The first project you announced was a collaboration with Mark Doneo and Maka Visuals…care to elaborate?
I always believed in collaborations. Different flavours make the final product a million times better, as long as everyone is working towards one goal – the best of the project, keeping everyone’s happiness in mind. Apart from music, another great passion of mine is cinematography. My reply was therefore a definite yes when Mark and Maka Visuals approached me to work on the sound-design and musical composition of their film’s trailer. The project took another level when Mark Kram visited me at the studio with his library of strings and atmospheric sounds. Goosebumps all over
Is something brewing for the near future? A debut solo single maybe?
During the past 3 months, I have been working on various musical ideas and sounds. It is usually hard to pick a song to release. However, there was one that kept “haunting” me called Memories and it is a very simple song. It speaks about escaping the rushed, narcissist, anxiety inducing world in order to find refuge in nature, where no stereotype or judgement is found. Memories is about a person who reminisces the simple, clean, honest world he lived in before; a world where people appreciated the beauty of nature and embraced respect, care and genuine love towards one another before it turned into a concrete jungle, where people race against each other to keep up appearances.
So yes! There is a debut solo, and it is called Memories. It will be released next week.
Apart from working on my own stuff, I am truly humbled and appreciative to be co-producing the boys from The Busker; the crazy bunch who I call friends. I am also very pleased to be trusted by the amazing vocalist Raquela Dalli Gonzi with the production of her new musical ventures.
I am also glad to be collaborating with Maka Visuals on various projects. Putting sound design to their impeccable visuals always gets my creative juices flowing! XD
What’s next for Matthew James?
What I really look forward to now is collaborating with various artists, local and foreign, while keeping a sense of serenity in my life. I am looking forward to various projects with The Big Band Brothers, the releases of my new solo material and super excited about working with a group of Italian songwriters later on this year………hopefully, the future holds good things