Events have been postponed, gigs cancelled and music releases mostly came to a halt. Local artist spend a lot of time and money to create music that we get to enjoy. Due to the Covid-19 situation almost all sources of income for musicians and artists has stopped too.
When all this is over I urge every music lover to support these artists to get back on their feet ,keep creating the music we all love and bring us all together to celebrate the magic they create.
The ‘Lockdown Chat’ today is Matthew James- an artist that needs no introduction with local music followers. He kicked off his solo career just over 2 years ago and has since released a string of radio hits. Matt has performed at numerous major events around the island with his band, was part of the line up of supporting acts for international star Liam Gallagher last summer and has produced a good number of tracks for fellow local artists including a few of X Factor Malta’s season 2 finalists.
Matt,what first got you into music?
It was my dad’s Casio keyboard that sat in the corridor of my parent’s first residence. Somewhere, there is footage of me in my nappy banging and nodding on this piano for endless hours.
Apart from being a musician and singer you also write all your songs.What would you say inspires you when writing a new song? What is the process?
Every song is unique, and so is the inspiration for its creation. It could be a printer that is printing documents at a particular beat; it could be the neighbour’s worker’s driller creating a drone sound, it could be heartbreak, it could be happiness. Inspiration comes from everywhere.
The process sometimes starts from a melody that I hear while I’m driving. Other times, I will be sitting in my studio infant of a piano and try to force myself to write. It’s important to practice song writing like any other discipline. It is ok if you write a crappy song, every day for 2 weeks. However, the fact that you are writing gets out the bad songs and frees your mind’s doors to welcome the great tunes from the musical dimension. Everyone can learn how to write songs and you can program yourself to do so in a provisional manner. However I still believe that the best songs are not written, but given to us from the music gods, or any other equivalent that fits your spiritual beliefs.
Which of your songs would you say is your favourite and why?
I think the song “Paul” is still my favourite composition. It flowed so easily. I sat on my bed with a guitar, pencil and paper and it was done after 20 minutes. The solo came to me later on when I was recording it for a university project for my Communicating with Music module. Yep, Paul was initially a university assignment! XD
You have performed at so many events but which would you say is your most memorable performance?
Supporting Liam Gallagher with my band during his concert here in Malta.
Being a singer/songwriter which is a song from another local artist you wish you had written?
Iċ-Ċimiterju by Brodu
And can you name a local artist you would like to collaborate with if you ever had the chance?
One last question. what is your message to your fans out there during this time?
If you can, stay home. Create, love and discover yourself. Have time to think and reflect on life and its priorities. Realise how fragile human nature is and that we are nothing but a small piece of something much bigger. At a time like this, there’s no place for egos. Humility and love is what will get us out of this.