Mathew V is a young, up and coming musician from Vancouver. We got chatting and I got a glimpse of life through Mathew’s eyes. His jazzy tunes and powerful sultry vocals leave you wanting more.
Q: Where were you raised?
A: I was raised in Richmond and I moved to Delta around elementary school. I spent some time in England for music school just after high school. From birth, I was always singing and there are so many home movies of me singing Man I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain.
Q: Has your family supported your musical endeavors throughout the years?
A: I’m lucky enough my parents allowed me to purse music. From 7-16 I was classically trained in opera. I was super happy I got that technical background but wanted to branch out from classical stern music and make my own stuff and enter a more soulful realm. I spent some time in the UK finding myself and developing as an artist. My family saw how hard I was working and so they were on board.
Q: What type of music did you grow up listening to?
A: Growing up we listened to a lot of Shania twain and a lot of Celine Dion and I think to be honest it influenced my attraction and connection to pop music chord progression and a good vocal.
Q: Have you suffered from any personal struggles that could have stopped you from achieving your goals?
A: When I was 13, I was 300 pounds. I was “in the closet” and I had no friends in high school. It could have been a totally different road for me to be honest. Something clicked for me and I told myself that I wasn’t going to have a career at this if I was so unhealthy. Everyday it was just eyes on the prize. I lost 100 pounds, and my confidence came back. I look back at myself and I don’t recognize myself. I realized it could have gone a different way if I didn’t have support of family or music to push me forward.
Q: When did you become interested in music? When did you first start to learn how to play the piano? Can you play any other instruments?
A: Music was since birth, and when I was 9 my parents put me in piano lessons but I hated every single moment of it. I was impatient and I wasn’t super driven. When I was 15 and started scoping out music school I started slowly teaching myself. When I wrote I would do it over and over again and I started picking it up. I play the tuba and the baritone in high school. I know right, typical stereotype me in high school band the fat kid playing the tuba. I wish it was a different story but it's not.
Q: You have a similar sound to Sam Smith. Who are your musical inspirations?
A: I get Sam smith all the time. For me it is a huge compliment, I think he is amazing. There are vocal nuances where I understand the connection and super flattered by it. I do think we are fairly different and as I adapt and he adapts the separation is going to come in there. I listen to a lot of UK soul pop music; Amy Winehouse, Paloma faith, and Adele. I try to make sure my vocals are the main focus of the song. I always appreciate the voice for sure.
Q: You already have such a huge following on social media, what are your next steps to expand? Will there be an album that we should keep our eyes out for?
A: My growth plan is to work as hard, if not harder than I have been for the past year. I started recording the record just a year ago and it was finished 4 months ago with 8 months of tracking we did. Were slowly releasing it. It is set for release in October.
Q: What are your fondest musical memories? Explain a venue or performance you really enjoyed
A: It was really cool for me to work in abbey road studios in London. I had some stuff mastered there, which was really cool. My fondest musical memory that changed my opinion of the music industry was Jessie J’s performance at the Roundhouse in England. I couldn’t understand that there was a human being that could sing like that. I left that show so motivated.
Q: What advice do you have for people starting out in the music industry?
A: You need to make music that you love to listen to. When I was first trying to do my own stuff there were so many issues with me trying to think strategy and what would fit and what wouldn’t. I have to appreciate the fact that it’s honest music. Make music you love, no bullshit and people will see that.
Q: How long does it take you to write a song? Do you have a method for putting the music and lyrics together?
A: I always have notes on my Iphone that are song titles and then I have voice notes of melodies. Half the time I will be walking on the sidewalk and an idea comes to me and I will hum it into my phone. When I’m feeling emotionally triggered I’ll sit down with the melody ideas and the lyrical content that I have. If I have a really good 2 days I will get 4 or 5 songs done in a day. There are also weeks where I’m uninspired and nothing happens. It is fast when it happens and there can be lots of dead space.
Q: How would you define the word “success”?
A: The word success for me would be being able to do this everyday for the rest of my life. Not having to worry that this will fall through. Being able to make music that is authentically me for as long as I can, that’s success for me.
Q: Both If I’m Enough and No Bad News are extremely catchy songs with unique melodies and well-written verses. What is your thought process when putting together a song? Do you mind telling your viewers a bit of the background story behind each of these songs?
A: If that trigger hits I have something to say, lyrically clever, or blatantly upfront. I go through lots of relationships where I am not really in it. Last year there was this person I was seeing and I was so insecure and thinking I was losing sleep if they didn’t text me. I was crazy about it, that was so unlike me and it triggered all these feelings of me not being enough for that person, feeling inadequate. That’s where If I’m Enough came from. No Bad News was after the fact of that happening. I was searching for a relationship that I wasn’t really into but was with someone that wasn’t going to treat me bad or bring me bad news.
Q: Do you have someone who you would love to work with in the music industry?
A: Production wise and song writing wise I would love to work with Nick Noonan of Karmin. On a writing and duet side, Tor Miller would be unreal to work with.
Q: Anything else you want your viewers to know?
A: Thanks for being willing to come around for the ride. Album is up in October. If you’re not on a ride it’s a fun one, if everyone’s tall enough. Thanks for sharing the journey.