Matt Simons is an American singer-songwriter and a musician born on February 20th 1987 and based in New York. His debut album „Pieces“ was released on 19th of June 2012 in the States, „Gone“ being his debut single. The 10-track album with nine songs being his own compositions was produced by Nashville producer and sound engineer Stephen Gause. Matt released his first EP „Living Proof“ in 2010 and spent 2011 touring the United States and Europe, including the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. He usually plays piano and keyboards while singing. He also plays the saxophone, including improvised solos on the track „Fall in Line“ and in live performances of „I’m Already Over You“. Simons gained fame in the Netherlands after his rendition of „With You“ from his album „Pieces“ was picked as one of the theme songs on the Dutch soap television series „Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden“. The song reached No. 8 on the Dutch Single Top 100 chart and also peaked at No. 8 in the Dutch Top 40 chart. His greatest commercial success came with „Catch & Release“, title track from his same titled album. Originally it became a hit in the Netherlands and Spain as it appeared on the album. But the song had far bigger success, particularly after being remixed by Dutch house duo producers Deepend, charting as „Catch & Release (Deepend Remix)“ in a number of European charts including Austria, France, Germany and peaking at No. 1 on the official Belgian Singles Chart. On Tuesday 19th of April Matt Simons had a concert at Rockhal in Esch/Alzette and for this occasion he was ready to answer some of our questions.
Hi Matt and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, I’m Matt Simons. I’m an American musician and songwriter living in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve spent the last few years releasing music and touring primarily in Europe, specifically the Netherlands. In April I’m playing my first headline tour all over Europe.
How does your latest album „Catch & Release“ reflect your journey as a musician up to date?
“Catch & Release” was my first collaborative album as far as songwriting is concerned. Up until January 2014, I wrote all my songs by myself. Unfortunately, this led to a shortage of songs when it was time to make my second full-length record. Most of the songs on “Catch & Release” are co-written with American and European songwriters.
How do you see yourself evolving as a musician over the years?
The most important part of being a musician is listening. I try to infuse as many influences in my music as possible. I studied Jazz at university and it will always have a huge influence on my music. It’s also important to constantly change with the times. I listen to my favorite records all the time but make sure to set aside time to listen to current popular music. Staying on top of the trends helps me connect to a wider audience and hopefully develop a sustainable fan base.
How big is the difference between the songs during the writing process and the end product?
To be honest, on my most recent album, a lot of the demos from the day I wrote the song made it onto the album. Some of the tracks even include the 1st ever vocal take („You Can Come Back Home“, „Tear It Up“, „Catch & Release“). There’s something magical about the first time singing through a tune.
Do you normally compose at home or does jamming help you work out musical ideas?
Recently, it’s been helping the writing process to take writing trips and co-write with different songwriters in LA. I just took a trip to LA in March and wrote some new songs that I’m really proud of and excited to share.
Touring has become more important than ever nowadays. Has touring become the main element of becoming better known as a musician?
Touring is the best way to connect to my core fan base. It’s a way to meet the people who are dedicated enough to my music that they make an effort to come out to the show. As far as sustainability is concerned, at this point radio and music streaming are keeping my career afloat.
Thank you a lot for this interview and I wish you good luck for the future. Any last words for our readers?
Thanks so much for your time and I hope to see you at a show sometime soon!
(Interview by Mike Dostert)