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Meet Matt B

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt B.

Hi Matt, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My story is still being written. I think this question is always an interesting one because it gives me an opportunity to be introspective. I started singing with my brothers at a very young age. Because we were all homeschooled, I was introduced to all types of music and spent most of my childhood at museums, cultural events, and libraries. So I truly see the world from a very unique perspective. After a lot of years of development and some successes as a group, we all eventually went our separate ways. My solo career has been growing ever since. From having two #1 albums in Japan on the iTunes Charts, to eventually signing my first deal stateside with Priority Records. One thing that I’m most proud of is charting on Billboard in the USA for my debut album, EDEN. It really reignited the fire in me and gave me the reassurance I needed that I’m at a level in my career that most people only dream of. And for that I’m grateful. I also started an independent label with my wife and manager, Angela Benson, along the way. The way I see it, ownership is very important. So I knew going into my career that eventually I would start one. Vitae Records was born in 2014 and I’ve signed every deal through my independent label ever since.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I literally got everything I have out of the mud. I’m not saying I didn’t have a lot of help along the way, but no one was willing to bet on me. I remember at 13 years old I was told by someone who was producing my brothers and I that I was the weakest link. Could you imagine hearing something like that so young? At that point, I had a choice to make. Either let it break me or fuel me. Those moments didn’t go away, and it has always been an uphill battle. No one wanted to have anything to do with me. I was always given a laundry list of everything I was doing wrong. I had very little encouragement or support from the industry as a whole; yet I continued to rise. At a certain point I realized that if I wanted to be successful in this industry, I was going to have to do it myself. So one year, I used my tax return money on my own studio equipment and sold my car rims for a DSLR camera so I could shoot my own music videos. Around this time I met my then girlfriend, Angela Benson, who eventually became my wife. We both continued to work together to create the empire we have today, and that empire continues to grow. We try to pick up unique skill sets as a way of maintaining control over our destinies. The goal for me has never been to master every skill but rather to understand many skills enough to be able to create in that medium if I so choose to do it.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My work is very complex yet simple. Having a degree in architecture has taught me to break things apart into its smallest aspects and then put it back together in a more concise way.

I also have a lot of experience and skill in the art of mixing, mastering, and engineering a record. And of course, I love to songwriting records and also have experience with editing and filming videos. Possessing these skills has helped my career because I can always step in if I feel like someone has dropped the ball. It also helps with negotiations because I literally know what it takes to accomplish certain tasks, so I know when I’m being up-charged. I think this is the first time I’ve been so open about this topic. Usually, I try to focus on the music, but I feel like sharing this information might help another artist to realize that they are not alone. If you find yourself in the same situation, I was in not too long ago, know that there’s a light at the end of that very dark, lonely, discouraging tunnel.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I’ve learned that you truly do have to build a village around you. A team of people that believe in you no matter what. It’s very difficult to find and usually takes some years. I’ve also learned that people are very selfish in this industry. While I understand that sometimes you have to be that way, being cold and heartless doesn’t necessarily have to run parallel to that. I’m hoping that I can be one of those people that still maintain some level of human decency as I continue to climb in my career. One of my fears is giving up too much of myself as a trade off for what I want. I try every day to keep my integrity and humanity intact. The best way I feel to do that is to continue to have compassion and some degree of understanding for those who do and don’t deserve it.

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Image Credits
All photos by Angela Benson

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