Make Music Champions: Ian Matthew, helping people through music

Make Music Day

Ian Matthew is a singer-songwriter and performer from Connecticut. He has been immersed in music from a young age. He built his music career going from playing in rock bands in high school to composing his own music. Currently, he is mainly working on composing more original songs. He recently released a new country song, called Directions.

How did you start making music?

My father was a musician, he used to buy us skateboards and stuff that we wanted as far as toys but he wouldn’t allow us to play with them until we played the G chord, the C chord, the D chord, and the F chord. He told us he always wanted to give us the foundation to run with it in case we ever wanted to pursue music. I started playing in pop-rock bands when I was 11 years old and I did it for around four years until my friends started to get a real-life, and I had no band left. So, I started making music on my own, using the wonders of the internet to start networking and finding producers. I’d go and tell them “Hey man, I did this over your sound, do you think it’s cool? Can I release it?” The majority of the time I’d get the OK from them. I also started experimenting with different sounds because I grew up with so many different genres of music that it was hard for me to stay in one spot. I always thought that if something felt good, I should be able to do it, so I started experimenting with whatever felt good and was honest to myself. 

What genres are you currently doing?

We’re doing some kind of pop-punk production. Honestly, I don’t even know and can’t even say for sure the genre of my music. Even in live shows, some days it can sound like pop-punk but other days it sounds like country. I would say I do mostly pop punk, but country is a part of me since growing up my grandparents were in a western country band, and they taught me a lot about the genre. I’ve written a couple of country songs that I’ve released just to put something new that I liked out there and I got a good response from my audience. Maybe I’ll do it again in the future if it feels organic.

You’re a songwriter, do you also like making covers?

Yea, for sure! I have a blast making covers. I think it’s a great way to pay homage to the bands that you grew up listening to or just songs that moved you. Good covers that do the original songs justice sometimes can do just as well as an original single would do.   

How did you find out about Make Music Day?

I was invited to an event at Make Music Day. The girl that was hosting the event explained what Make Music Day is to me, and I thought it was genius. Everybody was so hyped for the event and I loved the big and diverse music community I saw there. 

How would you describe what music means to you?

I would say from the listener’s perspective it’s what music has done for me. I remember being insecure in middle school and having one song that got me pumped up before going to school would give me the power to fake it. To me, that connection is just everything. Also, during the years of my life in which I didn’t know who I was, music was the one constant in my life that I could count on. On the creating side, as I said I was insecure as a kid and music gave me an identity. Trying to figure out who you are and what you want to be and finally finding this one thing that people recognize you for gives you a feeling of identity and purpose. It is just amazing when people start to listen to your music and they tell you that your music helped them get through a tough time. Music represents a wonderful and magical opportunity to meet people, express yourself, and for other people to express themselves through you. 

Finally, what would you say your goal in music is?

Financial stability for sure. I want to be full-time with it and take my music as far as I can take it. I want to reach as many people as I can. My music is meant to help, whether it’s a fun song that makes you want to go enjoy your Friday night, or it’s a sad song that helps you through a breakup. I want to be able to use my art to help somebody in any type of way.