Artist Interview: Matia
Tell us about yourself and your music
Although I started writing and playing music at the age of 6 and playing professionally at 14, I had to say goodbye to music early on as I fell ill and almost died which was a game changer for me. I shut music out of my life because my heart was broken by all of this and my inability to pursue my dream. I put myself through school originally to learn how to heal my body so that I could literally live and then later dedicated that path to healing others who fell into similar circumstances. All of these years later, strangely and seemingly by “coincidence”, life brought me back around to music and, my friend Kenny (of the Robert Palmer Band and much more) and I decided to collaborate by recording an album of music I had recently written. The story behind this album, of my journey, and how these two tie together hold many deeply spiritual and positive life messages which are reflected within the lyrics of my album. I hope my music and messages are something that I get a chance to share with the world.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My Latest release is the album _Blind which has a long story behind it. In fact it feels like a series of small miracles strung together which makes me feel like that is why the story is so important to tell. We are currently filming a short documentary type video about the story.
What inspired you to write this release?
3. The story is a little long-but the short version is that music was taken away from me for many years and one day someone new came into my life and saw my very old guitar which had been collecting dust in the corner of a closet with all of the strings hanging from it. The next week he came to my house with a new set of strings and restrung my guitar and wiped all of the dust from it. He handed it to me and said I needed to play it again. He barely knew me. He did this because he had heard me singing around a campfire-something I had only then recently allowed myself to share after many years of abstinence. I had to literally teach myself to play all over again not remembering simple chord structure. As the weeks passed during late nights of reteaching myself guitar (and piano) the floodgates opened and years of emotion was released from my soul in the form of music and lyric. This was the album _Blind named for the the song Blind which is one of the most reflective of my soul on the album.
Any plans to release a video?
One video is available on Youtube currently. We are also filming a mini documentary about the story behind the album and behind this journey which has been incredibly meaningful and I think will be powerful for people to hear. The really super cool part of this is that in doing this mini-documentary, the person who is filming and producing it is a 16 year old kid who is an aspiring film maker. So, this is our journey together. It’s a lot of fun!
Any plans to hit the road?
Kenny and I are hoping to set some dates shortly to play in LA and in Southern Oregon. Those dates will be posted on matiamusic.com as soon as we know them.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I know that with marketing there needs to be branding. But, I am trying to be…just me. That’s my brand. We are each unique and I feel that if I am simply me doing my thing-writing and recording music that is sincere and real and not aimed at anything else but that, then that will become my brand.
Who have you been listening to lately?
8. My daughters bring a lot of artists to my attention that I might not otherwise come across. Lately I have been listening to …Michael Frantii (he played here at Britt in Oregon this Summer a couple of weeks before Kenny and I played there), Lupe Fiasco who’s story came to me through my young friend. I was moved by his performance in which he invited a little 12 year old girl up to the stage whom he encouraged to rap all on her own as he built her up. I loved the way he interacted with that young girl with the genuine kind of human spirit that is so beautiful and I loved his story. I also listen to this new rapper, Rock-Oh, another new positive young poet whom I think is going to make a big impact. But I still after all of these years love to listen to those I have been influenced by the most and James Taylor is still going strong and I love every moment of watching him work. But my taste varies so tremendously depending on what I want to feel because I love listening to Eminem (his early work really touches me) and then I want to go to Motzart Lacrimosa is my all time favorite that moves me like nothing else can. And then, there’s Ry Cooder’s 1977 rendition of Jesus On The Main Line. I fell in love with Ry Cooder two years ago after hearing him play that song. I loved it so much we played it on stage at the Britt last September. Music is a place to visit for a few minutes-it takes you someplace, to a place you want to go for that moment. I love going to different places that matter to me. That’s how I decide what to listen to, but I do want to feel that it matters or I don’t want to go.
Tell us about your passions
10. I am a healer— I have a unique niche of alternative medicine that I treat. I spend a lot of my free time helping those who need me because I realize people just need to know someone cares-that’s like…50% of the healing-the belief that someone thinks they matter. I have devoted myself to healing people and to rescuing and healing animals-I have 33-all rescues. I am a lover of life and saving lives and contemplating what life means. This is something that has occupied my mind since I was very small. My music reflects that. In life there is a lot of sadness but there is also incredible happiness and wonder. I try to talk about difficult things in my lyric but rescue that conversation with the upside.
What else is happening next in your world?
For me, the most exciting thing is that I am back in the studio with Kenny. Music is my outlet for things inside my soul that need an avenue. My music reflects the heavy things on my mind that can feel like too much on the inside but come out with beauty and light as music. Recording is like painting-there’s a form and then you get to fill in all of the colors and it feels so incredible doing it.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Matia!