Musician Matt Davis has a special way of connecting with fans. Proof of that can be found on the singer-songwriter’s popular YouTube channel, which has accrued more than one million views. Among the channel’s most watched videos is the title track from Davis’s debut EP Life, an original club-friendly dance-pop cut, wrapped in the indie artist’s trademark silken voice. Authenticity and distinction only begin to describe the music.
Arrangement, Sound and Inspiration
The composition and instrumentation of “Life” are organized around Davis’s dulcet vocal tones and adept keyboard playing. The song slowly builds from a minimal beginning until the 48 second mark, when a deeply rich synthesizer kicks in and an inviting dance vibe takes hold. No wonder enthusiasts rave about Davis’s work. Just take a look at the comments section on YouTube. Yet there is more to the meaning of “Life.”
According to the numbers, Davis has struck a positive chord with listeners. Anyone who might encounter cynics bearing daggers in their heart, for whatever reason, the singer has created the 3:32 title track. On his website, the Brooklyn and Manhattan-based artist describes the music from the EP as, “Trying to find the ability to fall into your happiest mindset, even when people are saying you aren’t good enough…”
Life was mastered in New York City. All four studio tracks were produced in Los Angeles.
Matt Davis’s songbook features original titles as well as contemporary favorites, like John Legend’s “Ordinary People” and classic covers, including “Fly Me To The Moon.” He recently released a lyric video for “Head Over Heels,” from Life. Davis also has a live act where he performs at Manhattan rock clubs and cafés.
An Interview with Matt Davis
Musicinterviewmagazine.com caught up with Matt Davis for questions and answers about “Life,” the accompanying video, song production and more.
You have mentioned how the EP Life is about “falling into your happiest mindset,” despite facing negativity and naysayers. What was the inspiration for the advice? Was the motivation based on personal experience?
The inspiration came about when I was sitting in my apartment in Los Angeles and feeling down about certain aspects of my life. I didn’t want to feel like that anymore, so I grabbed my guitar and started writing about what I did want and what I needed to move away from. That was right before I moved to New York City. I previously had taken a trip there and fell in love with Manhattan, so I ended up writing, ‘I want to hop into a car and maybe drive to New York City and see what life brings me.’ In Los Angeles, I was really working hard, but in the wrong direction and with the wrong person. I think moving to New York made me realize the direction I needed to be going in. I guess that was east.
With the tracks being original songs, do you feel the EP fits into a particular music category? Can you talk a little about that?
I think the songs “Life” and “Head Over Heels” are pop but the other two on the album have a more artistic flair to them. I wanted to experiment with different sounds on this EP. I think experimenting like that helps push the overall sound in an interesting way.
In addition to the polished vocals, the title cut from Life has a terrific synth sound. What instruments or equipment did you use for the recording? Is the song self-produced?
I worked with a producer named Estico on “Life,” “Head Over Heels” and “I’m Just Here Rockin.” The synth sound was made mostly in Omnisphere®, a soft synth, made by Spectrasonics®.
The video for “Life” has reached nearly 470, 000 views on YouTube since premiering last August. Who shot and produced the video? Is the small Marshall® speaker a prop, or was it mic’d and part of the recording?
The video was shot half by my sister Kali and half by me. I also edited. The speaker is just a prop, though I thought it looked cool.
As a singer and songwriter, who are your influences? Do you remember the first song you ever sang?
Some of my biggest influences are The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé. I think the first song I ever sang was probably from the Peter Rabbit musical I did in kindergarten. I played Peter Rabbit. There was a scene where the farmer was chasing me around and I ran up to the front of the stage totally out of breath while a spotlight hit me in the eyes and I started to sing. From that point on I became addicted and needed to be a singer.
Your song “Peppermint” also received almost half a million views and you just released a lyric video for “Head Over Heels,” from Life. Do you have any other projects planned this year?
This year I’m working on my debut album, while posting covers and original songs on YouTube and Instagram, @MattDavisSounds. Besides playing gigs around the city, I’m going to be looking to write a lot of new songs for myself and other artists and also put together a great management team.