Matthew Fowler is a singer-songwriter who just got back from a tour.
According to Matthew, “I started playing guitar at 14 years old and have been writing and playing music ever since. Even from a young age music was a passion. I remember sitting around and listening to full albums while other kids would watch TV. sports were never really my thing so I found other ways to take up my time. I found that music was a way for me to bridge the gap between my age and the people I enjoyed being around. I was always so much younger than people expected because I was always serious about my playing and, really, I grew up on the songs from a different generation. Songs that were more interested in conveying emotion and passion than dancing around and having fun (not that there’s anything wrong with that type of music, it just was never my forte). But I identified with playing because people older than me, people that I looked up to, would hear me play and view me as an equal. Which blew my mind and still does. Some amazing musicians that were more experienced and better known than I would shake my hand and look me in the eye as an equal and that really changed me. When Austin [Miller] asked me to go on tour with him, I knew that I had to really focus on making this album. It was kind of a wake up call to stop planning on making an album and actually make one. So I did, and here I am now.” And here’s our interview with Matthew:
How did this album get started/why did you start the album?
Making an album was something I had always wanted to do. Music, for me, was almost so ingrained in what I loved that I never even questioned whether or not I would pursue it, It was just always in my cards. But it got to the point where I had enough songs to start thinking about it and I had some time off of school and some musician friends of mine were hanging around. All the points kind of aligned and I started to think more seriously on recording as it was something I always thought about “for the future”. But I guess one day I just made some plans and decided to get things done. It took lot longer than expected simply because I had no earthly idea of what I was doing. It was my first time recording things and my first time mixing things. I had to learn to run before I could walk. I’m truly thankful to the friends who helped me figure everything out, like Austin Miller and Clayton Arrighi. I had great support and some amazing musicians to work with and I’m really proud of what we all accomplished.
What do you hope to achieve with your music (a career, fame, time killer, etc.)?
Realistically, I would love to be able to live off my music. I know even that is a tall order, but I think with enough work and dedication its possible. I definitely have the drive and passion, it’s all I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. I love being a musician and I cant see myself doing anything else.
Other than music, what do you enjoy doing?
I’ve always been a big reader and a big movie buff. Anything with an intriguing story and interesting characters. The last couple years I’ve been very into comic-books and graphic novels. It’s such an engaging way to tell a story and the quality of independent comics and stand-alone graphic novels have increased and it’s great! I love them.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Do what you love and the money will follow”
What/who is your favorite musician/band?
My favorite musician is Glen Hansard. That guy emanates passion in every project he’s associated with and I’ve always tried to embody that in my life and music as well. I remember being a young teenager and being so enthralled with the kind of person he was, so humble and funny and amazing. He’s been that one musician I’ve tried to really apply to myself. Glen was always that musician that I looked up to. Hopefully one day I get to meet him and give him a huge hug for the impact he’s had on my music and helping me become the musician I am today.
The title of your album is Beginning. Does this signal that we will see more from you in the near future?
Of course. The title is called “Beginning” for a couple reasons. The most obvious being that it’s my first album. But “Beginning” consists of a lot of songs I’ve held onto for years. Songs that I wrote when I was like fourteen and fifteen but that still keep their meaning to me. I wanted to move on from those songs but also give them their due for helping me get through those adolescent years as I move onto adulthood. I mean I know at Nineteen now I’m not exactly considered a real adult, but I feel like it sometimes. Like the last couple months have been such a growth period and I got to take a lot of these old songs and see how they still pertain to what’s going on to me now, just in a different capacity. But yes, making music will always be in my future.
What is your inspiration for your songwriting/lyrics?
I’ve found that my writing usually focuses on things that have personally affected me. I’ve never been able to write about fictional situations or dreams, it’s all things that have deeply affected me in some way.
Do you have any tour dates scheduled?
I am actually on my first tour right now supporting another Orlando artist by the name of Austin Miller. We left Orlando on June 12th (my hometown) and are ending in Gainesville July 1st, but we head all the way up the east coast playing shows as far north as New York City and as far west as Detroit, and a whole bunch of places in-between. I’m playing guitar for him and I also sing harmonies in his band. Additionally, I’m opening up most of the shows with a set of my own, so I’m getting both sides of the coin. Learning how to accompany and how to be accompanied. It’s great because it’s basically twice the experience of playing live.
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