Back in the days, Matt Gresham was a passionate surfer and skateboarder. Today, the sun-tanned Singer / Songwriter still firmly stands on the boards, only this time to wow his audience with his songs. After much-noticed performances at Nannup Music Festival and West Coast Blues And Roots Festival in Australia as well as an acclaimed performance at the famous SXSW festival in the US this year, the Aussie singer recently released his new single “Small Voices” – a first taste of his debut album, announced for Spring 2017 and set to receive equal praise in these parts as well!
His track “Whiskey” already earned him a nomination for the WAM Award (West Australian Music) in the category “Song of the Year”, now he’s taking the next step in his musical evolution with his single “Small Voices”, written in collaboration with Jaymes Young (London Grammar) and produced by Scott Horscroft. The soft sound of his acoustic guitar perfectly sets the tone for his soulful tenor voice, appealing to music lovers that grew up listening to the relaxed vibes of icons like Ben Harper, Bob Dylan or Paul Simon, just like Matt himself did. “Later, I started taking an interest in Hip-Hop, Punk and acts like John Mayer: artists that deployed instruments in quite a pop-oriented fashion and created a style of their own”, he says. This clearly left a mark on Gresham’s own songwriting, as he mixes pop, folk, a little electronica, various traditional acoustic instruments and his instantly recognizable voice into a modern, catchy hybrid sound somewhere between Jack Garratt and Graham Candy.
Take the electronic-percussive “Small Voices” for instance, a song that revolves around family. “The song is about a man in jail missing his daughter. However, it may also be read as an escape back to nature. It’s generally about missing and breaking out. From jail, your own life or perhaps the inner prison you built in your own mind. Songwriting to me is an important healing process. My music helps me process certain experiences and transform negative emotions into something positive. These days, it’s very easy to just run away from certain things. In my music, I face these things.”
Experiences like that can be found on Matt’s as yet untitled debut album as well, for the recording of which he is moving to Berlin in September – after enriching songwriter-stopovers in Los Angeles and London yet another exciting creative chapter for the Australian. It remains to be seen just which inspirations his new life in the German capital will produce. The first feature guest already stands firm, however: it’s New York rapper Talib Kweli, who in his own way is also one of Gresham’s big idols. “It was absolutely great to work with him and I’m so proud to have him on the album. I’m very curious about Berlin. I get inspired by street art a lot. And I heard they have a pretty vibrant skateboarding scene. Who knows, I might just pick up skateboarding again besides making music.”
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