Hitting thousands of views on Youtube and millions of listens on Spotify, Dylan Matthew is quickly inching his way up the ladder of the R&B/Soul music scene. Although he has only been actively releasing music for around 2 years, his recent single, “Sober”, and his brand new collaboration with artist Julia Lucius, “Bad”, released earlier this week are testaments to how passionate and talented Matthew is about his art.
Besides being the words and voice behind his work, he also has full productive control. Being primarily self-taught, he relied on his own technical ability to infuse his own touch into every sound that is heard. Refusing to remain too comfortable in any one particular genre, there is always a message and a purpose behind each new creation. It was a personal experience of his own that inspired him to begin the writing process for “Sober” the very next day. “I wrote it about 5 months ago…as a piano ballad. It was the day after I had gone to this party and I was really into this girl but she was there and very not sober. I just really wanted to talk to her and explain myself, but I knew that if I did then by the next day she wouldn’t remember any conversation we had about it. So I wrote that and…I randomly decided to listen to it again and reproduce it and everything,” he explained.
But it is personal experience and inspiration that has shaped Matthew into the artist he has become. He grew up in a household filled with musically diverse talent that now spans 3 generations. The smooth writing styles of John Legend and the soulful sounds of Otis Redding helped define his own ambitions. “My dad used to be a professional musician since he was young…he ended up opening concerts for a few big people. So basically my whole life growing up was him playing guitar and singing and both of my sisters sang…I always had music around growing up. And my grandmother plays piano and she was the one who taught me to play piano when I was little,” he said. Despite developing his talents both vocally and instrumentally, it was the time he spent writing short stories and poetry that would set the foundation for the lyrics he would put on paper. It is impossible to combine all of these ingredients without the proper space and equipment.
Matthew didn’t have the money to rent a professional studio and create a song. He didn’t want to rely on the schedules of others to permit when he could produce his works. Ideas were always running in his head and in order to capture them in the moment, he would need to fully take on the required production duties. “I always want to work on stuff and always had ideas. I thought it would be easier if I just got my own computer and got all the software and started doing it myself…it’s all me and I can just work on it. If I come up with a cool melody, I’ll just put on the input and record it in the mic and it’s already mixed vocals in there just waiting for me to write more to it,” he explained. With the brand new release of his new single, “Bad”, with fellow singer/songwriter and high school friend Julia Lucius, he continues to prove that he can competently create behind the scenes in a collaborative effort. Matthew wrote various lyrics and verses leading up to the song’s conception, but it was Lucius that filled in the missing pieces. She brought out a new side of the song’s initial purpose that had previously been missing. “That one was a lot of fun to make. And the meaning of it is pretty cool…it’s kind of an innuendo of two sides of I can be “bad” as in toxic in this relationship but also I can be bad in the more sensual term of it. And that was her idea…” he confirmed.
The single has received positive feedback just days after its release. Matthew is already looking to the weeks and months ahead as he anticipates dropping a number of new songs. Brand new material is well on the way, so keep an eye out for even more original music from the young artist. He commented, “I have a lot of projects that are close to being finished. Some of my favorite songs I’ve ever written are in there…so; I think my best work will be coming out in the next couple months. I am very excited to show that to the world.”
Photographer: Gary Scott
Stylist: Chelsea Scheidt
Follow Dylan Matthew on Instagram: @itsdylanmatthew