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Interview: Mathew V Talks New Track ‘Around Here,’ His Forthcoming Ep ‘Outer Circle, Fan Appreciation + More | Soundzine
Vancouver’s Mathew V announces a new EP with the release of his latest single “Around Here.”
“I wrote [Around Here] when I was mentally and emotionally diving into the past. It’s about the town where I grew up. I wanted to finally look back with some perspective on my formative high school years and how they shaped me for better and for worse. I think everyone has times in their life that they associate to certain places. For me that place exists actively in my mind and this song helped me process that. I worked on this song with the very talented gentlemen from World’s First Cinema in Los Angeles. It has live strings, big harmonies and feels emotionally on the bullseye of how that time of my life makes me feel.”
After 10 years of classical operatic vocal training, Mathew moved from Vancouver to London, England at the age of 17. It was in London that he found his signature sound before returning home to pen a record deal with 604 Records, reach Canadian radio top 40 status, drop two charting albums and earn much acclaim from esteemed press.
Following the release of his 2020 sophomore album Two Faced – which surpassed 25 million streams, Mathew is pushing his boundaries and setting his sights on new highs with his upcoming EP. Mathew claims to have gone back to his roots with Outer Circle – set for release this summer.
“I’m also going back to my roots which is singing. I’m really leaning into the vocals unapologetically on this project, and I’m loving it.”
Mathew also claims that he is being “more honest with himself than ever” on his new body of work which further echoes the pride and integrity he exudes as a Queer artist and advocate. A champion for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Mathew says that he has never considered not being an openly Queer artist:
“It is who I am, and my lyrics, stories and music call on those experiences all the time.”
With two new singles out in the world, Mathew looks forward to sharing more songs in the year ahead.
Q: How would you describe your artistry and who are your biggest musical influences?
My music is always vocally centred. I express myself with my voice. I picked up this emotive style of singing through some of my early musical influences like Celine Dion, Shania Twain and into adulthood, artists like Amy Winehouse and Chris Stapleton
Q: Tell us about the creative process behind “Around Here”:
Around Here was one of the first songs I worked on remotely in quarantine. It was made entire over text and voice notes from different cities and countries. It’s been a big learning curve but has proven to be very useful since COVID started. I worked on this song with the very talented gentlemen from World’s First Cinema, and I’m really proud of us for making it happen under the circumstances.
Q: What inspired “Around Here” thematically?
This song is about hometowns. I found great perspective looking back on places from my formative years. These places hold such strong memories and emotions and I wanted to touch on some of that retrospectively in this song.
Q: What can we expect from your upcoming EP “Outer Circle”?
This EP touches a lot on places and memories from the past. Spaces in time or physical places that had a huge part in shaping me into the person I am today. It’s an outward inventory of these memories and processing them for better or worse.
Q: How does your new project differ from your previous releases?
This project feels much more grown up for me personally. I think I’m being more honest with myself than I’ve ever been before. I’m also going back to my roots which is singing. I’m really leaning into the vocals unapologetically on this project, and I’m loving it.
Q: You’re a champion for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. How important is it for you to be an openly queer artist?
I don’t think I’ve ever even pondered not being an openly queer artist. It is who I am, and my lyrics, stories and music call on those experiences all the time.
Q: In what ways can the music industry be more accommodating for queer artists?
I think acceptance without tokenization is important. Queer artists need to have our stories told, just as every marginalized group does. We need our stories elevated, not only to our own communities, but to the mainstream as a whole. It’s wonderful to have our music put on queer playlists and campaigns during pride month… but queer is not a genre. We should be able to sit next to straight, cis people in our respective genres. Queer people have always been able to connect to cis/straight experiences and music, regardless of the pronouns. I think that cis/straight people are more than capable of connecting in the same way with music from queer artists. Certain emotions are universal.
Q: You have a dedicated and loving fanbase. What drives your commitment to connect with your listeners on social media?
I’m just so appreciative of anyone taking time out of their busy and complex lives to support what I want to do with my life. If someone chooses to share my music, that’s huge. They didn’t need to do that… they don’t owe me anything. These things help in a big way. It is never expected and it’s something that I certainly don’t take for granted.
Q: What’s getting you through these times of the pandemic?
Bread. Haha. In all seriousness, I’ve been focusing on my music which has helped a lot. When the COVID times get hard I try to practice gratitude and do only what I can every day.
Q: What’s next for Mathew V?
More bread. Haha. I have a lot of music coming out in 2021. More than any year before. I’m just excited to keep growing and evolving. As long as I’m taking steps in the right direction, even baby steps… that’s all I can ask for.