Up and coming artist - Matt Henshaw
By Bemi (Founder Mor Music Group)
Matt Henshaw has an unassuming air about him. He’s achieved quite a lot at the age of 26 years old. I recall him talking about his review by The Guardian, and the NME Award – he said it in a casual tone. I had to repeat what he said back to him for clarification.
Matt has over 6000 likes on Facebook, over 10, 000 Twitter followers. He doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight with other up and coming artists – he posts their music on his Facebook, and Twitter pages. I must commend his effort, as I don’t often see a lot of up and coming artists recommending their peers.
Here’s an artist with a calm charm, and he makes beautiful music with meaningful lyrics.
By the way, did I mention he’s got a Bachelors, and Masters degree.
You can read more about Matt Henshaw in my interview with him:
1. How did you get started in your music career? And how long have you been involved in music (part-time and full-time)?
I only decided to properly do music as a "career" in July of last year, I've been singing all my life, and picked up a guitar when I was about 10.
2. How would you describe your genre of music? And who are your musical influences (classic and contemporary)?
I like to call my music Rhythm & Gospel just because they're words that sound nice together, and I don't really like to subscribe to genre theory so I've invented my own. And my influences? They're all classic, roots music really, soul, gospel, blues, jazz and ska, and classic songwriters. I don't really have any contemporary influences aside from the other musicians I come across, and play with.
3. You've got thousands of likes/followers on Facebook, and Twitter. You also have high fan interaction/activity on Facebook. Even your cute cat Tippy has a Facebook page with over 6000 likes. How do you manage to keep your fans engaged?
How do I manage to keep myself engaged? Ha ha. No, I think it's important. It's become such an important part of being a singer, musician or an artist these days. I think it pays to suss out how it all works really, and keep on top of it yourself, and be genuine. When I was in a band years ago there was only MySpace, and that was it. Now I'm on my phone operating across thirty different networks and interacting with people all over the world, and people who like to communicate in different ways. I think if you're a positive person, and you believe in the human race as I do the internet is a great place, and you can work it to your advantage. But you have to be genuine, and willing to put the work in.
4. You were the 2010 NME Breakthrough artist winner (see link below) – that was major milestone in your music career. Could you talk us through the process?
It wasn't really a major milestone, I wasn't even thinking of it as a career back then, I was busy studying really. I was singing on some hip-hop records that for various reasons or another, one more hilarious than the next, we put out an album, and an EP that had to go out under my name. We ended up playing at some major festivals with likes of Dizzee Rascal, Chase & Status, and Ellie Goulding, supporting Jessie J, and winning plaudits, awards, video awards, and loads of features all over but couldn't sustain it. It was too hectic, and far too many things going on, people disappearing, and I had a thesis to write, and an "academic career" to concentrate on. But look where we are now, eh?
5. The Guardian music’s (top music critics/reviewers in the UK) description of your sound – “It's sublime, a blue-eyed soul voice to compare with the best of them, soaring over the song, mapping out the contours of the melody with just the tiniest bit of grit.”
How did it feel being reviewed by The Guardian music at such an early stage in your music career?
It was great, I remember being in the flat in London where I was at the time the day that came out, and it was overwhelming, thousands of people reading about me and listening to a track that me and Reggii had done in his basement cellar, and watching a video we'd done walking around a council estate in Tamworth with a few mates. I couldn't get over the line that said I looked like the kid from Kes now in his twenties or something. But the most important thing for me was that it was written by Paul Lester, someone who I respected, and had bought books that he'd written in the past!
6. Could you talk about your upcoming EP due out in June? (release date details etc.)
Yes, my second totally self-funded independent EP record - 'Always In The Way' - will be out on Monday 16th June. I'm throwing parties in London on the 19th, and Leicester on the 20th to celebrate. It's four more tracks like the first one, It Ain't Easy / My Life that came out in March, recorded here, there and everywhere, and a mixture of things that I like. The lead track is a folky number celebrating human connection against all odds, and it's my mum's favourite. There's a waltzy love song on there, some heavy rockin' blues, and a piano ballad from imaginary French film soundtrack. I like it, and I hope loads of other people will too.
7. Where would you like to see your music career 5 years from now?
I don't mind, as long as the bills, and rent are paid, and there's petrol in the car, I'll still be playing something for someone, somewhere.
8. Do you have any message for your fans out there?
Thank You. If you like what I do, I thank you. And Spread The Love!
Below are links for more information on Matt Henshaw. You can show your support by giving him a like on Facebook, and following him on Twitter.