Matt q. official
Artist on the Comeup - Matt Q.
By: Emani King Mack
(PC: Jalysa montero)
Imagine being in the studio as a young independent artist, where you are responsible for writing your own music, producing your own sounds, conceptualizing your own music visuals, and mixing and mastering your own tracks. The process of creating music usually requires a collaborative effort but for Matt Q, an up-and-coming recording artist, it's a one-man show.
I met with the New Jersey-based artist at his outdoor rehearsal for his upcoming music video—fitted down in the latest Ivy Park sweatsuit, to discuss how he is keeping his art alive during the pandemic. The 20-year-old performer is still an underground artist, but his ability to independently create Hip Hop infused R&B/Soul music packaged with visuals and social media promotions are the true making of a rising star.
Q reflected on his childhood of having only moral support from his parents as they viewed his career choice as a trivial pursuit. “If I were to ask for studio time, when I was younger, my parents would say, ‘No, go figure it out on your own,’” he said. An experience he is now grateful for as he uses it as motivation to establish himself as the artist he truly wants to be. To say he is talented would be a disservice to his work ethic since he taught himself the skills needed to produce his own music.
BTS of Matt Q recording his music. PC: Matt Q)
It was not until he attended Rahway High School in New Jersey where he was able to refine his skills through musical theater and drama clubs. Q expressed extreme gratitude for his teachers Jensyn Modero, Robert Van Wyk, and Allison Dooley for giving him his first opportunity to produce his own performance at the school’s talent show.
Q identified Beyonce, as one of his biggest inspirations, as he aspires to mirror her ability to be a world-renowned performer and to bring her vision to life behind the scenes. If you enjoy the sounds of Bryson Tiller, DVSN, and PARTYNEXTDOOR then Matt Q will be a great addition to your playlist, make sure you start with his popular single, Risk It All.
Like many artists, the Covid-19 pandemic has altered the trajectory of Q’s career. “I was forced to move back home from college, to live in a basement with just a futon and TV because my original room was taken,” Q said. A setback that put the young artist into an episode of depression as he continued school remotely and started to fall behind in his classes. “I found myself not making music as much as I was before as I struggled with a creative block that prevented me from making better songs,” Q said as he marked the choreography for the next take. He described the frustrating experience as having a bunch of ideas, but no will to create them. Q said, “I was in such a cloudy mental space, it took me nearly a month to unpack my stuff from college.”
Once the Beyonce-inspired artist came to terms with his new living arrangement he found his way back to making music. “I invested in some new equipment, turned a section of the basement into a studio, and produced a song finally, titled, Live My Life, the visual is available on YouTube,” Q shared.
The visual captures the gloomy mindset that Q was experiencing due to the pandemic and the lyrics tell his story of feeling empty and not wanting to take the steps necessary to better his situation. Q shared that, “After I made that song, I got the chance to process a lot of feelings I’ve been experiencing for the first time. That was the moment everything shifted in my favor as I realized I have to see things a different way.”
(Matt Q before outdoor rehearsal. PC: Jalysa montero)
Change is not always comfortable but it is essential for evolution especially for an artist. The pandemic served as a wake-up call for Q as he realized that he was not creating music for himself. He explained, “I found myself trying to conform to all the popular sounds that everybody likes, and I really got lost in it for some time. Then I realized I needed to stop thinking about what everybody wants to hear and tell my own stories.”
Now the rising star is preparing to enter his new era of music all based on a true story. “It’s hard to be an artist right now, but we have to stay strong, believe in ourselves, and embrace the struggle,” Q said as reached the end of rehearsal. Matt Q is truly a force to be reckoned with and as a reward for reading his story here's a link for to his new single "NUMB" now available to stream everywhere!