Matt Wills

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Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Kent singer Matt Wills to find out more…

Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I feel like I've lived everywhere but home to me will always be this tiny village called Tenterden in Kent, there's nothing here and I always used to hate that but after living in London I've fallen in love with how quiet and beautiful it is here. There’s also this vineyard called Chapel Down which sells the best wine and I probably spend wayyyy too much time there. (CHAPEL DOWN IF YOU'RE READING THIS PLEASE SPONSOR ME 😂😂).

I got into music when I was around 13 and I was a really self conscious (slightly overweight) kid. I picked up a guitar after listening to artists like Jamie T and the Kooks and just wanted to be like them. Playing guitar and singing kinda came naturally to me and I always felt way more confident behind a guitar than anywhere else in the world. The best thing about writing music is that you can say all the things that you think or wanna say and it takes away the fear of saying it. I think if it wasn’t for music I’d still be that awkward teenager... actually fuck. Tbf. I still am.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up I used to travel a lot with my family. My dad's a massive car fanatic and he used to drive us on these endless road trips around the states. He only ever had two cds and so did my mum. There was Van Morrison and Simply Red when my dad was driving or you got Estelle and John Legend when my mum was. I used to listen to those albums so much I think they’ve created my obsession with classic songwriting and a more soul hip hop feel.

I suck at music discovery as I spend so much time writing but my girlfriend always shows me new artists and shares her playlists with me and I love it. It’s kinda cute. She’s introduced me to artists like Tom Misch, SG Lewis and Bazzi. I've become obsessed with production and these guys are some of the best.

How would you describe your sound?
My sound at heart is singer songwriter. Just a guy and a guitar singing a love song. I always want the vocal to be at the front telling a story. That’s why all my new tracks have no reverb delay just my vocal. Mixed into that is my obsession with hip hop so expect a lot of heavy baselines and beats!

What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
I just released a track called “Just Us” and it’s kinda the beginning of my new little era of music.
It’s all about how I wanted to strip my relationship back to the best moments. We can so easily get wrapped up in work on our phones and spend so much time going shopping buying shit that we JUST DON'T NEED. And I wanted to say can we forget all about that. Go somewhere without our phones and some stupid expensive clothes on and just lay in a field and stare at the stars and remember why we fell in love.

What’s your local music scene like?
It breaks my heart that where I live there is no local live scene but there’s so much great music coming out of my area. Bands like The Wild State have just released their debut which is awesome and we went to school together. Artists like Tiny K are supporting big names like Fredo yet there’s no real live scene. Everything gets shutdown because the old people don’t like the noise 😂 The only show I've ever played down here was an open mic in a pub and I got chucked out in the end for making too much craziness.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I honestly don’t know what’s in store. I’m making lots of new music. And I’m gonna go back out and do live shows. But atm I just wanna look after myself and be happy. If that means touring then yeah. If not then I’m gonna relax with my guitar. I just wanna do whatever makes me happy these days. I’m done with doing what labels or people expect and I think that’s important.

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
If I could write a song with Matty Healy, a song with Ed Sheeran and a song with Post Malone I’d die a happy boy.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
One time I played a show in Soho years back when Ed Sheeran was just getting recognised, I finished my set with a cover of A Team and at the time I had dyed my hair bright orange (cause I was broke and someone paid me to 😂). After my set I’m walking back to the tube and this mum and her daughter chase me down the street asking saying they loved the show and wanted a photo. I was crazy flattered and took the photo. Straight after they were like thanks Ed and it clocked. They thought I was Ed Sheeran.

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I’m not Ed Sheeran.

You can find out more about Matt via Facebook, Instagram, Spotify or Twitter.