Firstly lets start with how your career started…
Thinking back to when you were younger, what made you want to become a musician? Was there a certain experience that made you want to write and perform music?
As a young child music really resonated with me. Before I realised I wanted to play it I would hear music & want to dance to it. As I got a little older & started watching live shows, I remember being amazed by the musicianship of the people on stage. I picked up a guitar in my first year of high school, started writing music & never looked back.
What made you realise YouTube would be such a useful platform for you as an artist?
When YouTube came out I remember thinking there is something very special here if utilised correctly. I personally didn’t start using YouTube properly until May of 2009 with the release of a live cover of Mr. Brightside by The Killers that become popular almost overnight grossing 225,000+ views & still climbing the last time I checked.
Your online listeners clearly love your acoustic reinterpretations of popular songs. Can we expect to see more of the original music you perform at live shows to be released online this year?
Yes. Absolutely! For years I’ve been of the mindset that I should keep working hard to be the best musician I can possibly be before releasing my own original records. I’ve had a change of hart recently & have realised I should be putting out a reflection of myself musically each year. If people enjoy the covers that I reinterpret, there’s no reason they wouldn’t enjoy my own works that is even more emotive & personal than my cover reinterpretations. I’m actually flying to Barbados in March to shoot a video for my first independent single release. The single has been a couple of years in the making, I wrote it last time I was in Barbados & I’m really excited to be going back to complete the record where it began. Keep an eye out for that release early April!
As we know you’re very popular online. I personally like how you interact with your fans daily on social media. You’ve just started daily vlogging this year, releasing a daily video on your social sites. Is this an effort to become even closer with your fan base online?
I think partly yes, I think I’m already very close to my fans but I definitely value anything that brings me closer to them. Also this is a challenge is partly for myself. To be able to look back on any given day & remember exactly how I was feeling & what I was going through in my life is a very useful tool. In 2014 I started watching a lot of vlogs. Firstly bcus I love watching & supporting YouTubers but more importantly bcus vlogs are all about ‘real life’. I think we can all get wrapped up in soaps with fictional plots that often dramatise many of life’s highs and lows. So I started watching vlogs as a ‘real life’ cleanse if you will. This inspired me to set myself a challenge for the new year: film daily vlogs for the month of January. Will this continue throughout February? We’ll see, but editing a daily video is definitely a big drain on my time each day. I’ve almost completed January’s daily vlogs & I feel really thankful I decided to challenge myself in this way. It’s definitely made me reflect on the way I live my life & improved my skill set as a video editor.
I have many favourite covers that you’ve recorded to date. If you had to pick one, we’d like to know which cover you’ve personally enjoyed recording the most & why?
I’ve got so many fond memories of videos we’ve shot across the UK & internationally. One of my favourites is ‘Six Degrees Of Separation – The Script’. For this video we stepped up the visual quality as well as the audio quality. We shot the video featuring Xfactors Mawa in Stratford-upon-Avon’s Chicago’s with an on-set crew of about 10 friends helping us we were able to achieve our vision for the song with the skill set we had at the time & I’m very proud of it!
You’ve been published in countless articles from papers such as: The Herald, The Courier & The Observer. How does that make you feel at this early stage in your career?
It makes me feel positive I’m getting the medias attention, I must be doing something right to be receiving such positive press. I’m extremely critical about my career, I suppose you could call me a perfectionist. I always listen to what people have to say about me & my music but at the end of the day it’s very important to me to follow my own direction & be true to my vision as an artist not to be guided by people’s expectations or impressions of me.
What do you love the most about being an independent musician? Do you think in the future you would like to get signed to a label or stay independent?
– I love the amount of experience being an independent musician brings. People view me as a musician but I’m also a producer / mix & master engineer / accountant / administrator / sales & marketing executive / graphic designer – all for my own company ‘Matt Bate Music’. Yes I’m always looking at new options for music. If the right deal comes along I’d obviously give it fair consideration.
What is your musical highlight of 2014? What’s the thing that stands out for you above everything else last year that you’ve accomplished?
– I’ve been fortunate to have so many ‘wow moments’ that really stand out for me in 2014. If I had to pick just 1 off the top of my head it would be playing to 6000 people at Ragley Hall Bonfire & Fireworks Extravaganza. That was such an incredible event for me having the opportunity to communicate with that volume of people all at one. That will stick with me for a long time to come.
What is your main aim for your career in 2015?
I have several aims for 2015 one of which would be to release some of my own music & to be respected for the level of artistry that has gone into my records.
Click here: Watch The Interview
Click here: Behind The Scenes
Thank you to the incredible Matt Bate for sharing his time with us today here at Media City UK! It’s an absolute pleasure to speak with you & we look forward to following you on your musical journey. If you would like to check out Matt and his music visit MattBateMusic.co.uk