A Chat with Matt Harper

Matt Harper has been a huge fan of electronic music from the late ’70s right up to date while also having a passion for indie rock. Born in Birmingham, England Harper grew up around Tamworth, Staffordshire where he now lives.

We had the opportunity to chat with him about his passion for music, his long hiatus, and come back.


A Chat with Matt Harper

Q. Tell us about Matt Harper, who is this amazing artist?

Matt is not your average musician just starting out. I came back to music after a long hiatus with a desire to just release songs that he loves to make. Each one is a moment of inspiration, maybe a line or a rhythm and then the race is on to get to the piano and work the chord structure out so that it sticks in the mind.


I play piano and am always learning new music by contemporary and classical artists. My favourite composer is Beethoven.


I am passionate about songs that send a positive message and love to have an experimental approach to both writing and recording so as to not lose the soul of the track. I like to be intuitive rather than import ideas I’ve heard before.

Q. What made you go into music and how long have you been in the industry? I was in a band many years ago with friends as a keyboard player but despite gigging extensively and pitching demos to record labels we didn’t get a break and eventually things fell apart. I kept writing music and storing songs in my head for years until I felt the time was right to release my own music.


Technology and the music business was much more favourable to my approach as a solo writer, producer and performer and so I released my first single “Everyone” in March 2021.



Q. Tell us about your latest released project. What's the background and inspiration behind it? Shortly after my second single came out I was approached by Bentley Records from New York with an offer I couldn’t refuse to release an album. This gave me some focus and a target and I set about writing new songs over 6 months. I wanted to stay true to my favourite genre of 80’s inspired electro-pop but with modern beats. I also love strong melodies and think if a song can’t be accompanied by a solo piano or guitar then it isn’t really a song.

 
 

Q. Who did you work with on your latest release and what challenges have you faced so far as an artist?? I wrote and recorded all the music at home then took the semi-produced tracks to Zoo Recording Studio near Tamworth where Carl Harris recorded my vocals and we completed the mixing together. The tracks were then sent to Bentley Records for mastering.


The biggest challenge is getting your name out there, and having the confidence to approach people and ask for feedback. Also learning how to maximise your exposure on social media which is a little alien but I am learning by observing what other artists do.


Q. What do you think of the music industry in 2022 and beyond? I think that the music industry is buoyant at the moment. It is so much easier these days to release music and raise your public profile. In the past if you didn’t have a recording contract you could do nothing but play live, now the worldwide audience is so much more accessible.


Q. How has the current pandemic affected you as an artist and as a person? The pandemic actually motivated me to get started. My first single “Everyone” was inspired by the worldwide changes the pandemic created. I was reflecting on how wasteful people were and how during the first year of the pandemic the world was beginning to recover from the impact of humans over generations of damage to the environment.


Q. Who are your favorite artists and how have they influenced your music and style? All the synth-pop bands, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Yazoo, Kraftwerk, Human League etc. Also Radiohead, REM, Smashing Pumpkins, London Grammar, Bjork, Aurora, David Gray. They all have something kind of unique about them, I like to listen to many facets of what any artist does, be it the rhythm, the sounds they use, the melodies and harmonies. I learn something new with every song I hear so there is no single influence, it is more a combination of little things that filter through into my thinking.


Q. How do you define success as an artist and are you currently working on any new projects at the moment? By being happy that you did a good job of releasing what you believe in. I don’t value numbers that much unless they come on the back of musical happiness. Given the choice being happy with what I do comes first.


I have just released my debut album “New Sounds” and at the moment I am looking into ways to perform it live. I am also writing again but whether there will be an album or EP I haven’t decided yet.


 
 

Q. Outside making music what else do you enjoy doing most and what’s your favorite song at the moment?

I don’t do much outside writing music except spending time with family and I’ve recently started to play Golf. I also play piano for pleasure as you can never stop learning.


I keep finding old songs as there isn’t too much new music that appeals to me at the moment. I’ve just discovered Biig Piig and love Feels Right.

Q. What was the first album you bought?

The first one I bought myself was Public Image second edition, in the metal case. I played it to death.


Q. What other genre of music do you enjoy listening to and will be happy to explore as an artist?

I’m always open to new ideas. I tried to include a little classical technique in my album.


Q. What is your favorite saying and where do you see yourself in 5 years?

"Don’t worry about it till there’s something to worry about". In five years hopefully playing regular gigs and recording albums that are well received and I can be satisfied with what I do.


Q. Our audience wanted to know if you have any tattoos and if you are single or taken.

No, I don't have any, don’t think they would suit me. Taken, I have a fiancée [Smiles]


Q. Where can we find you online?

I am available on Facebook and Instagram.

My website is mattharper.name


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