23-year-old singer/songwriter Matt DeAngelis is from New Jersey. Since age 8, he’s worked as a lyricist to convey positivity in a world of struggle and pessimism. Having been diagnosed with OCD/anxiety in his adolescence, he has absorbed the time-sensitive environment around him. His strong faith has helped him transform a negative into a good, which has guided his songwriting growth. Since childhood, he’s been passionate about climate change and mental health, and he’s always enjoyed weather. In recent years, he’s become a storm chaser to raise awareness about our planet’s deteriorating climate.
“Real Future” (7/29/22) has a fresh sound. Inspired by the new world we live in after the epidemic, which has impacted many facets of our existence. He was also influenced by climate change. Check out the song and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
MATT DEANGELIS: I am from Washington Township, New Jersey. My dad is a professional musician and my mom is a poet. I learned from them and was classically trained on the piano from age 10. However, I began writing songs at age 8.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
MATT DEANGELIS: I did receive formal training on the piano and guitar, but I am mainly self-taught on my vocals, as well as adding the harmonica later on in my teenage years.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘MATT DEANGELIS’?
MATT DEANGELIS: My first major influence growing up was David Bowie. However, I love Billy Joel, Elton John, as well as the progressive rock bands Yes, Genesis, and Gentle Giant among many others. My stage name is Matt DeAngelis or Matt DeAngelis Music, as I felt that sticking to my original name was best for me.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
MATT DEANGELIS: I feel that my sound is unique because I have incorporated elements of pop, rock, classic rock, and progressive rock and have formed my own sound. I always feel that relating to my listeners based on concepts of the real world is effective in my songwriting. I would best describe my sound as progressive pop.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
I used my songwriting as spiritual and social vehicles frequently. Many of the topics I write about are real world and social issues, but I try to put a positive spin on things. While music is a form of entertainment, I think it should be used as advocacy for certain topics in the world.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
I songwrite first and foremost because I love it. I do expect to have fulfilment through listeners and acknowledgement, but I have learned to grow more patient over recent years. I am always growing as an artist and find enjoyment in doing it.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
There are times when I begin writing with a random idea, where I’ll just begin writing lyrics. However, there are also times when I begin with sitting down at the keys or guitar and begin a chord sequence or melody. I have collaborated with others, but I am mainly a solo artist.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
MATT DEANGELIS: The most difficult thing for me so far has been gaining a following and learning to grow as a performer and musician. It can sometimes take a toll on your outlook as a musician, but my goal remains the same. I will never give the dream up. There is always much to learn and I am still growing as an artist.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
MATT DEANGELIS: One amazing experience I have had was recording part of my original EP “World I’m Comin’ For You” with legendary musicians Richie Cannata and drummer Liberty DeVitto from Billy Joel’s original band. This has helped me grow as both an original studio musician and performer.
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