If You Try

If You Try

Monday, December 26, 2011

Student of The Game- Matt Reeves Interview

Matt Reeves

 Matt Reeves is an emcee from Staten Island, New York who has been on the grind for a good minute and he is catching fire! He is a blend of underground conscience, street savvy, college education, and urban pop culture all rolled into one. He has been making waves on the Internet with his most recent offering "4 The Love Of Hip Hop", which has been getting a lot of love from the Source Magazine, DJbooth.net, and a host of other major hip hop music outlets. He sat down with us recently to discuss his new album, creative process, advice to new artists, and the importance of handling your business. Matt Reeves is well on his way to being a huge influential force in hip hop. Take note and check out the interview below.

RF: Tell me about Matt Reeves the man, what makes you you?

Matt: This may sound super corny but what makes me me is that I'm not afraid to be me. A lot of rappers aren't comfortable in their own skin so they need the lifestyle of being a rapper to make them feel comfortable. They use the lifestyle and the music to attract all the things they were afraid to pursue as regular joes. As for myself; I embrace fear, insecurities and other raw emotions through my music while I pursue my dreams. I'm not afraid to talk about my shortcomings and I don't put on a show to save face. However it's not all about hard times and woe is me either.

RF: You have a very unique approach to your music. Tell me how your sound came to be what it is?

Matt: As a kid everyone around me from the adults to my older siblings all embraced music with a purpose. So, from Gil Scott Heron to Poor Righteous teachers I was being fed music in a different way. A lot of people think I don't curse in my music because of my spiritual beliefs but it's not that at all. But that actually stems from my mother's challenge to say something meaningful and learn how to express myself without taking a short cut. To be honest, I'm not against people who do, it's just this is where I am creatively.

RF:What motivates you to create the type of music you make?

Matt: The motivation behind the music I make is life itself. I think art should reflect life, not the other way around. Some people may feel like my music is more on the emo side because of the subject matter but if you listen close I never address an issue without offering hope. A lot of time that hope is left up to you the listener to decide how to handle it. One person might hear my song and decide to speak to their neighbor for the first time, somebody else might hear that same song and decide to start a non profit organization. Knowing that I have that type power in my hands I take it very serious and that motivates me to make the music I make and to be responsible with the gift I've been given.

RF: From what I have seen and heard from you, you have a cold business acumen. How does your business side affect your creative side? How do you use the business side to your advantage?

Matt: Sometimes the business side plays more of a role then I'd like it to. This entire industry is all about relationships. Your net worth is determined by your network. As the Internet gives every bitter person with an opinion the opportunity to be a critic, the net also gives anyone with a pulse the opportunity to be famous but on the flip side once you hit that stride it takes off at a much faster pace. So the appearance is that it's easy to "get on" now. But how I use this to my advantage is that I've learned not to get too attached to the music. It's a business and even though these songs are personal when they're created initially, it's still just a product so you can't take it personal when someone doesn't feel you or your song and vice versa you can't let it go to your head when they do feel you and your music because you're just a product. You could be here today and gone tomorrow so you better have some other ideas set in place for that music money because you may not always make money off of music. It's like hooping, what are you gonna do if you tear your ACL or have a career ending injury? Everyone can't be a commentator on ESPN. You have to have another plan, you have to Magic Johnson the game. That's why I admire dudes like E40. Most people see the rapper, I see the real estate mogul and owner of a chain of Fat Burgers. Music is just the platform to get it all started.
Matt Reeves 2010 Album "Get Signed Or Die Tryin"

RF: Tell me about your latest project, For The Love of Hip Hop, and how that came to be?

Matt: People don't know this and I probably shouldn't even tell you this but you're my brother so I'll spill the beans. The bulk of 4 The Love of Hip Hop maybe 7 songs or so was created in less then 2 weeks, the other 5 songs were songs that I had in the stash that were going to be a part of other projects that just didn't pan out the way I planned, so in an attempt to get something out there and keep my name alive I had to go with why I do this music in the first place. Most of that music was written on the train on my way to the studio. I think we did two or three 3 hours sessions and we were done. Plus keep in mind there's a gang of songs that didn't make the cut. I just wanted to do something that spoke volumes about this culture that I love so much. 90% of my good memories have multiple hip hop songs attached to them. My entire character as an artist comes from Chubb Rocks' "Treat Em Right". If you look close at my album cover and you know hip hop, you'll notice it's all native tongue. S/O my man @Street_Evan he's the only one who openly caught that.

RF:What advice would you give to upcoming artists?

Matt: I would tell any artist to first make the music that is true to yourself. You have more in common with your listener then you think. I'd rather fail as Matt Reeves then to succeed as some other dude I don't even recognize. Second, be about your business and be early to meetings.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Learn the business you want to be a part of, you don't have to be a master of the industry, just have a basic understanding of how things work and lastly take care of your people. If people take the time out of their personal lives to make time to listen to your songs the least you can say is thank you. Besides there's a benefit behind that mindset as well, it's called Pareto's Law or the 80/20 rule. 80% of your new fans will come from 20% of your existing ones so take care of your people!

RF: Where will Matt Reeves be at in 2 years?

Matt: In 2 years I hope to be 2 years into whatever deal I've signed with whatever company chooses to believe in me. Maybe Pharrell's I Am Other, G Note, Rostrum, Deacon, Duck Down, Fools Gold who knows. I also hope that at that point I will have had an extremely successful Indie career. I also hope that very soon my tour schedule allows me to do this music full time. Thanks for the opportunity to talk to the people you could've chose anyone. It didn't have to be me doing this interview. Let them know they can check me out @mattreevesmusic. I'm always on twitter ask the battery on my iPhone. If you don't have Twitter hit me at mattreevesmusic@gmail.com but you really should get a twitter I need the followers lol!

RF: No thank you Matt. We appreciate your time, we know you have a lot going on.
Be sure to check out one of Matt Reeves' latest songs/videos "Glasses", this one of my personal favorites.

No comments: