Musical Age w/ J.K. Matthews
Let’s get to know singer songwriter J.K. Matthews who is embarking on his solo musical journey with his first EP release springing up very soon.
SB (StarBeat): Bio Sheet: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
JKM (J.K. Matthews): I’m a Canadian singer-songwriter that has just started a new solo project under the name J.K. Matthews. Growing up, I played in a ton of bands and have always led the groups in the songwriting process. To be honest, songwriting was the reason why I got into music in the first place. I vividly remember myself at the age of six trying to sing melodies and lyrics over my friend’s horrendous recorder playing at school.
After picking up the guitar around age eleven, I quickly learned how to play open chords and started writing my very first songs. Writing led the desire for me to gain a better understanding of music and to get the sounds I was hearing out of my head and into my speakers. Naturally, I ended up going to school for music.
For the last four years, I’ve been working on finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Music. This is my first year out of school since I was an infant and I plan on making the most of my time. I have an EP coming out on April 5th that showcases my writing up to this point. It is my first release since starting my degree and I couldn’t be more excited to put myself out there with this new project.
SB: New Music: Can you tell us more about your upcoming EP?
JKM: The EP is called the “Young EP”. Essentially, every song on the release is a tune that I wrote over the arc of my young adult life. There’s songs on this EP that go all the way back to lyrics in my high school notebooks that I later revisited and reworked. The way I like to think about it is that this EP is a snapshot of myself as a songwriter up to now. I wanted my old ideas to be captured so that myself and the listener can go back and say “oh that’s what he sounded like at that point in his life.”
SB: Details: Can you tell us more about the lead single “Young”?
JKM: Haha! Yeah, the lead single off of the “Young EP” was appropriately named “Young.” To me, “Young” is like the centerpiece of this release. I wrote the song for one of my best friends. In high school, we used to skip class and drive. We never had a destination, we just picked a direction and went. On those long car rides we used to complain about our teachers or prom dates or whatever. They were really just long road trips to vent out our teenage angst.
Eventually, we graduated school and went off to university. We met up for coffee on one of our semester breaks and ended up taking a long drive yet again. Only this time, we weren’t complaining about trivial school things. We were complaining about the stresses of our debts and our places of work. We looked back at our old troubles and realized that they were never really troubles at all.
SB:Reel to Reel: What was the recording process like?
JKM: Most of the record was made between me and my close friend Mike Tompa. We recorded a lot of the EP in a small production booth in Toronto. We layered just about everything you hear on the EP between the two of us.
It was a very intimate approach to the process and it allowed Mike and I to really take our time with each tune.
SB: Musicality: What instruments do you play?
JKM: I’m a musician first although I’ve spent the most time on guitar and voice. With that being said, I do play piano, bass, lapsteel, and ukulele as well.
SB: Stage Fright: So you’re a solo artist, how do you play live?
JKM: The majority of my friend group is made out of spectacular musicians who are always willing to hop up on stage with me. My performances range from solo acoustic all the way to a six-piece band. I have different arrangements of each of my original songs to fit any occasion!
SB: Planner: What’s coming up next for you?
JKM: I am currently finishing up the writing for my next release. As soon as this EP is out, I plan to hop right back into the studio and work on my next record.
J.K. on Social: