Our newest Spotlight – Matt Lang. This country music star is on the rise carving out a solid name for himself along the way. We first experienced Matt Lang at the Boots and Hearts festival and were hooked! Next time we along with Tebey opening up for him at Algonquin College. We finally got to spend a little time with him to talk about music and the release of his new Album which at the time of writing is over 2 million streams online!
Growing up in rural Quebec, Maniwaki more specifically, country music isn’t exactly on high rotation. What were some of your first memories of country music and what made you fall in love with it?
Country music is very popular in my family. I was introduced to country music by my grandfather and he taught me how to play guitar when I was just a kid. The whole family together, playing music, those are my best memories.
You’ve previously listed Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, amongst others as some influences growing up, who are some contemporary artists that you admire?
I am still very inspired by old school country, but lately, I also really enjoy listening to some Jon Pardi and Luke Combs.
You’ve been writing and performing since you were in your teens, releasing an album back in 2015, and then even participating in the French version of The Voice in Quebec. What made you decide to take the big leap and apply to the SiriusXM Top of the Country competition?
I first released a French album that was a little more folk rock than country. You could still hear something country in my voice, but singing in English in Quebec so early on in my career would have been a bigger challenge. Like you said, country music isn’t big on Quebec radio, especially not in English. I started posting country covers on social media and people really responded. I drove to Nashville for the first time with my band around that time and it really pushed me to go for it. I had been singing English country music my whole life, but now was the time to finally pursue it. I know that this is what I was meant to be doing and it felt so natural. Top of the Country came after I released my first Country English EP so I was ready to take that leap.
Winning the SiriusXM Top of the Country competition was a huge turning point in your musical career. What was it like knowing that you had proven yourself to your peers like that?
Winning was life changing for sure and it was a big tap on the back telling me that I’m doing the right thing. It really pushed me to work even harder and that I have my place in this industry. It meant and will always mean a lot to me.
You performed at the Boots and Hearts Music festival in 2019. How exciting was to play for a crowd that large at one of the biggest country music festivals in Canada?
We were performing in the barn and not the main stage, but just to be part of this legendary festival was incredible. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully play on the big stage next!
We then find you heading to Nashville, the country music capital of the world, and you are working with Danick Dupelle, also Canadian. What was it like working so closely with someone who has similar roots as you but has been in the country music scene for so long?
Danick is the first person I met on my first Nashville trip and one of my band mates introduced us. He has become a close friend of mine and he is obviously one of the most talented people I have ever met. As you probably know, I am still learning English, so having a friend and someone that understands my journey to guide me through all this is great. I love his ideas, he knows everything there is to know about music and I know he has my best interest at heart. I feel very lucky to be working with him.
A lot of your fans would be both impressed to know that you basically taught yourself English as you were recording. What was some of the biggest frustrations that came with that? What was surprisingly easy?
It’s not a language that is so hard to learn, but you need to practice. When I go to Nashville for a few weeks, I get used to it. But when I come back home and only speak French for months and I have an English interview booked, this is when I get nervous. It is a commitment I have to make to always practice and have conversations in order to be more fluent. I’ve come a long way, but I still have a lot of work to do!
Your track “Water Down the Whiskey” has such a fun summer vibe to it. What was the inspiration behind it?
To me, this song is all about being real, simple and straight forward. What you see if what you get kind of thing. That’s why I drink my whiskey straight.
The style is a bit more rock than some of your other tracks off previous EPs. How has the reception been amongst your fans.
They loved it! Especially live. The album is a little more rock and country than the first one, but the reaction is great so far and I’m really happy about that.
You’ve been performing now for the last 2 years or so non stop. The estimates are between 125-150 shows, including in March playing over in Berlin, Germany. What have been some of your favorite tour memories, favorite shows, etc?
Seeing people’s faces singing along to the songs and spending time with my band on the road. They are like brothers and we have the best time.
You just released your new single Getcha. Do you have a release date or plans for your next EP?
My new album comes out this Friday June 5th and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
What would you like to say to your fans?
I know times are tough, and I’m really disappointed we can’t play those new songs on the road right now for you guys. Hopefully new music will cheer you up. Can’t wait to perform for you again. Stay safe in the meantime!
Spotlight – Matt Lang has come to an end. We want to thank Matt for spending the time with us to talk about his music and the new release. We look forward to see Matt hit the stage again so we can all rock out.
Check out the new release available now!
For more from Matt Lang make sure to visit him here
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