Randy Matthews nominated for Music NL award | Spare News
PORT AUX BASQUES — Musician Randy Matthews was born and raised in Grand Baie and spent all his summers around MacDougall’s Gulch. It’s not hard to see where his passion blossomed. Music has always had a special meaning.
“The game came later, maybe when I was 12 or 13. I got into guitar and started writing music when I was 14 or 15, and that was due to the influence of my uncle.”
Matthews is a country artist who takes elements from many different genres like folk and blues, but country wasn’t always where he focused.
“Growing up, I listened to country and Newfoundland music, but a lot of rock ‘n roll. When I was in college, I listened to Metallica and Guns and Roses. That’s what really interested me, and for years it was always what I listened to, but over time I came back to country. Whenever I write music, it’s country in the genre.
Matthews, who writes or co-writes all of her music, said her biggest inspirations come from everyday life.
“All my songs, the process always changes with the way I write them. The influences come from everything. I pull it from a lot of different areas. I take a lot of notes day-to-day and sometimes I put all those thoughts together and in do something. Other times it comes out on its own. You work on it until it’s a song and you find the story sometimes afterwards.
Matthews has released three albums so far and is currently working on a new EP. His style and techniques are always appropriate.
“It changes all the time. I’m always looking for sound, I try to evolve and try to improve myself. I guess naturally through that the music changes.
Thanks to the influence of the wide range of genres found in his music, Matthews said his fans are equally diverse.
“I’ve gained fans from all walks of life, all ages, and I find that a lot of them listen to Chris Stapleton, Johnny Cash, a lot of the same stuff that I like, and that’s probably why. It must be its own kind. It’s outlaw I guess.
Even though he enjoys writing and putting his music to paper, Matthews said there was nothing to compare with the performance.
“Writing is work. I love it and I love doing it, but if you have the right audience it’s a really good experience, especially if it’s personal and they’re there to listen to you. Sometimes you get an audience that works so well with you.
Matthews said the support he has received has been incredible.
“It’s really nice to see the support. I feel it a lot, around St. John’s mostly because that’s where I live. I’ve done weird things in restaurants and in the last few years I’ve had great opportunities like playing Holy Heart as a guest. Everything together really adds up and it takes time.
Although his musical career has not always been easy, Matthews has persevered and is reaping the rewards of his dedication.
“Making a job out of it is new. I spent years doing it for nothing. Those first albums I made when I was a kid, I never made any money from that. It was only after the pandemic that I was able to make a career out of it. It’s weird because one time you kept calling, trying to find a place to play, and now every time I pick up my phone, there’s something there.
Even when music wasn’t the direction her career was going, Matthews said she was always there.
“It’s always been sideways. Thinking back to my days working on a pipeline, I had a guitar in the back of the truck and played every second I could get there. Even though I was working, I was always interested in it, and more than anything, I’m a music lover who listens to it. I am a music fan. I’m a fan of musicians, of everything that goes with it. Two years ago I built my own instrument and it’s my main guitar that I use now. I play it all the time.”
The nomination for Country Artist of the Year is a nod to all the hard work Matthews has put into cultivating his music over the past few years, but this isn’t the first time he’s been nominated. . Last year he was nominated for Event of the Year, which had a lot to do with the shows he did online, like Saturday Shed Sessions on Facebook.
“I built a big following with that and that’s why I think I’m working now, busy, and starting to make music sustainably as a career.”
Matthews is grateful for this year’s nomination and looks forward to attending Music NL in Corner Brook in October.
“I’m excited. I was going after the songwriter this year too, but I didn’t get it. In my opinion, there’s always next year. There will always be new songs and I also applying now for the upcoming ECMAs (East Coast Music Awards) so maybe there will be something with that one day too.
Matthews is still learning the business side of the industry.
“Right now I’m flying by the seat of my pants. A lot of things are still small. I’m not going to go out and make money like any great artist by any means, but I’m just happy with the fact that I’m capable of starting. That’s why I’m happy about it.”
With every performance, every experience, comes exciting new adventures and potential.
“The idea is that I’m building a band here in town that can play all of my original music and it’s a lot of work for them because they have to learn all the music,” Matthews said. “We’ve gotten together, and it’s been really good, and I can’t wait – when it’s all tightened up – we’ll try to tour, probably across the island first, back up the album with that.”