Australian singer-songwriter, Matt Gresham, makes his UK debut this summer with the release of new single Small Voices, out now on his own label, Trigger Records.
Gresham’s first break came on Australia’s X Factor, when in 2013 he quit the show citing the talent show’s artistic restrictions. Since striking out to pursue a more independent route, he has built himself a loyal following, winning over fans and critics alike in becoming one of the country’s hottest emerging talents. His song Whiskey, released in 2014, won Western Australian Music Awards ‘Song of the Year’. In May he played a string of showcases at SXSW and he is just coming to the end of a sell-out Australian tour.
Sync caught up with him as he embarks on the next chapter – relocating to Berlin after signing a deal with Warner Germany and looking to make a big impression in the UK and Europe.
SYNC: So what’s the background? How did your musical career get underway and how have things panned out so far?
MATT GRESHAM: I was brought up listening to brilliant story telling that always had acoustic guitar at the core. Cat Stevens to Ben Harper were some of the artists always playing in my childhood home. Some of my strongest memories are of listening to my mum’s poetry with my brother and sister. Most nights it was the way she would calm us for the evening. Naturally, both my brother and I picked up guitars and start experimenting with music at an early age. I really looked up to my brother, so anything he was able to do on the guitar I wanted to learn!
I feel very fortunate that I get to spend every day doing what I love and I truly could not see my life any other way. I’ve been able to travel the world making music and meet some of the most amazing people and appreciating some of the most beautiful cultures. Life has been good to me and I feel blessed. Thank you!
SYNC: We’ve been covering quite a few Australian artists lately. What’s your take on the music scene in the country right now?
GRESHAM: There’s a lot of amazing singer songwriters getting global recognition from Australia and it just makes me extremely proud. Music is such a large part of our culture and if you look at the history of Australian music, there are some incredible bands that have paved the way for the rest of us. With music being more accessible than ever, I am certain there will be more Australian artists the rest of the world will discover.
SYNC: What brings you to Europe?
GRESHAM: For many years I have had a love for Germany. During my schooling, I did an exchange and lived there for a year. Ever since, I have been trying to find a way to get back and it is pretty amazing that it was Warner Germany that I signed with post-SXSW. Something things are meant to be and I can’t wait to speak German again and reconnect when I move there this month.
SYNC: How does your songwriting process work – is it generally a solitary or collaborative process?
GRESHAM: I’ve grown up writing 100% by myself but there was a rare occurrence one night where I met Jaymes Young and we decided to write together. Small Voices came from that session and several other songs that will make the record. I found it an amazing experience writing with someone else as it was incredible sharing with someone such hectic subjects.
SYNC: What current artists are you most interested in/inspired by? Who would you most like to work with in the future?
GRESHAM: I’m in love with Gregory Alan Isacov as a storyteller – he’s the greatest at the moment in my eyes. I had the chance to work with Talib Kweli this year that was a huge dream of mine. I would say the ultimate collaboration would be with Ben Harper.
SYNC: Finally, what are the plans for future releases and/or touring?
GRESHAM: I’m half way through my Australian tour at the moment and will be touring Germany with an amazing band Jupiter Jones. More music to come!
Matt Gresham – Small Voices