Matt is a celebrated singer and frontman extraordinaire with over 1000 live performances throughout his career. Whether it is a club, banquet hall, arena, sound stage, or busking on the street, Matt is a confident performer who engages audiences at every turn.
When not fronting Saturday Night Superstars or MCing your event, Matt can be found entertaining crowds in a solo capacity, or subbing in for other cover bands including the Keynotes, Replica, and 3 Sheets 2 the Wind. He is also frequently engaged for recording studio work, including demo song recordings and voice over talent.
Coming from a small town of 45,000, Timmins, ON, Matt learned the skills of performance at an early age in local music festivals and choirs, singing anything from Italian Aria to Show Tunes. His musical family encouraged his talent and he enrolled in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music with a Major in Voice Performance. Matt was celebrated in his sophomore year as one of the top first year vocalists at the homecoming concert. But at the disappointment of his teachers, he didn’t feel his calling on the classical stage. Matt had just finished a 20 week Wednesday night residency at the Pawnbroker’s Daughter, a pub near campus. His love of contemporary music had taken over, and he taught himself to play the acoustic guitar to be able to play live solo shows.
In 1998, Matt and his brother Beau put together a short set of material to play at an open stage at a newly opened Irish pub in their hometown. Their influences were the popular albums by Great Big Sea at the time, Up and Play, as well as a number of acoustic classic rock selections. The set was well received, and they were hired as the regular Thursday night act for 3 months. Matt was 20 and Beau was 17.
Urban Folk soon gained popularity throughout the province via an aggressive promotions strategy which included a custom media package that included a CDR (quite unique at the time) of live material of the duo. Sight unseen, Urban Folk was hired in pubs from Thunder Bay to Windsor to Ottawa and every place in between. They soon had a schedule of upwards of 90 shows annually, including private and corporate events.
After 5 years of touring and 2 albums under their belt, Matt and Beau decided to end the Urban Folk roller coaster. Matt continued to play the Irish Pub circuit as a solo artist.
In 2003, Matt auditioned for the first season of Canadian Idol, the popular British television franchise that made stars out of Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. After 5 days of gruelling auditions, Matt had beat out the competition and made it into the TOP 100. The fun had only started, and week 2 of auditions brought on another ridiculously long and drawn out process to get to the TOP 32 voices in Canada, or which Matt was cut right before (TOP 48).
Not to let a bad experience get him down, Matt pursued a new series called Rockstar INXS, the search for a new lead singer for the iconic band. His audition impressed the Toronto production crew and he was shortlisted but never chosen for a callback. The same situation arose for the 2nd incarnation of the series, called Rockstar Supernova. Matt was featured on ET Canada at the auditions, but the now Toronto native didn’t make the LA cut.
Persevering again in a what some can only call punishment, Matt subjected himself for a final time to the Canadian Idol judges as he attended the auditions in Sudbury in 2005. The lines were long, but the cattle call lasted only 1 day as he was once again awarded a Gold Ticket to travel back to Toronto to live in a hotel for a whole week while the judges whittled the contestants down to their TOP 32. And thankfully Matt made it into the televised appearances.
But Matt never made it past the first round of televised cuts, losing the 2 spots in the TOP 10 to 2 teens who sang songs from animated Disney features. The agony.
Determined to make his mark in the music industry, Matt invested time, energy and money into his first EP, Everything Changed On The Way. The record was well received, and garnered national radio play and numerous touring opportunities across North America. In promotion of his own music, Matt has played many Toronto stages including the Rivoli, the Horseshoe, Lee’s Palace, the Hard Rock Cafe, Healey’s, the Cameron House, and many others.
In promotion of the new record, Matt was also invited to play 2 songs live on Breakfast Television with the band. These live performances can be found on Matt’s YouTube channel.
“Everything Changed On The Way brings a folk/roots vibe to adult contemporary pop. The singer/songwriter bubbled just under the Top 30 on Canadian Idol, but places much higher in this estimation for songs that are once original and highly reminiscent of the classic pop of James Taylor and Billy Joel. This is a debut album that bodes well for a long career…”
~Mark Rheaume, Fresh Air, CBC Radio
During this time, Matt also partnered with pop artist Bianca on a short tour of Western Canada as her guitarist. This unique opportunity put Matt on stage with artists such as Loverboy, Tea Party and Rosette, as well as giving him the opportunity to meet and work with noted producer Adam H of Rockstar Entertainment Corp.
MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT
In an attempt to create some buzz around his original music, Matt released a pop/rock cover of LL Cool J’s 1990 hit, Mama Said Knock You Out. A staple in his live shows at the time, it was an easy progression from the stage to the studio for his band. To add a viral dimension to the song, Matt enlisted the aid of videographer Del Paquette to bring the song to life, which resulted in an epic 5 and a half minute long montage which included a fight scene, numerous Rocky parodies, and more bad fake boxing than you have ever seen.
The video peaked the interest of the 2010 Grammys, and was used to promote the broadcast television show in commercials that aired across the US. It was also seen by Virgin Radio 99.9′s morning show staff who enlisted Matt to write and perform their ‘Christmas Time with the Breakfast Show‘ song which was played throughout the month of December.
SATURDAY NIGHT SUPERSTARS
Matt founded Saturday Night Superstars for one reason – his love of playing music. Matt went in search of like-minded musicians with similar goals to fill out the quintet. The result is the current SNS lineup – a group of professional, courteous, polished musicians who also happen to have professional degrees and designations. “Saturday Night Superstars is a business,” says Matt, “one that will be around for awhile because all of the partners have the same mindset when it comes to playing music.”
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