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From the Promoter
The first thing you notice is the voice, an instrument of crystalline purity capable of reaching soaring high notes but just as adept at conveying the grit and power of unguarded emotion. This is the voice of Mathew V, and while he uses it to deliver pop melodies, he does so with all the authority of a seasoned gospel soul-stirrer.
While the 21-year-old Vancouver singer might take listeners to church, his musical background is more Royal Conservatory than Southern Baptist. Mathew V owes his vocal dexterity to the decade of classical training he received starting at the age of seven. As he grew up, he found himself pulled in a different direction.
“Always inside me was this craving to pursue pop music, because I would leave vocal training—singing opera—and I would go home and sing Britney Spears,” Mathew remembers. “So, when I got older and I had the chance to find my own voice, it was nice to explore the music that I listened to in my free time.”
At 17, Mathew moved to the U.K. for music school. After three months of writing essays about other people’s music, he realized he would rather be writing and singing his own songs. He left the classroom behind and spent the rest of his time overseas immersing himself in English pop music by the likes of Jessie J, Adele, and Amy Winehouse.
Back home in Canada, Mathew recorded an EP called Sounds, which he self-released in 2016 and which has since racked up more than 2 million streams online. Now signed to 604 Records, Mathew V is set to release his full-length debut, The Fifth, in April 2018. A collection of exploratory modern pop songs with old-school soul influences, The Fifth showcases the artist’s stellar voice and equally impressive songwriting.
Mathew V collaborated with such talents as Dan Mangan, Royal Wood, and DiRTY RADiO, but he did the bulk of the writing himself. This is true to form for Mathew, who prefers to take a hands-on approach to everything, including his own image—he does his own graphic design and art-directs his own photo shoots.
There’s more to Mathew V than a carefully crafted look and a forward-looking pop sound, of course. He doesn’t want to merely give listeners a playlist’s worth of catchy songs; he wants to touch their hearts and souls.
“If they connect with my music, that means that they’ve probably gone through something, and they’ve felt the same thing that I have, and in that sense they understand me just as much as I understand them,” he says. “Which is why I kind of hate using the word ‘fan’, because I think it puts the artist on a different level than the people that are listening, and in my case I see them very much as just someone that understands me.”