Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, today, on Guitaa Artist Centerstage, we have the country recording artist, “Matt Westin”. With the influences of many legendary artists ranging from Johnny Cash to Garth Brooks, all the way to Frank Sinatra, Matt found his voice. In honor of his father’s memory, Matt decided to finally pursue his music career, as his father had encouraged.
Let’s get to know more about the journey of this wonderful artist, how his journey into music began, about his vocal exercises, and many more.
- Introduce yourself to our audience, what genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Hi, I’m Matt Westin. I’m a country recording artist from Pittsburgh, PA.
- What and who were your early passions and influences, What inspires you to make music?
My earliest memory of music is when my dad gave me a cassette of Elvis’ hits, and I sat on the floor in my bedroom listening to it. I remember just being in awe. I was probably about 3 years old. I’ve enjoyed all types of music throughout my life, but the main influences in my own music would probably be Sinatra, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Toby Keith, and Garth Brooks. I learned how to sing and figured out my voice by emulating those guys. I began pursuing music after my father passed away from complications with leukemia in 2016. I dedicated my debut album “Legacy” to him, and it was a huge part of my healing process. It helped to lift me out of depression and self-destruction after losing him at only 64 years old. Dedicating my music and career to my father keeps me motivated to keep working and pushing, and it always will. I know he is proud.
- Tell us about that one memorable performance and favorite venue which you still wish to happen again?
Performing with my cousins’ band Lexis has been a blast over the years. We haven’t performed in a while, due to health issues with the drummer and his surgically repaired wrist. But I’m hoping that he makes a full recovery. I love being on stage with family and entertaining people from around the area, with a lot of family watching in the audience too. It’s special to me. Family is everything to me.
- Any funny story of a mess up during your performance where you handled that situation like nothing happened?
No real funny stories, but that’s the funny thing. If you make a mistake, usually the audience doesn’t even realize it. At least most of the time they don’t. It’s much more noticeable to the performers than to the audience since you’re striving for perfection and they are just having fun and distracted. So I just keep on rollin’ like it never happened.
- If you could collaborate with any musicians(dead/alive), who would you collaborate with and why?
This is a toughie…but I’ll stick with the country genre to make it easier. And I’m going to cheat. I’d want to collaborate with the Highwaymen! Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson all in one place at the same time! Can you even imagine the stories they’d have? To write with any one of these legends would be incredible. So many! My top would be Michael Jackson, Brian Wilson, Eddie Van Halen, Satchel / Russ Parrish (Steel Panther) Steve Clark (Def Leppard), Brian May (Queen), and of course, Freddie Mercury. Their music was so melodic, innovative, and transcended genres and cultures.
- Any Tips to keep the balance between professional and music life?
Finding a balance in life is a constant struggle no matter what you do. There has to be a sacrifice somewhere. Finding time to unwind and relax or have fun is just as important as working hard because if you only work, you’ll lose yourself. You’ll lose that spark of magic that makes you who you are and drives your creativity.
- What has been your biggest challenge as a Musician? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
I’m still working on building confidence. There are a million things telling me that I can’t do it, but I’m not going to listen. That’s just the way this world works, unfortunately. I tend to think a lot, and sometimes, it can be in the wrong direction. Every so often I have to take a step back, look at what I’ve accomplished and where I’ve come from, and realize that I’m doing what I am supposed to do.
- What Tools and techniques you use to improve your singing/instrumental playing?
It’s all about how many reps you take. I sing a lot, so my voice stays strong and continues to grow. That’s one of the biggest things that has helped me. I haven’t had formal vocal training, but I get coached while in the studio by my producer Bryan Cole, so he has been somewhat of a vocal coach for me. I pick up lots of good tips from him and his vast experience.
- What type of Gadgets and instruments do you use while practicing? And, Do you have any specific name of your instrument?
I use my car! I get the best vocal practice in my car. If I didn’t own a car, I probably wouldn’t be able to sing at all.
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to become an Artist?
There are a few pieces of advice that I always say, and they work together. First, be true to yourself, because that’s where the real magic is and what makes you unique as an artist. Next, surround yourself with good people who you trust and who support you and believe in you. A bad partner or negative influence can derail any kind of career in a hurry. And finally, take some risks. Playing it safe can only get you so far in life, and you have to step out of your comfort zone if you’re going to grow.
So, this was the country artist Matt Westin. Want to know how you can follow him on social media? Then, check out the links below: