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Matthew Callow has made his life-long dream of recording his own music come true. A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into starting his musical journey.
He grew up near Dover, in Kent, but after visiting numerous studios in that area, he realised he wasn't going to find what he was looking for or the guidance he needed in that part of southern England. A move to Brighton when he was 20 gave Matthew the strong feeling he would meet somebody who he could work with. He says: “Brighton is a very creative place, so there had to be somebody! After a few weeks I met producer Alistair Lock, who lived next door to a pub called The Dover Castle – a coincidence I took as a sign!”
Alistair Lock has worked for the BBC in sound design and post-production on Doctor Who audio releases. Matthew says: “We have worked on numerous tracks together and created what I think are some very interesting ideas. I am now also working with London based producer Jonathan Essex who has more experience in record production. With Jonathan I shall be producing final edits of my tracks which will be released in 2016/2017''.
Matthew says: “I have a very eclectic taste in music and I have tried to include elements of the sounds I’ve enjoyed in my favourite artists. I love the bouncy rhythms of the Pet Shop Boys, Lisa Gerrard’s strong operatic vocals, Björk’s unique use of vocal effects and the euphoric sounds achievable with new pieces of software. It is important to me to try to create something unique, but at the same time recognisable and easy to listen to.
''I suppose it could be called a mystical type of dance music. I want my lyrics to be happy, optimistic and positive. Music can change people’s feelings very powerfully. I always listen to bright, upbeat music while I work and this gives me more energy. I think for people living in places like the UK, where it is dark during the winter months and you can feel you are lacking energy, playing music can have a dramatic and positive effect.”
Although Matthew enjoys studio work, his real love is performing live in front of an audience. He says: “I think if you spend a long time in the studio and focus on the recordings too much, you can sometimes become too critical of what you’ve created.
When I work on a track I can sometimes spend 12 hours listening over and over to the same sounds. After a while you need to have a break and come back with a fresh ear.
“I love performing tracks live because of the connection with the audience – particularly when I can see the feelings within the song affecting the audience’s mood. A live situation is where lots of new inspirations for tracks can be developed too. I generally record each set on my laptop to listen back to afterwards. It’s a very handy way of keeping track of your own development and how you can improve. I think as a vocalist you are always developing and changing.”
Although Matthew started life in England, he recently spent some time living abroad and says that living in different locations has given him many new experiences: “I have met some amazing people and the emotions I have felt with these people have inspired lyrics and moods that are represented in the music.”
Matthew’s ambitions are to create a theatrical show of dancers and musicians playing unusual instruments, create unusual music videos as well as to release his first full album, which represents a sound he is happy with and is unique.
Written by Lucya Starza.