TDOTFest this year is jam-packed with amazing talent. For years now, the Toronto-based festival has been one of the biggest events to promote Canadian-based talent in Hip-Hop & R&B. J Matthew will be making his way to the stage this year for the big event, and quite honestly, it’s an event that no one is going to want to miss. We had a few moments to talk with J Matthew about his upcoming performance, as well as his single “Can’t Stop”, and the new projects he’s working on.
UG Digital Magazine: Thank you so much for your time in talking today. You’ve done so much thus far in your career as an emerging artist. This upcoming issue is geared at independent artists like yourself. What has your process been like in this business as an independent artist?
Jay Matthew: Its really been a learning process coming into the business, and seeing how much is actually involved. A lot of people underestimate the value that gets put in. People see the artist, but there’s so much more behind the artist. It’s important to have a good team of people who share the same goal. It helps everyone work toward the same thing. There’s more motivation.
UG Digital Magazine: The team behind you is definitely going to be one of the most important factors in being able to be in the forefront and build popularity. Talk about your entrance into this.
Jay Matthew: I’ve always had the interest in music. My dad does production, and has worked in the industry for twenty years. It was always something I wanted, but I knew I would have to take it serious and be willing to spend the money toward my development, especially since it’s R&B. With singing, it takes a lot more practice, and control of voice. I have this idea of how I want to be able to sing, so that keeps me going with practicing. It helps me bring more creativity.
UG Digital Magazine: You’re part of TDOTFest this year. How did that come about?
Jay Matthew: It was something I always wanted to do. It’s my first performance, and it was about me getting over that anxiety of getting on stage and performing in front of so many people. I’m looking forward to it.
UG Digital Magazine: It’s really going to be huge, especially for you to be a part of it. It’s a great way for exposure for sure.
Jay Matthew: Exactly, along with the networking.
UG Digital Magazine: Talk more about your project you’re working on. I know you have “Can’t Stop” out on iTunes which is doing so well.
Jay Matthew: While we were working on “Can’t Stop”, we were working on a few more songs as well. “Can’t Stop” hit a wide audience, and we thought it would be good for my debut. From there, we’re planning to shoot another video and try to release it the week of TDOTFest. The project overall is an album. In the next year, I’m working to get a lot more songs done and go from there. I’m trying to develop a unique sound. I want it to be soft enough on the ears that people want to continue to listen to it.
UG Digital Magazine: I like everything you’ve been doing. You’ve definitely carved your own lane. What was your goal as an artist? What were you trying to represent?
Jay Matthew: I try to focus on the commercial aspect. I aim to transform the lyrics in a way to fit in with the commercial market. If I try to focus on certain types of music, the audience may be too narrow and not be able to really appreciate it. A lot of songs coming out today combine a lot of different things. I focus on a lot of what’s out already, which I feel is important as well.
UG Digital Magazine: What other projects are going on that everyone should know about?
Jay Matthew: TDOTFest is the major thing right now. I’m just working, otherwise, on putting the album together, and get a couple more videos out. I’d like to have the videos out before the end of the year, just to get my name out and get more feedback.
UG Digital Magazine: I think you’re surely on the right path and things are moving in the right direction. I’m eager to see how things expand following TDOTFest. In terms of final comments, is there anything you really want to get out with this feature?
Jay Matthew: Music is important for our society. I try to focus on positive and uplifting music. Things people might experience in life, or lessons we can learn and things to implement in life to make it better. Team is important. There’s a lot of people in my life I’m grateful to have. Music is an important aspect for many people and it’s important to keep creating.