British singer-songwriter Matt Maltese ends his tour of the United States and Canada after stopping at Club Dada in Dallas, Texas on March 29. Matt Maltese travels the world with three albums to his credit and shares his love for music with live shows across North America. The daily campus spoke with Maltese about his tour, shows and influences.
What made you come to the United States and start touring?
It’s just been a long time since I could. I’ve released a few records since I last came, so I just put some tour dates up for sale. And luckily some people are coming. It’s been great so far.
Where do you find your inspiration when writing your own music?
Life, I guess – people and relationships with those people. Anything and everything really!
Is there a song that comes to mind that you remember from inexperience?
To be honest, all of them are quite related to some experience. The most obvious are probably my very first songs, which are heartbreaking songs.
Is there a point where you realize music was something you wanted to pursue?
Not really, I would say it was kind of a hodgepodge trip. Obviously I had aspirations and loved it from a young age, but it was pretty cynical. My parents were very supportive, but also very real. You know, once you’re 18, you’re out of the house. If it works for you and you can support yourself financially, go for it. Fortunately, it finally happened to me. Of course, it has always been a passion.
How exactly did you start with the music and pursue all the things you love to do on tour, starting in the UK and now coming to the US? What inspired you as an artist?
Yeah, I mean, I have a mother who was an opera singer, so from a young age I had an active interest in singing. I kind of got to do an album when I was 18-19. I was given the opportunity and I toured the UK and then did a little tour in the US. It was sort of four or five years ago, then a few more years. Most of my inspiration comes from a genuine love for songwriting. I’ve been writing songs for maybe 12 years now.
What type of genre would you say you generally shy away from listen or write?
I would say soft rock…just like the classical songwriters I grew up listening to. I try to imitate songs with interesting and weird stories that explore a weird side of things and the American Songbook hammered that in too. So, after the melody, spring into very lush, luscious and rich melodic songs. That’s kind of what I’m trying to write.
You have accumulated a significant number of followers on TikTok for your music. How did this journey start and what does it look like now?
I had a rather lucky breakthrough. I was making stupid, meaningless reaction videos to videos that were already big with my songs, and then suddenly I had more followers.
What kind of reaction did you have to this?
I don’t take it that seriously. I feel very lucky that people listen to my music, and obviously when more people listen to it, it’s cool. That way you can do bigger shows and you can have a longer career. Social media is such a strange country. Taking everything on social media seriously is really essential.
Do you mind touching up your most recent album or the music you’re working on?
I’m releasing this little EP, which is kind of a silent version of my last album, and it has some new songs. It’s a little too early to tell what the next album will be, but it will probably be a little darker than the previous one. It was probably just as hopeful as the last one, so we’ll see.
What do you normally do with songs that maybe don’t make it?
They definitely exist and they may be out of retirement one day, in the future, or never be heard from. I really don’t think anything I’ve written is good enough.
I heard your 2018 single “As the World Caves in” is having a major resurgence. What could that mean?
Upon resurgence, you can expect a lot more of a sense of doom.
Most of your US tour dates were sold out when I checked the website. How do you feel about this? You sold out shows from the US when you are from the UK.
It’s incredible. Now, that’s very, very weird. There are always foreigners in the crowd, but we especially feel like foreigners when they come from another continent and sing our songs to us. Yeah, it’s mental.
What can we expect at the Dallas show?
The setlist only includes a handful of songs from each album. I hope we will have a great time. I find that the first shows were really beautiful, very warm. I’m just gonna do my best every night.
What does being on tour mean to you?
I guess that’s probably one of the only tangible ways to get your music received, I guess. It’s just a very, very beautiful thing. Just the way to connect with the people you do your job for.
If you could describe your shows to someone who can’t attend the concert, how would it be? How would you describe it?
I’m mostly thinking about what I said – just a hot evening. The sounds of people hopefully just enjoying the concert and swaying or not swaying, standing or crying, queuing… There aren’t too many teasers. I can promise my new music soon, but soon it could be six months or nine months. Yeah, looking forward to the rest of this tour. It’s been amazing so far.