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How Chicago Style Jazz Influences Matt B’s Versatile Contemporary Sound [INTERVIEW]

The "Feel Good Music" artist talks career, business and making it as a young entertainer.
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Chicago’s own Matt B is ready to follow in the footsteps of hometown heroes changing the sound of Urban Comptemporary with his self-described “feel good music” heavily influenced by The Chi’s unique culture. 

The singer/songwriter, currently signed to StarBase Records Japan, released his debut album “LOVE & WAR” in September 2014. The effort was well received overseas and sky rocketed to no. 1 on the iTunes R&B Charts. Subsequently, his hit single “Plain Girl” also went no. 1 on iTunes. With such early success, Matt B proved that he would be a force to be reckoned with in years to come.

His sophomore album “DIVE,” released January 2016, achieved similar success reaching no. 1 on the iTunes R&B Charts, this time in less than 24 hours. With an eclectic sound employing a heavy baseline and melodic melodies, music maker Matt B is eager to break into the U.S. market.

I can't stop… I won't stop. 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶 📸 @rlylesvision

A post shared by Matt B (@mattbworld) on

Matt B describes his works as “music that evokes emotion, whether good or bad.” While many may argue that today’s music does not provide true depth as music of the past, Matt B believes that “all music evokes emotion for all.”

Growing up in the Windy City, Matt B picked up his musical flava from his environment. Chicago is known for its unique “Chicago style” Jazz which produced a sound like no other. With rich tones and live instrumentation, Matt B does just the same. The 27-year-old says he grew up listening to the likes of Michael Jackson, Pharrell and Usher credit them as an inspiration to the artist that he is today.

While he realizes that producing innovative music is important to his artistry, he also realizes the importance of being a smart business man. He describes the music industry as, “10 percent artistry and 90 percent business.”

Matt B says, “It is important to treat music as a business, as you would any other business.” With this in mind, he signed himself exclusively to his own label, Vitae Records, in order to work with who he wants, when he wants and how he wants.

I love my city #Chicago #AV8TOR 📸 @theoxproject

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Basically, Matt B is rejecting “the machine,” just like another popular 20-something Chicago artist: Chance the Rapper. Chance has reportedly turned down several offers to sign with major labels. This rebellion has proven to be a smart business move for Chance, as he made history in 2016 by being the first artist to reach no. 1 on the Billboard charts and winning 3 Grammy Awards from streams alone. Matt B plans to follow in similar pursuit, by “changing the landscape of the industry,” he says.

Most recently, Matt B released the visuals for new song “Morphine” directed by Danny Blvck and
produced by Bonafide. You can watch the sensual visuals by pressing the “Play” button above.

Stay on the lookout for more music from Matt B, as he’s expected to release a new music video with RCA Records‘s new artist and fellow Chicago-native, Lil Bibby.

It's a movie… S/O @lilbibby_

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Matt B
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