Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Singer and songwriter Matt Wills from Kent caused waves with his single 'Blame'.
But he's now hoping to connect with his fans with his latest project 'Live Like This'.
From supporting Bastille in front of thousands of people as he admitted "I do want to say sorry for stealing their pizza in the dressing room after the show" to creating his record label 'ADX Records' straight after leaving Virgin Records.
The 26-year-old singer has had one hell of a journey and it's not going to stop him as he said: "I'm getting tempted to release some dance music and head off to Ibiza next summer."
As Matt Wills takes on a new journey, he tells Vibez Music about how one album can change everything, life under lockdown and reminiscing his first-ever show.
What has lockdown been like for you and how are you finding it to produce music?
I think lockdown has been more life-changing for all us than we expected. It’s been the most productive time which is crazy for me - I've never been more focused.
The project I've been working on during quarantine is all happy songs because I think we all need happy music right now more than ever. The weather has been amazing in Kent where I live so I've been getting drunk and pretending that I'm on a beach somewhere to try and write some happy songs.
I'm still spending a lot of time watching Netflix, I just got into Money Heist, its madness.
What is the main thing which inspires you to create music?
The music scene is always changing with streaming services etc and a lot of up and coming artists have had to battle with the closing of grassroots music venues, so musicians must find a way to work on different terms.
Music's become a commodity that people expect for free so it's going to be a challenge to start building an income through platforms like Instagram etc. I think it's going to be hard to get people to pay for a streamed performance when Instagram has millions of artists going live for free all day every day, but truthfully with the way things are that's the only way musicians who rely on a live music income are going to get paid.
I'm hoping this lockdown makes people realise how much we depend on arts of all forms to bring something into our lives that's special. I think that's worth something.
Your first track 'Live Like This' has just come out, which is also the title of your current EP. How excited are you for people to hear the whole EP?
'Live Like This' is a collection of songs which I wrote when I was feeling down about everything and it’s just a capsule of time. I'm not worried about numbers with this project, I just hope that the people that do hear it, connect to it. We all feel shitty some days and hearing someone talk about those emotions helps ease the pain. I'm lucky to have awesome fans that have stuck with me and I felt like it was time to give them a body of work. It is easy to get into releasing songs that perform well on playlists, 'Live Like This' is the music I love to make, and I hope my fans connect with that.
The last project you did was your album ''Cigarettes & City Lights', since then do you believe you have grown as an artist?
So much has changed since my first album. I was a lost child when I wrote that. I had no real idea what I was doing. I'd dropped into this major label world and was so lucky to work with the people I have on it but the whole process made me lose myself. I've grown up a lot more now and realise there's more to life than parties and success. I got to work with Chris bond and his brother Bear (Ben Howard Producers) on the album, who taught me so much about production and writing and I've brought a lot of that knowledge into my new music.
I produce a lot of the tracks myself with a huge helping hand from Future Cut who are geniuses. I watch everything they do in the studio like a stalker picking up tips and tricks and I feel like that's translating into the new songs.
To be honest I still think my biggest growth is a person.
One of your biggest singles is 'Blame' which now has over 2 million streams on Spotify. Do you think that was a changing point in your career?
'Blame' changed a lot for me. It was my first track after leaving Virgin Records and starting my label (ADX RECORDS). It felt like a throwback to who I truly am as an artist so to see it become my biggest success was a great feeling. It made me realise it's better for me, as an artist to be 100 per cent rather than trying to chase popular influences.
In the past, you have supported a range of artists and attended tonnes of festivals, but what has been your favourite experience so far?
It's so hard to choose live experiences as they’re all fucking amazing. But my two favourites have to be my first show and my most recent show supporting Bastille.
Playing in a tiny room when I was 18 for the first time in East London full of fans and family and friends was amazing. Seeing a room of people knowing these songs that I'd just made because I wanted to chat about my feelings and seeing them connect with them was special. I kind of knew after that first show, no matter what happens in life I want to be doing that.
Also, getting to play in front of 20,000 people in Russia supporting Bastille was pretty life-changing. Bastille are the nicest guys in music and I'm not going to lie I was a loose cannon on that tour partying and going crazy on stage, but they looked after me and taught me so much. I do want to say sorry for stealing their pizza in the dressing room after the show and I appreciate them taking me on tour so much. Walking on stage in an arena with just my guitar was terrifying but their fans are amazing and were singing along every night at every show.
Finally, how excited are you to get back outperforming on the road?
I can't wait to get back on the road, I wasn’t ready for a while, but I am now. I'm not going to lie I'm getting tempted to release some dance music and head off to Ibiza next summer playing up-tempo songs. I think when this is all over the last thing people want to hear are sad songs... but if they do, I’m there.
Matt Wills is hoping to release his latest EP 'Live Like This' in the coming months but if you want to go and listen to his latest song, hit the button below: