Matthew is a formerly signed Independent artist based out of Los Angeles, CA. Spending his formative years in Morocco with his Norwegian-American father and his African-American mother before moving to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Matthew fell in love with music as a young boy. Introduced by his supportive musician father to the songwriting of The Beatles, the stage presence and undeniable showmanship of James Brown and the epic artistry of Michael Jackson, Matthew didn’t just absorb these influences but symbiotically ingested them. With a natural affinity at age six, Matthew quickly learned piano, and drums, while also excelling at singing, melody, and poetry.
Graduating from the McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul in 2014, Matthew enjoyed his first taste of success with the six-piece ensemble, The Common Cassettes, who toured throughout the U.S. with marquee performances in Seattle, Austin, and Rochester, New York. This notoriety landed him at Minneapolis’ largest independent label, Pledge Empire Records, with whom he found himself producing, ghostwriting, composing and featuring on various songs for groundbreaking Hip-Hop/Rap artists such as Ced Linus, Sti-Lo Reel, Prince Carlton and Louis P. During this prolific time, he was nominated “Best RnB Artist of the Year” by the Twin Cities Urban Music Awards while also scoring compositions for “Worldwide Star Search” in Hollywood, performing with 3x Grammy-Award winners, Jamaica Bennett, and Pippi Ardennia, and collaborating with former NFL Defensive Linemen, Esera Tuaolo for “Hate in Any Form is Wrong,” an event to foster diversity in sports and anti-bullying among youth.
Aside from playing live music, collaborating with 3x Grammy award winners and producing several artists, Matthew continues to teach beginner/intermediate artists who are looking to improve their skills as a musician!
Whether you want to learn how to hit a note, play a riff, or even elevate yourself as a singer/songwriter, Matthew James has you covered!