“The name on my birth certificate is Matthew Donald Phillips, but most people call me matphilly,” he said. matphilly (intentionally spelled in lowercase) is one of the newest individuals at the Los Angeles-based music label Play Me Records.
Music was a big part of his upbringing, and both his parents were musicians. “My dad was in a glam rock band [and] my mom was in a all-girl punk band.” His dad taught him piano chords at a young age and his dad eventually bought him a guitar. His love for music grew.
There was another path he could have walked. “Baseball was my number one goal.” He continued, “I was already being scouted, so that was the goal, but when I blew my arm out, I couldn’t play and eventually I stopped caring about baseball.” After the injury during his freshman year of high school, he was unsure of what to pursue. “I’ve always struggled with figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I was supposed to be a baseball player. I suffered with anxiety and depression big time as a kid. I noticed when I played the guitar and drums all that went away.”
Although he knew music was his calling, his parents wanted him to have a backup plan. “My dad has his own business and he always wanted us (matphilly’s siblings) to go that route with him, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea. I went to different community colleges and institutes. I must’ve tried 5 or 6 different majors in the past 10 years. None of it was fun.”
Since middle school, he has been practicing and refining his skills. Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, and Punk Rock were some of his greatest influences. “Glassjaw was a huge influence. Some of the artists on POWER 106 in the 90’s like Artie The One Man Party, but in this day and age [I like] Skrillex, Zomboy, Bro Safari, Flux Pavilion and others.” He even has his own music label called All The Hype records.
matphilly shared his amusing tale of how he got signed to the well-respected DJ Reed Speed’s Play Me Records:
“It’s crazy. I meant to send them a Dubstep track and I sent two tracks. The one I didn’t want to send was the one they loved, but I knew they [had] uncleared samples in them, so I told them about it but asked if I can change it and see what they thought. Aaron [the Play Me Records Label Manager] told me to send it when I was done, so I changed it up and sent them a new version with royalty free samples and they said they were on board. Such a trip.”
He said that he’s been living his dream since he was 15 years old, but now matphilly has a much more widespread audience. “Now the things I wanted are happening and even things I never thought would happen like hearing my songs on famous LA FM stations is mind blowing [emphasis added]! If you told me that 10 years ago, I would’ve laughed at you.” In the future, he wants to make enough money to take care of his family and donate/campaign for no-kill animal shelters in California. matphilly also wants his own no-kill shelter. “Growing up where I’m from I saw stray animals all the time and it breaks my heart. I wanna help out as much as I can to control the population and make everyone happy.”
This past Monday, “To Live and Die in LA” was released, which is matphilly’s first single on Play Me Records. “It’s a tribute to the 90’s G-Funk production I grew up to by Dr. Dre, with a more modern twist. Always wanted to bring the G-Funk back to L.A. to remind everyone of the good times during the struggle that we all had growing up.”
At the close of the interview, matphilly had some words of inspiration to share. First, he wanted to speak to aspiring musicians:
“Don’t quit. There’s no age limit. There’s 50 year old’s still killin’ it. Don’t listen to all the trolls and haters. Just say f*** you and make something you [emphasis added] love. People will vibe to it once they understand it.”
Second, he had words for all dreamers:
“Dreams is what created some of the most amazing things we have. The United States, computers, video games, etc. Someone had a vision that was just a dream and they turned it into a reality. If you stay focused on your goals, it will happen. Don’t ever stop chasing your dreams!”
Check below for a link to “To Live and Die in LA.”
To Live and Die in LA
Photo credit: Dreamer Loop