Words: Jennifer Lynn
Image: Matty Levi
Australian singer-songwriter Matt Corby is quite unlike any star I’ve ever met before. Softly spoken, yet still forceful enough to make bold statements about the music industry, his wisdom far exceeds his twenty-two years. It’s no wonder really, considering he began his music career aged just sixteen, on TV talent show Australian Idol. However, Matt’s time on the programme was far removed from the glitz and glamour of our Saturday night viewing schedule.
“There are a lot of great singers who are born and die on that show, or on any show like that,” he says. “As I got further along in the competition I realised that it just wasn’t something that I wanted to do. I didn’t want the public in Australia to see me as this pretty boy, talentless piece of shit who was being portrayed. After Idol I was severely depressed, and I just didn’t want to play music at all anymore, because I saw a side of the industry that I didn’t really ever want to be a part of.”
Thankfully Matt changed his mind about giving up his career, but that manufactured side of the industry is something he’s still keen to avoid. “It has nothing to do with artistry or art, it’s just money, and not even money for the artists,” he says. “But you know what, I wouldn’t change that experience; I learned so much in the process, even if I’m now more cynical than most people at this age, it propelled me into an avenue of music that I did want to be part of.”
Matt’s determination to record the type of music he loves has paid off, as he released his EP Into The Flame in the UK on Monday. Already a massive success in his native Australia, how would he describe the record to Scotcampus readers?
“It’s basically four songs that are quite separate from each other; there’s no underlying theme,” he begins. “It’s very cross-genre, with mixed emotions and mixed messages. It’s four songs that I’m in love with.”
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It seems that plenty of people in the UK are in love with the songs too, including Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton, who tweeted a picture of herself at Matt’s sold-out London show last night. However, Matt is keen to point out that famous fans don’t mean much to him, grateful as he is for their support. “It’s something that I can’t even look at, because it’s kind of false reality,” he says. “I feel like if they knew me and saw me in my everyday life they’d just think I was really boring.”
And if Fearne was hoping to get Matt into her Live Lounge she might be out of luck. “I did a cover of The Black Keys’ Lonely Boy for this thing on Australian radio called Like A Version, but I’m not really one for playing covers. Not in a big headed way, but I’d just rather play the songs that I write.” Seems fair enough to us, Matt!
Into The Flame is out now