Our Track of the Week this week comes from BIMM Brighton’s Matt Richmond with his latest release ‘Wildfire’
What was the inspiration behind your track?
My songs are all written from a personal perspective and they reflect the journey I’m on and the process I’m going through in life. Sometimes my ‘plaintive style’ gets me labelled as dark, but I write from my experiences and ‘Wildfire’ is the expression of a difficult period of my life. In a way, the song is a conversation I’m having with myself in trying to get to a positive state.
What did your songwriting process involve?
I like to create in the moment from how I’m feeling internally, or in a situation. Usually, I like to use imagery to describe the subject or emotion. I feel it’s good not to be overly obvious with what I’m saying and I like to make it seem more ambiguous. So, for example, this song’s imagery of inspiration is ‘wildfire’.
I always start with a melody or chord pattern, the lyrics then need to be refined. To write a song, it usually either comes very quickly in one session or in some cases I have an idea that takes months before it all fits into place. It’s quite funny – in my own deluded way I like to think I’m maybe like ABBA, where they wrote hit after hit, taking a long time constructing the elements between each song. Wildfire took a few months to write, it was quite a slow and difficult process, but it also reflected a difficult period for me, so it was very powerful to finish it.
What do you try and do differently, to make your sound stand out?
I’m comfortable in my own skin and so what you see is what you get with me. I just try and be myself. My main talent is my voice, so I do focus on that and try to make interesting melodies and lyrics that can become catchy and resonate in someone’s mind. I’ve learnt to take inspiration but not to compare, it’s important to just be yourself – otherwise it’s not the ‘authentic you’ and the songs and sound won’t stand out.
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Soulful, heartfelt, authentic
Are there any particular artists that inspired you whilst writing the track?
I’m inspired by many different bands and artists, so there is not just one genre that I will listen to in particular. I will pull bits of inspiration from different songs and sounds until the cup is full and I can get started. My influences are relatively contemporary. I grew up in a household where ‘classic’ music from ‘serious’ artists like Bowie, T Rex, Pink Floyd and Joy Division were always on. As good as all this is, I’m much more interested in modern contemporary music. For this song, some of the big influences for me included: Foster the People, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, Patrick Watson, Hozier, Fragile by Kygo/Labrinth.
What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?
The people I’ve met and especially those who have put time into me have been terrific. As a student you gravitate to the tutors who have something to say about you and there has never been a shortage of encouragement. I took some time away from BIMM and the pastoral system is good too. I wasn’t forgotten and felt that people genuinely had me on the radar and wanted to see me flourish and succeed. To end with the recording of the single was pretty special too.
How has BIMM helped you develop as an Artist?
When you are around talented people your ‘game’ has to improve. As an introverted person, I have had to learn how to perform more consistently and to prepare for performance situations. My ability to show up and play is very different to when I started. I’ve also developed an approach to songwriting. I don’t try and force things when they are not working and I’ve learned to develop strong ideas into more polished songs.
What’s the best bit of music advice you’ve been given?
Believe in yourself.
Anything exciting coming up you can share?
Obviously the single release is a big focus. I’m talking to a couple of labels about what might lie ahead and I’m just focussing on performing and building up a body of work for an album.