Vancouver-based contemporary pop artist Mathew V releases his brand-new EP, The Outer Circle, a collection of songs chronicling his coming-of-age story.
Mathew V explains, “‘The Outer Circle’ is a resurfacing of a lot of things that I had pushed down over the years. I took this collection of songs as an opportunity to process many moments from my past that I had intentionally overlooked. Sometimes it’s easy to move on and forge forward in the moment, but I don’t think I realized how a lot of these situations had informed the patterns that I have today. Really sitting in those emotions allowed me to process them and hopefully embrace them for what they are. I feel like I have grown up a lot since my last project. This music is more mature, with a more refined story. I can’t say that it will stay this way forever or where the wind will blow me in the future, but I’m happy that this is where I’m at right now. I’m proud that I got to really sing again and that I was able to get these words off of my chest.”
Trained in classical opera, when he was 17 years old, Mathew V moved to London, where he developed his unique pop sound. Upon returning to Canada, he released his debut single, “Tell Me Smooth,” which rode the Top 40 on Canadian and Billboard charts for four-and-a-half months, followed by releasing his charting debut album, The Fifth.
With more than 40 million streams, Mathew V has been featured on American Songwriter, EARMILK, Nylon, and Billboard, along with sync placements on Love Island.
CelebMix caught up with Mathew V to ply him with questions about his operatic voice training, his influences, and his tone.
What inspired your new EP, The Outer Circle?
I wanted to look back at some of the formative places/moments in my life. The lockdown gave me a lot of time to sift through that baggage and this EP is what came out of that retrospection.
How did you get started in music?
I’ve been singing my whole life. I started operatic vocal training at 7 years old and did that for around 10 years. When I was 17, I moved to the UK and found my signature writing style/sound. Haven’t looked back since.
Which musicians/singers influenced you the most?
I grew up listening exclusively to Celine Dion and Shania Twain. They shaped my love for great vocals and great melody.
Has your sound evolved since your debut album, The Fifth?
I think I’ve grown up a lot. My sound has evolved, and my music is more centered around the story and my voice. I’ve really enjoyed singing on this EP. Getting back to the vocals has been such a treat.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV, or other media?
Most of my writing is inspired by bumps in my path. It’s how I process my emotions and most of the emotions that need processing are the yucky ones.
What can you share about your writing process?
It’s a lot of humming into my voice notes in inconvenient places. I don’t know why but ideas always come to me at the grocery store.
How do you keep your sound fresh?
I try to keep my sound open to change and to evolution. I don’t want to make the same song twice, so I enjoy a good pivot every now and again.
What’s your definition of tone? And has your tone changed over time or remained the same?
My vocal tone or timbre shall I say has definitely changed. I think as most singers grow, they form new habits, and especially with how much I’m singing, I think that it has shifted. Hopefully for the better, haha.
Are there any special recording techniques you use in the studio?
I wish I had a magic trick…however I do try to warm up the night before. It makes the vocal process in the morning much smoother.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
I love Yebba, Kim Petras, The Mamas, and Griff at the moment. Always on repeat.