IT is rare…
that I get to go to America and chat with an artist there. In digital terms; I have 'driven' to Chicago to talk with Matt LeGrand about his track, All Good. It is now up on Spotify – a perfect excuse to talk about the song, future material and how music came into his life.
I ask LeGrand whether we will see him in Britain soon; how his songwriting has changed since 2015; why he moved from France to Chicago; how this week has been treating him; whether he spends any time away from making music – he ends the interview with a classic anthem!
Hi, Matt. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello! I’m fantastic! I have had another week filled with music - so I really can’t complain! Thanks for having me!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Absolutely! My name is Matt LeGrand. I love what I get to do every single day! Being surrounded by sounds and music is the only way I see myself living my life. I love being a student of music and taking pieces from my favorite artists to create something that I can call my own!
Look for me on Spotify and you’ll know what I’m talking about!
Tell me about the track, All Good. What is the background and inspiration behind it?
So. The funny thing about All Good is that the song wasn’t really intended for me...
We had been invited to a studio session to listen to some ideas for my project. The atmosphere of the studio was great! As we were walking out the door, All Good was playing softly in the background and we stopped in our tracks. We asked what that was - and the rest is history!
All Good became my first single in almost two years! I didn’t write the song, but I did connect with it immediately! I loved the message. I find it to be a song about self-care and self-love.
What was it like putting the song together in the studio?
This song was an absolute breeze because it was easy for me to catch the emotion that was needed. I feel that the song found me in certain ways. I was going through a period in my life when everything that this song was saying (just) made complete sense. I almost felt that I could have written it, but…. I didn’t!
Recording (the song) was a great time!
I believe you grew up in France. Was there a lot of music around? What sort of music did you grow up on?
I was in France at a very young age - almost from birth to six-years-old. I was born in Chicago and moved across the pond right away. With that said, I have very faint memories of my time there. I was able to pick up some of the language, which I try to hold onto as much as I can today! I’ve been asked before if I would do a song in French - and I said that I couldn’t wait for that day! I know that it’s on the horizon and I am really looking forward to having a musical connection with my French heritage!
I do love the classic French jazz from La Belle Époque! (Also, the musical geniuses, Daft Punk!).
Why did you relocate to Chicago? How different was the city and its vibe (compared with France)?!
We relocated to be with family. It was a culture shock for me. Again, I was young; so I have faint memories - but I do recall having my older brother translate everything I said. I didn’t know a word of English. Looking back on it now, I loved growing up in Chicago. It has everything! The winters are brutal, but we are rewarded in the summers! Freshwater beaches, which are, sometimes, completely frozen - and tons of great music waiting to be discovered! Doesn’t really get better than that...
What comes next in terms of new material? Are you working on stuff right now?
We have a BRAND NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO coming very shortly that I’m extremely excited for! It’s going to be a very fun Dance, feel-good record! Perfect timing with spring and summer rolling around! We are planning to release an E.P. this year as well - so I can get out on tour to see all my fans!
Do you notice a change in your music and songwriting? What are the main changes you have brought in since, say, 2015’s Spring Break Girl?
To me, the changes are night and day...
Not only have I matured and grown as an artist, but as an individual. That’s the great thing about evolution: we are always learning, changing and growing. We have the freedom to try different things and make mistakes. We have the opportunity to experience new things and learn from them. Most importantly, we get to have the opportunity to live and spread good, positive love (and I value that).
The only change that I have made is, simply, (just) accepting things for what they are.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
The goal this year is to perform, perform, perform - and then perform again! We will have tons of performance lined up very shortly! Stay connected on my Instagram for details!
Do you think you’ll play the U.K. at all? Have you been over here before?
I love the U.K. so much! I have been plenty of times, actually! One of my favorite places to go in the world is the Cotswolds! To play a gig in England would be surreal - and I would have to continually pinch myself to wake up!
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I hope to continue developing myself, personally, and as an artist! Taking it one day at a time. I’d love to tag onto a tour and gain tons of performing experience! I will be recording much more music (hoping one HITS it big!). I hope to (just) keep doing what I’ve been doing: work hard.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I was in a three-piece band with my brother when I was in middle-school! We played the talent-show. I played bass and, at the time, I so small that if you stood the bass upright, it was taller than me.
I felt so cool playing Rock and Roll in front of my whole school.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
This is a strange question for me because I’m a new artist myself - but I will gladly answer it to the best of my ability. Be patient or you’ll end up being one yourself; have your values/morals set in stone; accept the things you cannot change…and learn how to say 'NO'!
IN THIS PHOTO: Charlie Puth
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
If we can, maybe, consider Charlie Puth to be a new artist, then I would definitely say go check him out if you haven’t already. Extremely talented guy - and I hope to work with him one day!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I don’t really want to chill away from music, to be honest: it’s part of me and it’s part of every single day. I love learning new things and playing as much as I can. Don’t get me wrong, though: I do love my free time where I can, maybe, rock-climb; practice some yoga or go to the movies. It’s all about balancing the ‘work and play’ so you don’t burn yourself out.
Though, in my case, I am a very lucky person - because my work is my play as well! If I were to choose one thing to do for the rest of my life, it would simply be music. I love what I do!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Thank you very much for the great questions! I really enjoyed answering them and thanks for having me!
With or Without You - U2
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