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An Interview With Matt Harper


A new release from Matt Harper features a unique blend of EDM, synth-pop, and even contemporary pop that all come together for this one release, and each track has a way of finding its own personality and character along with a lush array of instrumentation and some surprises around the corners.


The Collective EP both some classic beats along with new school textures and synths to create a vastness on certain songs that let you dance to the grooves but also sort of float along with the soundscapes.


I love an EP that's got this much Persona and bending of genres.


There are certain tracks that hit that almost vintage pop soundscape where you start to get a nostalgic feeling at times and he blends that with vocals that feel like they're from an indie pop record so everything is a little bit outside the box.


Some of these tracks are really hard-hitting and not only danceable but you find yourself singing along with those vocal hooks and the whole thing boasts a ton of color and just the right balance of edginess so that it sort of pushes the envelope.


I love hearing those old and new school vibes together and how seamlessly it all comes together.


There's something refreshing about this record and a lot of times you can hear some of the honesty in the lyrics and other times you get a certain feeling based on the music and sounds that are being delivered in an almost cinematic style.


At times you get these sorts of 90s beats and those beats are intertwined with bigger more open-ended synth pads and keys but they all work wonders in the way of creating a chorus that sticks in your head for hours after the song has ended.


It's such a unique and wondrous take on the artist's influences and how he's adapted those influences into his own music and in doing so, created a path musically that takes some of the best elements of different genres and Builds an atmosphere that's all its own.


That to me is part of the beauty of this record and the energy throughout the release is also really well balanced in terms of the vocals and the music never really being over the top but still surprising you here and there with creative progressions and arrangements.


Most importantly though, there is heart and authenticity behind these songs like they're written for a reason and come from a real place in the artist's life so you're able to sort of feel that a lot of the time.


You can definitely see some of these songs in a film or TV show and they have that backbone to them that gives them cinematic drive along with some of the emotional drive as well.


There are a few tracks that stand out as singles to me but I think that this record is meant to be listened to as a whole from beginning to end because this way you can get the full message and soak it in properly.


You can definitely tell there was a lot of attention to detail in the creation of this record but it never loses its path or purpose which is incredibly genuine and important.


This is indeed an EDM release but it's not just that. It's a lot more than that and to really get a grasp of it you should just listen to it.


You definitely look forward to whatever Matt Harper comes up with next and will be keeping an eye out for it.


In the meantime, we sat down with Matt to talk about the release.



Here's what happened.



Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with the Collective EP! This record had a lot of character and was a fusion of synth-pop and classic rock which was such a beautiful mix! How did this release come about? So “Collective” is basically my singles to date but reworked.

After I finished my fifth single “In Time” I knew I needed to work with a producer to get a more radio friendly sound and luckily, I found Ryan Davies who mixed the track for me in a fantastic way. It was while promoting this track that I got the offer from Geomagnetic who own EDM records San Francisco to release an EP of my singles.

It was my idea to get Ryan to rework the first four singles too and Collective was formed.

The songs are all my own ideas borne out of my personal tastes in musical styles and lyrics. The label also suggested a dance remix version, so we let Ryan’s creativity go wild on the Custard Dream remixes, which is his own remixing project name. Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as a producer and artist?


I’d been in bands in the past and writing for years but never released anything until 2021 under my own name. It was advancements in technology really that allowed me to do it all myself and release music online as an unsigned artist. Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire you to create?


I get ideas all the time at the most inconvenient moments and it’s trying to remember them all which is the biggest problem. Everything starts with a simple hook, maybe musical or a lyric line and I just repeat it over an over till it sticks and can get back to the piano. That’s when the songs form. Sometimes very quickly but others can take days or weeks to fill out to a finished track. Buzz Slayers: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?


I’ve been influenced by all types of music from a young age. Punk, New Wave, New Romantic, Synth Pop, 90’s Dance, Indie Rock and Singer Songwriter to name but a few. I don’t like boundaries in music. My only boundary is my imagination. If I can work out a song on Piano and I like it then it goes into production. The artists I’ve had a real passion for in the past are Depeche Mode, Japan, Soft Cell, REM, Radiohead, Bjork. Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?


Usually thinking about it. When I have time I like to learn Classical pieces on Piano, particularly Beethoven though I also like Satie and Chopin. Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?


In recent times I’ve gotten into Ladytron, the XX, Goldfrapp and Austra. Though my faves are never far away. Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?


I’m working on it. I’ve been learning how to use Show Cue software to sync video backdrops with backing tracks and also play along. I’ve only ever done one solo gig and I realised then that even though people were very complementary, just watching me standing there singing wasn’t much of a show. So I’m gearing up at the moment and will play when I’m ready and I can find an outlet that suits. Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?


Everything I do goes from my mind to a piano workout, then all the music is recorded in my home studio. I go to a local studio to add vocals and then send all the stems off to Ryan for the final mix. The record label does the mastering.

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?


I’m writing tracks for my next EP, Album maybe at the moment. The title track is finished and is called “Change the World”. Hopefully that’s prophetic? I’ll be setting up some gigs too, ideally small festivals though they seem quite hard to get onto. Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?


Firstly thanks for listening, every artist wants to be heard. I hope it gives people pleasure or solace or inspiration.

Secondly, have belief in yourself and trust your instincts, they are usually pretty good.

If you’re an artist yourself, keep at it, more often than not It isn’t what you do but who hears it that makes the difference. Just make sure you are doing the best you can.

















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