Definitely Just You is the album launched by Matthew Smith. From Texas to Korea, Matthew is a former hardcore rock musician turned indie folk musician, and this new offering with its experimental sound and diverse cultural influences showcase just how much can be achieved through a cultural fusion.
There are many cultural influences in Matthew’s album. There are soft guitar-led tracks with a chill beat and a relaxing mood that can put one in mind of country music and folk ballads and synth tracks with a wholly different sound, reminiscent of the 80s. The songs integrate special effects, vocals, and guitar that mix together to create a unique progression that will take us all the way across the world in its musical influences. With its imaginative use of video game sounds, for instance, Rivercity Bound creates a sense of deep satisfaction, of playing and completing a level.
The relaxed feeling and the sunshine you can hear in the songs might come from Matthew’s experiences in Texas and Jeju. Jeju, in particular, is a pretty interesting place to live. It is a volcanic island with a pleasant and relaxed climate, ad while it is the biggest island in South Korea, it is still pretty small. A popular tourist destination, it is still a place with a lot of beaches and sunshine to soak in. The Swansongs are a band based in this region as well with performances in local events and festivals. The band chooses to be quite modest with their presence, introducing themselves as Fine Music from Jeju Island.
Matthew Smith seems to have a budding social media presence and prefers to have his music speak for itself. The new album is still very recent and marks the beginning of a solo career, reflecting a great passion for different types of music and a desire to experiment with pure sound. He does have an Instagram showcasing his music covers and the creative process behind his music. He also leaves a special place for Kit Kat, his kitty and creative inspiration, which gets a whole track on the new album dedicated to it, adding to the overall relaxed and cozy vibe the songs have. The cat even gets a small solo.
Definitely Just You is his first solo project, and we can look forward to more music from Jeju Island in the future. For a relaxed experience that brings to mind a sun-filled beach or morning with your cat, Definitely Just You is a great choice for anyone who loves guitar and musical experiments,
Let’s get started with the interview:
Hi, Great to have you with us today! Please tell us about your journey.
A native Texan living in South Korea for the last 10+ years. I play bass with a local band called The Swansongs (album coming soon!), and I also play guitar and sing a bit. I tend to write music that expresses things that I can’t express on my own. I’m normally a pretty easy-going, optimistic guy. This album is mostly autobiographical, and it deals with a lot of heartbreak but also some love.
I am an ex-pat that lives on the island of Jeju, off the coast of the mainland of South Korea. Life is good; Jeju inspires me.
Please tell us about your music album, Definitely Just You.
Half of the album is singer-songwriter stuff, and the other half is electronic. The torn identity is reflected in the cover art, too. I think I’m most proud of ‘Are You Awake?” because it’s words that were left unspoken about a lover. But it’s not all heartache! Most of this album is inspired by new romance and love, too. For example, ‘Warm Me Up’ is about modern romance, meeting in secret at night. It can be exhilarating. Similarly, ‘In The Heat of The Night‘ is about the anticipation of meeting a lover at nighttime. The pulsing beats, the build-up. Ultimately, it’s cinematic storytelling in a wholly musical form.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
I am inspired by the area around me. Jeju Island has given me a lot of peace, something I strived for a long time. This album feels raw, open, therapeutic, and definitely just me.
Any message for our readers.
Just do it; whatever your passion, don’t be afraid. You are never too old. You are never too out of it. Today is the day to chase your dreams. It has made me immensely happy. I have already begun recording my next album!
Thank you so much, Matthew, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!