Dive into the musical mind of Matt Camillo, where the echoes of Americana Folk-Rock blend with bitter-sweet indie melancholy. From the romantic balladry of his latest single ‘Stop to Look Around’ to his explorations across Funk, Jazz, and Post-Punk, Camillo’s narrative is as diverse as it is profound.
Discover the inspirations behind his debut EP, his evolution from a MIDI-tinkering teenager to a multifaceted musician, and his aspirations to impact the music world.
Matt Camillo, welcome to A&R Factory! We’d love to know a little more about your latest single, Stop to Look Around, what’s the story behind the single, and what do you hope listeners will take from it?
“It was the last song I wrote for my debut EP. It was written very quickly with the intention of writing a romantic ballad, but it turned into this Americana Folk-Rock thing or something Jewel could have written, though I got told several times that it sounds like Oasis for some reason.
This song is basically about doing the best with what you’ve got here and now, but once it’s out in the world it’s not up to me anymore to attach a meaning. The listeners can literally do whatever they want with it.”
Is Stop to Look Around reflective of who you are as an artist or are there more multi-faceted sides that will become exposed in your future releases?
“I wouldn’t use it to describe who I am musically, but I feel like it’s a good representation of my Folk-y side. The songs I’m working on right now span from Funk to Jazz to Post-Punk even though I’m still working hard to make these different styles match together when it comes to an EP or Album.”
When did you get into music, and how has your relationship with music changed since the creative spark first ignited your desire to create?
“I started at 13 years old just writing instrumentals with MIDI in my bedroom. Then the guitar and the piano entered the scene, and eventually I found my voice (literally!). It’s always a discovery, this music thing. Every time I feel like I’m comfortable with a certain style or approach then I tend to move to new territory, but I always feel I’m still proving something to that kid in the bedroom.”
With such a wide range of influences, was it hard to create your own sonic signature?
“Doesn’t matter how hard I try to find that sound, I’ll never catch it. I’m more focused on what’s naturally gonna come out of my failed attempts. And that should be good enough, I guess.”
What was the first and last single that had a profound impact on you?
“The first Coldplay record (and the first one I ever owned) changed my life and helped me to bring out that same bittersweetness I’ve always felt as a kid. More recently I fell in love with ‘Live At Montreux, 1976’ by Nina Simone. She represents everything that an artist should be. Farless, honest and passionate. But she managed to be even more than that. So, I’d say ‘Trouble’ by Coldplay and ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ by Nina Simone.”
Where will your artistic journey take you next?
“Right now I’m doing early attempts at my first album. Just experimenting and combining different worlds together until I feel something is moving. I’m taking my time. I’m giving way more space to the electric guitar, arrangements and production. Also messing around with my lower vocal range. It’s gonna be way different from what I already released, to say it short.”
If you could make one positive change with your music, what would it be?
“I just want my music to help people connect more with reality and with who they really are or at least to offer them a new point of view. Real music is so much more powerful than any other medium and that’s why the state of this industry is in such conditions. Maybe I wanna prove that it can still free us or maybe I just wanna have my own fun. Music won’t stop tho.”
Stream Matt Camillo’s latest single, Stop to Look Around, on Spotify.
Interview by Amelia Vandergast