Focus: Mat Hunsley | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Mat and I am an alt-folk artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne. 

How long have you been doing it?
Funny you should ask. As I am writing this, it is five years to the day since I released my debut single ‘Dropping’. That release was the lead for my debut EP ‘To Being Free’ which has since had over a million streams online. But it’s been a long time since that release and, although there’s been the odd thing come out since then, it’s only now that I am truly re-entering the game. I cannot wait!

What inspires you?
I’m an honest and often quite autobiographical songwriter. I tend to write about my own experience a lot and of late I’ve written copiously about mental health. Not only is this a therapeutic thing to do, but I feel it’s imperative that openly discussing mental health remains on our generation’s agenda. I’ve felt inspired by trying to tell my story and I hope there are at least some people out there with whom it resonates.

My recent single Backward Steps addresses the harsh reality that things cannot always go to plan. Despite our best efforts things will go wrong and we will all experience our fair share of disappointment. With a tendency towards perfectionism, this was an important and difficult lesson for me to learn and I hope my sharing this is helpful to others out there.

Tell us about your music.
Most of my songs start on an acoustic guitar. This is my main instrument, but of late I have been stumbling my way around the piano and have enjoyed writing a few bits and pieces this way. Often I create a progression or pattern that I like and then sit on it for weeks (or months) before finally completing the idea. The songwriting process has gradually become slightly faster with time, but it’s still not an efficient one for me. Nearly all my songs are ground out over a decent period of time and it’s rare that I write ‘a sneeze’; where everything comes out in one go.

I guess most people would peg my music as folk. In truth I consume a massive variety of different genres and create brief ideas inspired by all of these. However, no matter where my wandering musical mind takes me, I always come back to good songwriters and lyricists. My latest work is most definitely inspired by some of my favourite artists: Nathaniel Rateliff, Fleet Foxes and Matt Corby.

What have you got coming up in the future?
The rest of 2021 is going to be busy for me. I’ve already released one single Backward Steps, but this is just the first in a string of up-coming releases. The next single Friend & Foe is due in October (and it is one of my absolute favourites) and then it’s onto a song called ‘Rambling’…which I think is perhaps the best song I have ever written!

I’m tentatively dipping my toes back into the world of live music too and will be supporting local lads Fly Trap Honey at Bobik’s on 7th November. There’s a possibility of a headline show in the not too distant future too…but that’s all you’re getting for now.

Where can people find out more about you?
I’ve got stuff in all the usual places and I would love it if you all came and joined me on this journey! The easiest place to access everything from Spotify/Apple/Bandcamp/Tickets is via:

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