Charismatic Chicago pop artist Matt LeGrand is a star on the rise. With a sultry voice and catchy, well-crafted songs, he’s a Billboard chart-topping artist waiting to happen. I got the chance to talk with him about how he got started in music, whether or not his hometown of Chicago plays a role in the music he creates, his new single “12:00 AM” and so much more. Keep reading to see what he said.
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
It has been constantly in my life since the age of 11! I remember so vividly the moment when music got me. My mother took me to my first concert to see her favorite band. This band was The Rolling Stones! That’s where I fell in love with performing and getting to share your stories on a massive platform. She then got me my first guitar and I started to study.
Was there a specific moment or person who made you realize music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I went to university for only half a semester and dropped out. That decision was partly due to a rebellious attitude and mostly fear of pursuing what I really wanted to pursue. I decided that I wasn’t going to study music but marketing communications instead. This wasn’t what I wanted to do, I was just scared to admit music was what I wanted to do with my life. I’m very grateful for where I am today and I couldn’t have done it alone. I am now 24 and looking forward to the day that I go back to school!
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So how would you describe your sound without genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
My music is, and will always be, positive and uplifting. I not only want people to listen to something that I’ve created but I want them to experience it fully! Personally, I love to dissect music; I like to figure out what that little sound is all the way in the back of the song. So when I am producing music, I tend to get very detailed. The only way I can describe my music is to say this, “That was just what I was feeling at the moment. That was my true emotion.”
You are from Chicago — how much does Chicago play a role in the music you create, whether it be references in the lyrics or just the overall sound?
Yes, I am from Chicago. I am not really sure how Chicago plays a role in the sound of my music. Though its been a pleasure growing up in this city. And having so much live music to listen to every night has been such a great perk. Chicago gets underrated all the time and I feel that it is our time now!
Talk a little bit about your latest single, “12:00 AM.” What’s the story behind that song?
Yes, I am so thrilled that it is finally out! This song is just about missing the one you love. That person that brings the best out of you. The person that makes you feel like you have a purpose. The person that brings that warm feeling you get in your chest! You know what I’m talking about. For me, it’s also more than just a time, it’s an expression of joy and that can come from anything. This song can be about something you simply enjoy doing.
What was your songwriting process like for this song in particular? Did you write it by yourself or did you collaborate with other writers?
It was a collaboration between myself and a great team of producers down in ATL. One of the producers goes by the name of Black Elvis! His discography speaks for itself and I am very happy I was able to work with him! “12:00AM” was written and recorded to completion in only 3 hours! It was such a natural feeling and I am honored that I get to tell the story.
Who are some of your musical influences when it comes to songwriting?
Some of my favorite songwriters are Ed Sheeran, George Harrison, Chris Martin, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Ryan Tedder. I draw little bits from each one of them to create something of my own.
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
I feel like I haven’t even started! I mean, I’ve been playing music since I was 11, but getting into the music game is a whole different monster to tackle. My goal is to be a self-sustaining independent artist and label. I’d love to go out on a talent search and recruit talented individuals that want to work hard for their dream. I hope to stretch my comfort zone and move to different platforms of entertainment as well. The biggest of my goals though is to keep up with my philanthropy work, to keep promoting equality, hope, and what is essential for happiness in the human spirit.
Musically, what can people expect from you for the rest of 2018? Does your new single mean we can expect an EP or album anytime soon? Any plans to tour?
Yes! My team and I are currently putting together an EP album. It’s going to include four brand new songs and a feature. It’s going to showcase a great variety of new and experienced producers. Then I’ll be performing, performing, performing, and performing again. It’s such an exciting time right now!
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something, besides music, that you nerd out about?
I absolutely love what I do and I nerd out pretty hard on music. Not becoming a musician has never been an option in my head. Though I am completely obsessed with Lord of the Rings! One of my wishes is to go to Hobbiton in New Zealand. I want to walk the journey to Mordor. I want to learn Elvish. I want to hang out with Gandalf and Aragorn! I usually watch the trilogy once a month. It’s brand new and exciting every single time.