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Matthew Simmons on the Rise: An Interview with an Artist Among Us

We have all daydreamed about fame and fortune, or maybe the possibility of our talent one day being discovered. Little do we think about the hard work and sleepless nights that are found behind that lifestyle. Now, before you cringe at the irony of me writing this (we’re dating), let me introduce you to Matthew Simmons. You may have heard of him, but if not, let me fill you in. Matthew Simmons is a junior here at North Scott who has just begun releasing his music on all streaming platforms. With 1,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Matthew hopes to continue releasing music that not only means something to him but that impacts and means something to others. 

When I reached out to Matthew asking if he would be interested in an article about his music, he was excited and thankful for the opportunity. I’ve personally supported Matthew with his new song releases, but I was confused about how it all worked. How does a young boy, or anyone really, get their songs on Spotify and make sure they sound professional enough? With these questions in mind, I was able to go to Matthew and find the answers. 

Matthew with his first guitar

As we sat inside the Vault coffee shop located in Eldridge, I began asking him questions we all wonder when it comes to producing music. How did you get into music in the first place? Reflecting on his childhood, Matthew shared how music was such an important aspect of his learning while growing up. “It helped me understand human

emotion and connection,” he explained. “I have grown up listening to every style of music under the sun. I have sung all my life around the house, but I never sang in front of people. I always had this fear of not sounding good enough, and I didn't really have an outlet or anywhere to start when I was younger.” Beginning in 8th grade, Matthew became part of the youth worship band at Cornerstone Church in Eldridge. It was joining the worship band that allowed Matthew to learn guitar, piano, and drums. “From there everything has grown,” Matthew said excitedly. “I’ve begun leading worship on Sundays at church, and now releasing and writing my own music. This process of writing my own music started about a year ago, and now you can find me carrying a guitar around with me wherever I go!” he said with a laugh.

Song session with producers

But how in the world did you get your songs on streaming platforms? He began by sharing that he is very fortunate to have his dad, James Simmons, to help him throughout the whole release process. James Simmons, better known as James Kelso, is also a recording artist, with more than 16,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. With previous experience from his dad, Matthew further explained the different stops his songs must go through to get to listeners like you. “I go into the studio and sing a rough draft of my song that is sent to my producer, Curtis Ray, who lives in Dallas, Texas,” he shared. “Then he will take that rough draft with the lyrics and song structure (beats per minute, chords, and key) and we begin working together to produce my song. We throw ideas for instruments and melodies back and forth, as well as what we like and don't like. Then, we send it to Carl Markham in Nashville who mixes all the instruments to make it sound clean. The final step is a process called mastering, or finalizing the song before it's ready for release!” 

So much goes on behind the scenes for the songs we listen to daily. But without other artists, there would be no inspiration or others to look up to. For Matthew, his biggest inspiration is Brandon Lake, a Christian worship artist. Along with Lake, Matthew loves to listen to all kinds of artists, but his favorites include Phil Wickham, Shawn Mendes, Lewis Capaldi, and James Arthur. Matthew added, "I look up to Brandon Lake because of the music he writes and his unique voice. It’s so powerful and moves people’s hearts, and that is my goal with my music.”

Matthew's Studio Setup

It is obvious to see that Matthew Simmons shares a passion for not only music but also for the positive impact he hopes to have with his songs. So I asked him one last question: What is the end goal or the big dream? He smiled, and without hesitation, he said, “My dream is to be able to make music my job. Honestly, it's that simple. If I could wake up, write, record, and release music, I would have fulfilled my dream. It would allow me to sing on a stage in front of so many people

while worshiping Jesus. I think this would be the

most amazing and beautiful experience ever. Plain and simple. That is my dream.” 

Matthew Simmons has only just begun, releasing his first single back in 2023, known as “Falling In Love.” Since his first single, Matthew has released two more, including “Her Whole World,” and “Inside.” As of early Friday morning, his newest love song, “Only You,

is now on all streaming platforms. There is still far to go, but Matthew is simply thankful to be releasing music at all. He wants to say thank you to those who have checked out his music, and thank you to those who support him and congratulate him along the way. To those of you who dream of a life of fame and fortune, I encourage you to take a look around. You can do what you have always dreamed of, but it’s time to get to work. 

Matthew Simmons Socials:) Instagram 

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