"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring Matt Westin
Thank you so much for talking with is Matt! For newer fans, how did your passion for music and career come about?Music has always been a part of my life. I played in the school band and orchestra and I taught myself how to sing in college. A passion for singing really took a hold of me, and it became a hobby of mine while I was pursuing engineering. Long story short, after leaving engineering to pursue my interest in acting, I ended up in Los Angeles. Shortly after moving to LA, I lost my father to a brutal battle with leukemia, and I pretty much gave up everything and pushed everyone away in my downward spiral. My father immensely enjoyed my singing, and in what was a life changing decision, I decided to pursue music and dedicate my debut album "Legacy" to my father. It became a huge part of my healing process and gave me a new purpose and passion in life, and possibly saved my life.
What song that you have recorded means the most to you and why? My latest single "Hey Bro" has become the most meaningful to me. This song is about the bond between people who go through hell together and who have each other's backs, no matter what. I loved this song when it was released, but after my brother and cousin were in a terrible wreck, and my cousin was maimed and nearly killed, it took on a whole new meaning for me. After finally coming home from a month in intensive care, I shared my new song with him, and when I saw him clenching his fist and tapping his foot in joy, I just broke down in tears. From that point on, I dedicated this song to him.
Is there any news for the forthcoming album? My next album was going to be recorded in Nashville at the end of April at Sony. However, this may no happen as planned due to the corona virus pandemic.
How was the last year for you? What were your highlights? The last year has been incredible. I have been building momentum with my career, winning and being nominated for awards, getting great reviews, doing tons of interviews, meeting lots of incredible people, and planning to raise the bar in the next year. Plans have likely been stalled, due to the pandemic, but I'm excited to get back to work once this all blows over, hopefully sooner than later. My biggest highlights for the last year are winning the 2019 IMEA Country Album of the Year and being honored by my school district as one of their "distinguished alumni" and getting to perform to a hometown crowd.
What's the story behind your album's title? I had no clue what to name my debut album. It was born out of tragedy, and I was far from knowing what the future might hold. Losing my dad had really broken me, so this decision was harder than I anticipated. I kicked around some ideas, but nothing seemed to feel right. I decided to step away from it for a bit, and just believe that "when I know, I know." And that's exactly what happened. I did some soul searching on what this album meant to me, what it would have meant to my dad, and the word legacy just popped into my head. I knew instantly in my heart that "Legacy" was my debut album. It's perfect, honoring my father's legacy, and beginning a legacy for my own life.
Favorite music to listen to while you cook? Without a doubt, the old Italian singers make the best cooking music. I've always been a huge fan of Sinatra, and that entire era of music. But in the kitchen, it is even more magical.
What is your favorite wine? I drink red wine almost every day. It's not a problem.
What is your favorite sandwich? Lately, my favorite sandwich has been a corned beef Reuben. I've had one about every other week since Christmas.
Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown? There's a family owned Italian restaurant called Tillie's. It's been here for over 50 years, and it's got the best made from scratch Italian food around.
If you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? It would have to be Jack Daniel's. My dad was a Jack man, so it's the first whiskey I got used to drinking. Considering I dedicated my debut album to the memory of my father, I have to go with Jack Daniel's.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Matt Westin’s debut album, “Legacy” is dedicated to the memory of his late father. Matt gave up a promising career as an engineer to be a country musician and actor. Matt’s first single, “Our Redneck of the Woods” reached the IndieWorld Country chart and the European Country Music Association charts. Matt was also on the Top 200 International Country Artists chart. Follow up singles, “Farm Town”and “You Leave Me No Choice” also received international airplay and charting. His last two singles, “Stomp On” and “Hey Bro” are from his forthcoming EP, to be released on MTS Records. Both singles reached the Top 100 Airplay Today country chart, while “Stomp On” reached the iTunes country sales Top 40. He will star as Johnny Cash in an upcoming film production.
Matt is the 2018 International Music and Entertainment Association Male Country Artist of the Year. He recently appeared in the October 10, 2018 issue of Billboard Magazine as an Emerging Artist.