It would be a grave understatement to say Taylor Swift isn't the biggest pop star of her generation. Whether you personally like her or not, you can't deny that her trajectory is incredible and drive inspirational. For pop musicians both new and established, she's someone to emulate—at least according to Los Angeles-by-way-of-Nashville artist Matt Hall.
He should know. Hall is on the edge of something glorious with his new project. Though he's keeping a lot of the details about it quiet (for now), he's ready to unleash it to the world. "Reason to Miss You" is our first taste. It's got all the makings of a viral hit: flirty verses, a bouncy bassline that slinks beneath Hall's dulcet voice, and a smooth chorus. Trust you'll be hearing this and more of Hall throughout the year. As you'll come to learn in our latest Band Crush interview, below, this boy is just getting warmed up.
What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career?
Being able to accomplish everything fully independent up to this point, and learning to trust my gut and intuition fully. Specifically, I’ve seen this really pay off when I made it onto some of the biggest platforms, like Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist. I am really proud of my growth as an artist with this new music. It feels incredibly authentic.
What famous person dead or living do most wish you could have as a roommate?
To be honest, I’ve tried having roommates, and it doesn’t work for me.
What is your favorite driving music?
I make my own playlists on Spotify every few months that I listen to religiously. The short answer would just be “pop,” but scrolling through my current playlist right now, I’ve got everything from Drake to John Mayer.
Whose career would you most like to emulate?
Taylor Swift. Not only do I think her and Max Martin have made some of the best pop albums of all time, but I respect how she has been in complete control of her business, top to bottom. Also, the seamlessness of how she reinvents herself into a different sound on each record is something I strive to do.
What’s your favorite place to write music?
I don’t know if I have as much of a favorite place as I have favorite people. My entire project was with done with people I genuinely love being around: my best friends. Some happened in L.A., some happened in Nashville, but my favorite writing experiences are always with people I am just completely myself with.
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
I kind of have an “anti-aesthetic." I find it really hard to share my life in a perfect theme, so I just don't. I will say that I have tried to match every song coming out to a certain color that I feel matches the mood/personality of the song—so I’m all about that!
If you had to wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
Right now, my answer would be a cool pair of joggers, my Timberlands, and a good tee just because I feel cool in it. It looks super-trendy, but it also says “I’m relaxing, I’m fine, and everything is more than okay."
Do you have any pre-show superstitions?
They're not so much superstitions as they are routines. I always go eat in-between soundcheck and showtime, then do vocal warm-ups and jump around getting pumped behind the curtain until I walk out on stage. I also love to listen to really loud music right before.
If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
I would love to go back to the early 2000s again. Pop music was so unbelievably good during that time! I still go back and listen to The Black Eyed Peas and that stuff all the time. It always brings back the best memories.
What activities do most enjoy doing alone?
I’m in love with hanging out with my dogs. I guess that’s not really alone when you consider them people… but I love being at home with them. I also love going to the beach alone if I’m in L.A.… and my morning Starbucks run.
When are you most relaxed?
The only time I feel fully relaxed is right after I get offstage from a great show or when I get a new song back in my email that I’m in love with. All feels right in the world for a minute.
What was the last great thing you read?
Wholeness by Toure Roberts.
What kind of person were you in high school?
I was all over the map. I was all about having a lot of friends and doing that whole thing for the first year or two. In middle school, I had like zero friends, so it was nice to feel that for a second. I never played sports in high school and got really absorbed into the music thing by 15 or so. I wound up traveling back and forth to Nashville almost every weekend. Somehow, I convinced my parents to let me start music full-time and finish [high school] really early online. So I guess not that normal at all.
Can you tell me a quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
I feel like I am really honest. I don’t like holding anything I’m thinking in, and I have to process everything externally. I feel like a lot of my friends come to me for advice because of this.
Do you have any phobias?
I don’t think I have any specific phobias. I definitely get scared about things on a daily basis, but I do them anyway.
What’s a side of you that people are unlikely to know about?
I’m obsessed with comedy. I’m always trying to find what’s funny about any situation I’m in. I’m the happiest Matt when I’m hysterically laughing.
What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I don’t think my brain has any more room in it with how manically obsessed I am with my career and music!
What’s your next project?
I have a lot of songs ready to come out to the world right now. When I was writing for it, I definitely was in the mindset of it being a cohesive body of work that feels like one perspective and sound, like an album. It may end up coming out single by single, but I feel like it all threads together, and that really excites me. I’m just so excited to get these little pieces of me out into peoples' lives.
Where do you hope to be professionally in five years?
I hope to be playing arenas night after night, just standing up there telling the people there that they’re going to be okay. That you are literally capable of anything no matter what you tell yourself or someone else is telling you. My goal is just to be totally real and be making music that is reflective and totally accepting of exactly who I am in that period of my life. I dream of having that platform and it giving permission for others to do the same.
If there was one phrase that best sums up your approach to life, what might it be?
Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.