ARTIST NAME: Matthew James Hemmer
SONG TITLE: Broke My Phone
ALBUM TITLE: Broke My Phone
RELEASE DATE: May 10th, 2019
Artist/producer Matthew James Hemmer blends fresh electronic production, intense vocal distortion, dedicated lyricism, and pop sensibility with hip-hop/R&B influences.
Inspired by other electropop/indie acts like Jeremy Zucker, Blackbear, and EDEN, he made his debut in June 2018 with the release of his first album, “Break Me Down.”
After several singles, May of 2019 brought a second album, “Broke My Phone”, and Matthew continues to cross genres and experiment, quickly establishing a signature sound that brings a wide range of unpredictable elements together seamlessly…
Tell us your history
I started out as a classically trained violist/pianist, but after years of instruction, I decided to move away towards more contemporary production/study.
I then began making tracks on Logic Pro, and after being accepted at Berklee College of Music, I started really grinding to perfect my craft.
After about a year of study, I locked down my signature style of bass-heavy electropop.
I’ve been collaborating with many other artists and am in the process of promoting my second album currently.
Describe yourself as an artist.
My songwriting and production focus heavily on prosody. I like to make sure the lyrical elements are being backed up by the production and vice versa.
Since I produce, mix and master all my own music, I have many opportunities when writing the song to ensure the piece is working together thematically and as a whole.
My songs are also inspired by psychedelic influence, so I like to add glitches/unexpected vocal modulations/harmonic dissonance to keep listeners guessing.
Tell us the genre of your music.
My music combines a lot of different genres. I’m a huge hip-hop head, so a lot of my lyricism has nods to rap lyricists like Eminem and J. Cole.
I like fast-paced lyrical lines, but since I’m also a singer, I normally write to high range moving melodies for my voice to follow.
Some tracks have me branch out into more R&B/pop singing/crooning, and much of my production takes inspiration from experimental electronic producers like Sophie and EDEN.
So my stuff is basically fast-flowing pop lines over trappy electronic beats.
Tell us the story behind your song.
“Broke My Phone” is a journey of growth. The start of the album represents a chaotic excessive lifestyle, full of stress and trauma.
Throughout the album, the focus shifts from toxicity to moving on and maturing.
By the end of the project, the narrator is ready to start a new phase of life.
Tell us the problems you are facing as an artist.
My biggest issues these days come from promotion. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on my sound, and now I just want people to hear it. I plan on pushing my original music as my sole goal for the next few years.
Discuss the recording and production of the song.
I like to lay all my vocals down on an AKG 214, and then comp my vocals in Logic. I recorded, mixed, and mastered in my home studio.
List the names of blogs, radio, or television stations that have supported you so far.
Only a few local blogs and YouTube channels have supported, like @bens_bops, and the YouTube channels Sea Pride, Gang Society, BangersOnly, Eternality, and Bass Boost Nation. Plus, of course, Broadtube Music Network!
Elaborate on your music career, experience, and future goals.
I’ve played a few shows at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, and the Red Room @cafe939 Boston, and plan to play more this summer. I’m currently working on my upcoming EP, and then the album that will follow it.
Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
Life inspires me. It’s full of songs, which I still find amazing. No matter how many songs have been written about a classic topic, there’s always a way for an innovative creative songwriter to flip it in a new way. I love being the person to flip those topics and write a new fresh love song, or a hate song, or a sad banger anthem.
Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.
Hooks: Keep as many melodic hooks as possible – people need to remember the song or it’ll never be a hit.
Tell the piece of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Remember to think about what kind of audience you want to attract, and keep a solid brand, but never stop making music that you’re proud of.
Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition, or awards you might have received.
I’ve dropped two albums, and I’ve been a two-time finalist in the Bernard Ebb Songwriters Competition in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area.
I’m currently enrolled at the Berklee College of Music and have over two million total views/streams across my various artist platforms.
Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
Normally, when I’m starting a new track, unless I’m working off a lyric idea or melody that’s come to me, I’ll start with chords and the beat. I then often write lyrics and melody while completing the track. After a few days of planning the arrangement and vocal layering, I’ll record all the parts, and then spend another couple of weeks mixing and mastering.
Name your favorite artists for collaboration.
My main two inspirations are EDEN and Blackbear, so it would be a dream to work with either of them. I also feel like it could be amazing to get in a room with Juice Wrld or Brendon Urie and just write – they seem like incredible creatives.
Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
First I’d update all my gear, set myself up with some land so I don’t have to worry about rent, set aside some food money, and give what I can to environmental charities.
Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base.
I’m mostly relying on playlist campaigns and word of mouth to get the word out. People telling people have been great so far, and I’m hoping for more.
Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
I compartmentalize. Currently, I manage all of my own songwriting and production; on top of that, I’m in charge of promotion, marketing, management, and branding. Not even counting social life and schoolwork, it can get incredibly draining.
To manage, I like to split up the work into sections of the day, where another persona will take over and specialize. That way I can get everything done that I need to without getting overwhelmed.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Matthew James Hemmer is my full legal name, and also my artist name. I’ve played around with the idea of “mayhem” as a producer’s name and artist’s name, but decided against it.
My persona is that “Matthew James Hemmer” is an entity that exists in the songs and universes that I create.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
“Broke My Phone” the name of the titular track off the album, takes inspiration from a couple of things.
One of the meanings comes from how people sometimes use breaking their phone as an excuse to not talk to others, another meaning is in how a broken phone can result in being cut-off from social interaction, but can also help you be more interactive face to face (without the distraction).
My phone actually broke on release night, and is still not replaced yet – it’s been a pain. But I guess it must be a sign or just bad luck.