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Matt B Talks Overseas Success and Challenges with Breaking into the US

Matt B is a singer, songwriter, & producer born and raised in Chicago. He has released the first single Intoxication, off his latest EP Levels, last month. Although you may not have heard of him, he has had number 1 records overseas. Matt B isn’t the first artist to receive great success internationally but struggle to break the ranks inside The United States. We spoke with Matt B to find out why he thinks its difficult to gain success in America.

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Many United States native artists find success outside of the United States, why do you think that is?

America sets the standard for what’s hot. So when people see a talented artist from the US, they instantly fall in love with them, regardless of how popular they are in their own country. 

How is it possible for an artist to receive success overseas and not in the United States?

People always want to learn more about those who live differently than they do. Additionally, social media has helped to close the gap between countries. It has helped artists like me gain a fan-to-artist interaction that never would have been possible a long time ago without having to live in the place you are targeting. Communication lines are also more open with the label, thanks to the internet. As a result, I am able to have entire conversations with them, and talk about next steps to build my brand without constantly having to fly out the country. I also find that it can be tough for people to show love to you in your own city or country, which can be frustrating. I think its that mentality of, “Hey, you’re from the same place as me so you couldn’t be that important,” but at the same time, once they see that you have the ability to be successful, most will start flocking to you and start supporting. I guess that’s just human nature. 

What do you say to people who say R&B is dead? 

R&B isn’t dead, R&B is reborn. It’s constantly changing, but some people are just stuck in the past. If it doesn’t sound the way they’re used to hearing it, they will say its dead. I would even go as far as to say that rappers are the new R&B singers and singers are the new rappers of today. Nowadays, they are almost one in the same. Auto-tune has allowed rappers to sing their own hooks and songs that otherwise would have been given to a singer (or that a singer would have rejected). Singers tend to “rap-sing” now because it sounds good and allows them to tell more of a story. You can say more when you rap it than you can when you sing it. So no, in my opinion, R&B isn’t dead.

What is the inspiration for your latest EP “Levels”?

Life is difficult. But at the same time, if it wasn’t tough then what would be the fun in living? Most of my inspiration came from everyday life. I came from the bottom. I lived in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago, with all of my siblings beds in the dining room, because there weren’t enough bedrooms to go around. Now I have my own house, travel the country, and stay in places like Beverly Hills, as I work alongside some of the music industry’s best. Hence, ‘Levels’.

Which city, internationally, do you feel give you the most love? Why do you think that?

Tokyo! They love me out there because of the type of music I produce and who I am. I think that my two #1 albums on iTunes Japan R&B is fair proof of that. I give them my raw emotions in my songs, the ups and downs of love. Everyone can relate to that regardless of where you’re from, or what language you speak. I will also say that every music market is different, so what I give Japan is something totally different from what I’m going to give the American music market.

What can we look forward to from Matt B?

A hostile takeover, because I don’t stop and won’t stop! I’m going to break down every door that comes my way in order to break into the mainstream music market in the United States. And with God on my side, who could stop me?  So remember my name, and be on the look out for my EP Levels dropping in Spring 2017.

Make sure you check out Matt B’s latest single Intoxication and his sound cloud for more music.

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