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At a time when many talented vocalists rely on the creativity of songwriters for their words and melodies, and many songwriters search endlessly for the right singer to boost their song into the stratosphere, Matt Blaque is truly in a league of his own.Read More...
The 28-year-old East Oakland native has set himself apart from other artists, by virtue of being equally gifted in both departments.
The product of a deeply religious and tight-knit family, Matt began to sing at the young age of 5 in the family church, inspired by his father- also a singer. He cultivated his vocals for years, supported by his family and friends.
Growing up in the environment he did, within such a turbulent time-period of Oakland history, it's a small miracle Matt stayed on the right path. He watched his friends fall to drugs, crime and violence all around him over the years. Matt stayed ahead of the curve. He had three key fundamentals to keep him in line: family, faith and music. He was also a talented football player at the well-known Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, and was eventually awarded a scholarship to college in Oregon for his bruising play at fullback.
After a couple of years in Oregon, Matt realized football wasn't his ultimate career goal and decided to seriously pursue a career in music. He enrolled in Ex'pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville, CA. There, he was immersed in all aspects of recording arts: mixing, engineering, producing, composing, and songwriting. He was awarded a degree in Sound Arts and received an internship with Grammy award-winning producer Narada Michael Walden immediately after graduating. Walden made hits for virtually every contemporary pop artist in the 80's and 90's: Whitney Huston, Mariah Carrey, Tevin Campbell, Shanice and many more. His track record of hit-making success inspired Matt.
Recognizing Matt's natural ability as a writer, Walden soon promoted Matt from Engineer to Senior Songwriter. It was then that Matt had his first major placements, landing writing contributions to albums by Toni Braxton, Brian McKnight and the legendary James Brown.
After working as Senior Writer at Walden's Tarpan Studios in Marin County for 4 years, Matt set out on his own. A sort of free agent, he was determined to continue to build his musical resume in the thriving Bay Area urban music scene. He released his self-titled debut album "Matt Blaque." The album went on to sell respectable numbers digitally and regionally. Matt began to build an organization of producers, rappers, DJ's and engineers who believed in him. Through this natural process, his producer and friend, Cozmo, introduced him to Messy Marv.
Mess, a Bay Area heavyweight who's been vastly successful as an independent artist, featured Matt prominently on several of his nationally distributed releases.
Through his work with Mess, he became the go-to R&B Artist in Northern California for hooks. His choruses graced the albums of a virtual who's who in successful Bay Area artists; Yukmouth, E-40, Mistah FAB, Keak Da Sneak, San Quinn, Killa Tay, Cozmo, and Guce- just to name a few.
In 2008, Matt was featured on a single called "All Over Me," commercially released on the Jacka's hugely successful 2009 "Tear Gas" album. The record went into regular rotation on KMEL. The single spun heavily for over a year. The record propelled Matt's career and notoriety to higher heights than ever before. He was a regional star.
In 2009, an established veteran artist from Richmond CA named Laroo, had a musical resurgence; largely aided by two huge singles that featured Matt on the hooks; "Put Me On" and "Dip." Both songs received heavy rotation on KMEL in 2009 and 2010.
His immensely anticipated sophomore album is due to be released in 2012. Without question, the record features some of Matt's best work and collaborations to date. Listening to it, it's hard to pick the singles out from the rest of the album. It's as if every song has the potential be a hit-single. The future is undoubtedly bright for this rising star.
When a magazine journalist was interviewing Matt recently about the upcoming album, she asked Matt how difficult it was to work with his management team and label, deciding which songs to push to the radio. He replied with a sly grin-"It's tough. But these are good problems to have."