Recently, Opelousas, LA R&B Hit Maker, Matt Gradnigo or Matt G, released his DJ Ya Boy Earl assisted mixtape Once Is Never Enough (O.N.E), I chopped it up with the homie, and you can read the interview after the jump....
TheRadioShaq: Where were you the first time you were introduced to music?
Matt G: Actually, it started at home my dad had a huge collection of vinyl records and 8-tracks cassettes which had everything from Marvin Gaye to Earth, Wind, & Fire.
TheRadioShaq: When did you know that you wanted to do music for the rest of your life?
Matt G: In high school I performed in front of the entire student body one year for our Christmas program. The excitement and rush was unexplainable. The praises I received were unexpected and one girl came up to me and told me that I gave her chills. I want to say in that moment I began seeing this as a possible career.
TheRadioShaq: What was the first song that you fell in love with? The first album?
Matt G: The first song I fell in love with had to have been Toni, Tony,Tone's "Anniversary" it was the first song I'd ever memorized, the melodies were really catchy and Raphael Saadiq's delivery had me trying all sorts of things with my voice trying to find it. The first album was most definitely Michael Jackson's "Thriller" that album set a bar of how much emotion, creativity, and vocal talent can be accomplished by an artist.
TheRadioShaq: What interest do you have besides music?
Matt G: In all honesty, I'm a big movie buff. My favorites are comedy and action. I also am really into fitness. The fact that I love music so much I want to be around for a while to do it, ya know, and I'm sure the ladies won't mind during shows.
TheRadioShaq: Which successful artist have you molded your career after most?
Matt G: I would have to say Usher simply because of his longevity and work ethic. He doesn't brag or boast about his accomplishments and
let the bodies of work he's created tell all.
TheRadioShaq: Do you think that coming from a place like Opelousas has helped, or hindered your music career? And in what ways?
Matt G: I would say that it has helped my career, not in a sense of money or popularity, but more of a responsibility. People in today's world are afraid to chase their dreams and I feel like my city does have a lot of talented people in it that deserve the opportunity. I just want to be the one to put our city on the map and bring eyes to this part of south, outside of the rap game, that is a part of what drives me.
TheRadioShaq: With your latest project, where did you draw inspiration from?
Matt G: Once Is Never Enough (O.N.E) was how I wanted listeners to feel after listening to it. My inspiration came from personal stories and also stories I have heard or been a part of. I wanted to make music that women would love and feel catered too , but at the same time give the fellas material they could relate with.
TheRadioShaq: The sound on your latest project is really modern, but there’s hints of classic R&B on it, where does this sound come from?
Matt G: That sound was what we going for. When I began this project I sat down with my writing partner Justin "Jayfam" Scott and we brainstormed about what was missing from the R&B game that made people feel like it was "dead". We came to the conclusion that we should pay homage to the era that inspired us to even begin this in the first place.
TheRadioShaq: Do you see it as a challenge to remake popular industry songs, and put your own spin on them?
Matt G: I do see it as challenge only because l want my listener to barely recognize the original song itself. That's really the only challenge I see when remaking a popular song. As far as the concepts go I tend to come up with that the first time I hear the song, only because I often wonder how I would've have done the song if it were originally in my possession.
TheRadioShaq: Why DJ YA BOY EARL? What made you go with him as the host of the tape?
Matt G: When it came down to choosing a DJ to host the tape, I wanted someone who could see and understand my vision. I met Earl after doing a showcase he put together for local talent. After the show he mentioned doing a tape with me and we exchanged contact info. DJ Ya boy Earl is someone who people listen to when it comes down to what is good music.
TheRadioShaq: What message would you have for your supporters?Matt G: First and foremost thank you, I am beyond humbled for the support I have received so far. I will continue to push forward and take this movement to the another level with your support . I also have future projects in the midst of being put together right now. I only have one request that will help us grow as movement. That is, if you love the project pass it on and tell them to press play.