Even without a record label or traditional backing, Matt Simons had already been heard around the globe.
After being noticed from a Facebook ad he created for his independent album Pieces, the song “With You” received a high-profile 2013 placement on one of the biggest Dutch soap operas. Before the Northern California-born and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter knew it, he began selling out shows in Europe and was serving as guest judge on the Netherlands X-Factor, while “With You” went platinum in Holland and earned the unofficial title of the country’s “most played funeral song.”
“As strange as it may sound, that was the ultimate compliment,” he says. “My music was being used to celebrate legacies. The fact that people could be that affected by a song I wrote was incredible to me. I didn’t know that’s what I loved about writing so much, but I learned it.”
His 2015 single “Catch & Release” and its (Deepend Remix) have proven he’s got songs for more than one occasion. The remix has gone #1 on Spotify’s Viral charts in 10 countries, peaking at #16 on the Global Viral chart. It hit the Top 200 on iTunes in 28 countries, racked up 8 million Soundcloud plays, achieved a gold certification in Holland, and was added into rotation at SiriusXM Chill. Cumulative Spotify plays between both versions exceed 8 million and counting. Meanwhile, the remixed version hit #1 twice on HypeMachine. As the track caught fire, Republic Records signed Matt and gave it a formal release.
A marriage between styles, “Catch & Release” lithely balances a deep house soundscape with finger-picked acoustic guitars and Matt’s soulful crooning.
“’Catch & Release’ is about the common shared struggle of the grind and how everyone’s got their own way of dealing with it,” he explains. “Some people will go for a run, or others will have a drink, etc. It’s whatever your way of releasing all the tension you build over the course of any given day. We wanted to do something different with the remix. The dance community seems hungry for songs with a deeper meaning. It felt really natural.”
That’s because Matt’s the real deal. Music’s a family tradition as both of his grandparents were professional opera singers, and his dad shared a love for The Beatles and the classics with him early on. Playing saxophone his whole life, he got a degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance at The Purchase College Conservatory. That background ultimately gave him the foundation to write these kinds of songs.
“I won’t ever lose that influence,” he leaves off. “I started off with jazz and those rhythms and patterns have been ingrained in me. Now, my main focus is to continue writing these songs that really can resonate.”