Photo: Courtney Nathan Phillip

Interview: Matt Terry On Opening Up With New Single ‘His Car’ – “I have been preparing myself for this moment for years”

Matt Terry is going from strength to strength, releasing a stellar run of singles – the most recent of which is the beautifully poignant His Car. The new single sees Matt open up about his sexuality, reflecting on the challenges of a past relationship in a deeply heartfelt, absorbing manner.

Matt works on the track with producer Xoro (Tim Kulawik) who also co-writes the number. The musician also directs the video for the single alongside fashion photographer and filmmaker Courtney Nathan Phillip, delivering an atmospheric and honest visual shot in Yorkshire. Matt hopes the video will encourage young men struggling about their sexuality to open up. We caught up with Matt to chat about his new music, coming out, and reflecting on The X Factor experience.

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Matt. How has the response to “His Car” impacted you?

Thank you for having me! Honestly it’s nowhere near anything I ever expected. I truly didn’t think many people would care as much as they do. And the support has just been unbelievable. The amount of love I have received so far is just immense. I do however want to say that I realise this is a very privileged and lucky situation as not everybody has this experience when expressing their sexuality. But for sure, it’s something I will never forget. And I am so glad I did it my own way!

What emotions were you experiencing in the lead-up to releasing the track and opening up about your sexuality?

To be honest, I have been preparing myself for this moment for years. I knew that when the right time came I would be ready. But I would be lying if said I wasn’t nervous. I guess that’s natural for the unexpected. I woke up about 4 am the morning of feeling pretty anxious but by the time I had seen the response it had all gone out the window!

In what ways have crafting songs like “Ghost of Me,” “You Don’t Know Nothing,” and “His Car” allowed you to connect with your artistry on a deeper level?

It has been so freeing writing these records. Just because it’s all me. I’m behind every single part of this process. From start to finish, the music videos, artwork, you name it, it’s my vision! And music really is therapy. It helps to say things out loud, it feels like a huge weight is lifted. I sleep so much better at night after I’ve spent the day in the studio. It’s what I love the most. So to answer your question it makes me feel way more connected with myself, and I have really spent time getting to know myself through my songwriting and I’ve loved every minute of it, even when its been hard. His car is the only record I have struggled to record, because it’s just so special to me. 

What themes or elements can listeners anticipate from your upcoming EP, and do you envision it paving the way for a full album in the future?

I have written so many albums for myself the last lot of years but this one for sure will see the light of day! It tells me story, navigating life as a young gay man falling in love. I love R&B, I love pop but also cannot stay away from timeless music. So I would say mash all that up together and that’s the vibe of the album. 

Reflecting on your time on The X Factor and the release of your debut album, what memories stand out to you as particularly meaningful or significant?

You know what that writing process was so different from what I remember. I was under a lot of pressure to deliver a project I had no idea how to create. But I did learn so much, that I was in fact a true songwriter. I will always be proud of that debut album, especially Sucker For You. I really fought for that song to be a single and nobody else believed in it and here we are 100s of millions of streams later. So I think its safe to say I learnt how to trust my gut!

Is there any advice you would give to young artists hoping to navigate their way in the music industry?

Yes, I would say don’t look at anyone else and what they are doing. Be a race horse and put your blinkers on. Find the path that works for you, because today there really isn’t a formula to success in the music industry. You have to be yourself and create your on stepping stones. Remember, music is subjective. 

Which music artists are the ones that have been inspiring you creatively?

RAYE. RAYE AND RAYE. It’s wild my two favourite artists Raye and Victoria Monet have really come through and I couldn’t be happier for them. I also love Ella Mai, there isn’t one song of hers I don’t know. Zayn also has been dropping tunes that I can’t get enough of. I feel like he’s really letting us in now. Independent artists are taking over the world. 

You’ve had success on the stage in Rock of Ages. Is there another show or dream role that would draw you back to the stage?

I think it would have to be something I can sink my teeth into for sure. I want to jump into a really meaty role. Rock of ages was a huge bucket list of mine and I am so proud and pleased I got to be a part of it! 

Will you be supporting the new music with some live dates?

100 percent! Booking festivals, prides and venues as we speak! I can’t wait to get out there and perform my songs. Performing live is one of the most rewarding feelings I can’t get enough of. It’s real with you. It makes me feel alive and on stage is where I feel most understood! See you guys there?? 😀 

Thanks to Matt for taking the time to chat. Make sure to follow him at the links below:

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