ripmattblack is a 24-year-old singer/rapper from Naples, Florida. Influenced by Jack Johnson and Chief Keef, Matt makes music perfect for crashing waves and beachside parties, but his songs also draw from real experiences that are not so bright and sunny. The newly-signed Alamo Records artist with multiple videos in the six-figure views is gearing up for two 2020 EPs: Happy Hour, produced by Take A Daytrip (Lil Nas X, Juice Wrld, Sheck Wes) and This Party Sucks, produced by a host of rising stars ranging from Dominic Fike to Take A Daytrip. These complementary projects show the dynamic sides of Matt, both artistically and personally.
Born in Connecticut, Matt’s mom moved the family to South Florida when he was young. The singer’s father died just before his birth, something that he shares in passing. It marked the first of several traumatic incidents that would color his young life. Despite the pain and heartbreak listeners hear in some songs, Matt says he chooses not to dwell on the negative. In his teens, he took to the oceanside lifestyle, growing up within walking distance from the water, and soaking up the beach culture. In high school, Matt was an athlete, a skater, and a beach bum. However, during this time, Matt was involved in a near-fatal car accident. “I probably should have died,” he remembers, noting that the traumatic event brought him closer to making music.
Matt had been beats and songwriting. He found himself in Naples’s burgeoning scene. Matt and his friends, a raunchy collective of creatives, developed into an artistic crew, Lameboyz. Choosing the moniker “mattblack,” he uploaded tracks to Soundcloud. It was a positive hobby in a time he’d been in and out of jail and rehab. “I don’t regret all of the trouble I was involved with, ‘cause some of it got me to where I am now,” he reflects. “It helped me find my voice, both with singing, and what came out.” As Matt improved vocally, he started writing more complex and personal songs. “After high school is when I got serious. I got with some really talented friends, and I decided to try it. I had nothing else going on, and that’s when it really happened.” One of those friends is multi-platinum “3 Nights” singer and high school buddy Dominic Fike.
By 2015, Matt and his circle opened up for Post Malone at Miami’s Rolling Loud. They played shows across Florida and lined up gigs at South By Southwest. In 2018, he signed with Alamo Records and re-released his EP Loverboy, while also rebranding himself as ripmattblack. It separated him from others with that name and peacefully laid some of the past to rest.
ripmattblack showcases two sides of himself in 2020. Happy Hour is a rhythmic, 808-driven collection of vibes. Meanwhile, This Party Sucks, a mix of new and old ones that Matt has been carefully revising, is a coming of age story which addresses real-life issues, including heartbreak, substance abuse, and facing adulthood. These tracks are juxtaposed with a sound built around bouncier acoustic drums. The projects are a melodic march to a debut full-length album release on Alamo Records. Although Matt can joke, he earnestly looks to the future. “I just feel like whatever happens, things are gonna go well for us.”