Most artists know that music is a calling from an early age, and newly signed Warner Brothers Nashville artist Matt Mason was one of those artists. Influenced by gospel music and the late Elvis Presley, Mason told his father on trips to the famed Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN that one day he would be on that stage.
Mason’s early ambition had him playing the guitar and singing at every opportunity by the time he was 11. During a family vacation in Florida, Mason performed in a talent show to an overwhelming crowd reaction; upon returning home the Indiana native began to perform regionally, opening for large acts such as Charlie Daniels and Joe Diffie. After graduating from high school, Mason left Indiana for Music City in 2005 and discovered early on that it took more than just a few songs to make it.
The following year saw a revelation for Mason as he auditioned for and secured a spot on the hit tv show Nashville Star. Dubbed “the quiet storm” by co-host Cowboy Troy, Mason placed 4th in the singing competition, securing himself on the national Nashville Star tour and generating a dedicated following.
Following the tour, Matt continued playing shows and writing songs based on the ups and downs of his own life. Several years passed as Mason ‘cut his teeth’ in the Nashville music scene. It was in 2011, on the advice of a friend to audition for CMT’s singing competition, Next Superstar. Once again Mason graced televisions across the nation, this time victorious, winning first place. Since the conclusion of Next Superstar, Mason has toured with major acts including Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, Josh Thompson and Blake Shelton. Averaging 180 shows a year, he also has thousands of solo performances under his belt.
Mason has also released two independent EP’s (Chasing Stardust and America’s Favorite Pastime)which have done reasonably well, and for his third and final one before his first album release from his label he is taking an approach many artists do not; his fans are going to be included in the entire process. Currently raising funds for this EP with a deadline of June 1st, donations from $10 – $3,000 are accepted and fans vote on everything from the songs to the cover art.
“I want fans to be 100% apart of this,” says Mason. “We play a lot of unreleased material at our live shows, so we’re putting out a list of 15 to 20 songs for fans to choose from. The top 5 to 8 selected will be cut, of course with some covers on there as well.”
If his determination and soulful lyrics from his EP’s tell you anything, it’s that Mason has a big career ahead of him. The outlaw country singer, who is also heavily influenced by icons Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings with a voice to match. Fans can see Matt performing at Fan Alley during CMA Fest or at his Fan Club party on June 8th at the Full Horse Saloon.