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Artist Uses His Gift For Music To Produce Debut EP

A young Auckland artist hopes his debut EP and its leading single will resonate and connect with people around the world.

Matt Dodds is just 21 but is already an experienced live performer and has written, produced and recorded many of his own songs.

He’s ready to take the next step in his music career and on July 31 releases his first EP, under Waatea Music, entitled Gifted and Cursed.

The single, When I’m Gone, from the same EP and released on July 17, will also feature on the EP.

“Gifted and Cursed, it’s about all of the gifts I have been given in life and the blessings I have,” Matt explained.

“But it’s also about all of the curses you might have in life, the challenges, the things that make you human.”

Matt’s musical influences span from hip-hop, pop, rock and EDM and that blend shines through on the single, When I’m Gone.

It was a song inspired by a melody “I couldn’t seem to get out of my head”, Matt said.

“I think the beat has a very positive tone and it was quite easy to write the lyrics, it just flowed on.

“I think this song speaks perfectly for how we feel when we move on. We always wonder, have we made an impact?”

The guitar solo near the end of the song was written and recorded by Matt’s brother, James Dodds.

The two brothers had performed together in a rock band when Matt left school.

From 2015-17 Matt was one part of the hip-hop duo, AfterTwelve, playing the “party scene” around Pukekohe and creating singles such as In My Feelings, Stay Away and Burn Us Down.

Matt has also collaborated with the likes of Emmanz1 and Wildkid and has performed at many Auckland venues including the Logan Campbell Centre.

After working on various projects for a while, he decided to pursue a solo career more seriously.

It will be a chance to reflect on some of the challenges and lessons in life.

“I feel like I’m in a space now where I can really express my music the way I want to,” Matt said.

“I like to be more emotional with my music and to write songs that are up-beat, that you can share with everyone, rather than a song that you might just listen to by yourself.”

Matt said he would normally “keep to myself” but his new EP will be a chance to “reveal a bit more” of his character and personality.

“It’s always good to think that you might be able to inspire other people with your music.

“I think my songs carry universal themes and my hope is that people listening anywhere in the world will be able to connect with my music.”

Matt said he was looking forward to working with new producers under the guidance of Waatea Music and the possibility of making a music video for When I’m Gone.

“I like working in the studio but I’m really motivated by thinking about the experience I can have performing a song live.

“I love being in front of an audience, it’s about that relationship with people, singing with them and interacting."

Gift and Cursed Out Now:

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