Interview In The Studio with… Matt Maltese

The cult balladeer-turned-viral star is back at it for incoming LP3.

You may already be familiar with some of the unexpected sub-genres on TikTok: DivorceTok? FrogTok?! - but there’s another craze sweeping the app at the moment that’s perhaps even more unlikely. Currently racking up video after video (at one point entering the worldwide Top 100), Matt Maltese and the irresistible chorus of his 2017 ballad ‘As The World Caves In’ have fully cemented a new subculture: MalteseTok.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Matt laughs. “It’s just very surreal and bizarre isn’t it, having a chorus sung by lots of people. I think the nature of TikTok is that something goes viral, and then it goes even more viral, and I keep thinking, ‘Why isn’t everyone sick of it already?!’. They don’t seem to be yet, so we’ll see how long that train goes!”

When he’s not basking in his newfound social media fame however, Matt has spent the last year penning new tracks, both for himself and alongside musicians such as fellow South London resident Joy Crookes. “I think I realised more than ever that I just need writing so much,” he smiles. “It doesn’t really feel like it’s a choice anymore, I just really need to write songs!”

“I wanted to write songs that made me feel more peaceful.”

That need has resulted in his eagerly-awaited third album, ‘Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow’. Finished towards the end of last summer, he decamped to a studio in Eastbourne with producer Tom Carmichael, who also worked on 2019’s ‘Krystal’, and some bandmates to give the record its final flourish late last year. “It was just a really bizarre two weeks in December, sort of right at the edge of lockdown,” he recalls. “It felt like a holiday! As hard work as it was, it was so joyous to be around people like that, and to be making music by the sea. It was just ridiculous. I mean, the sea was fucking awful, it was so cold. I spent five minutes in it and I just couldn’t feel my feet for like, two hours!”

Sharing two singles already, ‘Mystery’ and ‘Shoe’, he’s hoping that his third full-length will provide a place of comfort to people after the year we’ve all just gone through. “It sounds quite hopeful for how hopeless everything was,” he notes. “I just had this thing in me that I wanted to write songs that were peaceful and made me feel more peaceful. The record - although it’s definitely dark and melodramatic at times - a lot of it is about trying to be OK with things. It’s almost like the songs were what I wanted to be at times.”

‘Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow’ is out on 8th October via Nettwerk.

As featured in the August 2021 issue of DIY, out now. Scroll down to get your copy.

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