Donaldson Dreaming Big

Not only is Matt Donaldson a brilliant singer, he is also a fantastic goalkeeper in football and has ambitions to break into the senior island Cricket side in the near future.

Sportscast Jersey caught up with him to talk about these ambitions, and also his music career to date, from gigs to how he is looking to improve more at university.

Here is the full interview!

Firstly, how did you first get into music? 


I’ve always had music around me, having my parents always playing music around the house. Then from a really young age, I got into playing in my dad’s churches bands, firstly playing bass then guitar, then singing and loved it. I just carried it on.


Who did you enjoy listening to when growing up? 


Around the house there was loads of different influences and types of music. Growing up in Zimbabwe we had everything from soft rock and Neil Diamond, to African gospel music. I had loads of influences and inspiration around me!


Have you been to see many gigs/concerts – what have been your highlights? 

I love live music, especially local bands and artists. However, my favourite gig I’ve ever been to was seeing Loyle Carner in Manchester. He’s a massive inspiration to me and my music. He puts on an incredible show as well! 


You have also represented Jersey at youth levels in football and cricket – how were this experiences for you?

Yeah sport is massive for me. I love playing and watching sport, it’s a massive part of my life. Representing Jersey is always such a pleasure regardless of what for, so being lucky enough to have played for Jersey even if it’s age group stuff is always an honour. 


Do you still play/do you miss playing if you don’t! 


Yeah I’m still signed on with St. Peter’s FC and play when I’m back from uni, and still play for OVs first team. I love playing cricket and have hopes of making the Jersey Cricket first team squad in the next few years! 


When did you think you could sit down and write songs yourself? 

I started writing because I basically got bored of playing other people’s songs, and I’ve always been a pretty creative guy, so I thought I may as well give it a go and got absolutely obsessed with it!

 
Do you remember writing your first song? What was it?


I can’t remember exactly what my first song was, and I’m sure it really wasn’t very good, but I didn’t really care, I still loved doing it!

And releasing it – how did it feel to get your music onto Spotify and other platforms! 

It’s such a good feeling getting my music out so other people can hear it. Even if only my mates and my mum listen to it, it’s still such a good feeling because of how much effort has been put into a song or a project so even if it flops it’s sharing a piece of my work and what I’m most proud of with whoever wants to listen. If people like it and it means something to them that’s absolutely massive.


Talk to us about ‘Hopeless’. How much did you enjoy producing that? 


I love the process of recording new projects, and this EP was the first real experience I had recording and producing properly, so it was such a good experience and I learnt so much from Nathan Mcarthy who produced it all. It was such a good time and I learnt so much! 


How good was it to shoot right here in Jersey for that album, with the cover being on the 5 mile road of course! 


Yeah the photo shoot for “Hopeless” was awesome. My brother Grant is an incredible photographer and so we brainstormed for a couple of days and came up with a few ideas and and a few briefs for the shoot, went out and did it all in one day which was really good fun especially to do it with my brother.


How hard is it to keep writing the songs! 


I’ve changed my style a bit since “Hopeless” but I never stop writing songs. It’s pretty much an obsession, so I’ve got so many songs in the pipeline. 


Do you have a favourite gig/performance of your own that you’ve done?

 
I’ve done so many gigs it’s hard to pick one particular one, but I absolutely love the songwriters society nights in Jersey. There’s such an insane display of talent. In Manchester, the music scene is so good, and so I’m lucky to have got a band I’m starting to do gigs with which are so much fun every single time!


How much would you encourage others to be a singer songwriter – just how much do you enjoy it? 


I couldn’t encourage it more! Even if you’re no good, it’s such a perfect therapy, and such a good skill to learn anyway! 


Finally, what’s next for you! Keep writing and keep singing? What you doing at uni too?


I’m studying song writing at Uni, and still loving it. So I’m going to be releasing new music very soon, and hopefully consistently releasing new music in the near future. As soon as it’s do-able as well I’m hoping to get gigging as often as I can! And hoping to see how far I can get in the music industry! 

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