Norwich singer Matt Watson on his new EP and working independently
- Credit: Alexandra Bone Photography
We had a chat with Norwich singer-songwriter Matt Watson about his new EP.
Known for his observational songwriting style, Matt Watson has recently released his new EP Alive, Alive Oh... via online music platform Bandcamp.
Having recently departed from a local label, Watson decided to work independently on this record.
"It was totally my decision to not continue with a label."
"The reasons were firstly personal and to do with stuff happening in my private life that I wanted to focus on."
"Secondly, it's a cliché, but I guess it was artistic. I am hugely grateful for the support and the experience it afforded me - I just ultimately decided it wasn't for me."
Experimenting with new methods, Watson decided to release the record under a 'pay what you want' deal on Bandcamp - seeing success even within the first 24 hours.
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"Bandcamp gives that option and I think that's nothing but positive. I would heartily suggest all acts use this platform alongside the streaming ones and the normal digital retailers."
"I love Bandcamp. It's been my most important tool aside from the socials - it affords me total autonomy and control over my releases."
The album idea itself was curated with The Wonder Stuff's frontman, Miles Hunt, last autumn when he toured with him on his UK Custodian Tour.
"He suggested I could do this myself and, of course his record also being a stripped back affair as were our gigs together, it felt right. And I'm glad I did."
Matt Watson has always worked independently to some extent so for him it seemed a natural progression after the label split.
"I enjoy the process of making a record at my pace and at home. Technology now affords musicians this opportunity to record and produce music ourselves and I find that enormously exciting."
"I crowd funded my first two albums through Pledge Music which was a positive experience. Social media played a huge part in being able to engage with music fans across the globe, although of course as we all know social media has it's pros and cons, but as a tool to reach people it's still very valuable."
Working alone comes with it's own advantages and disadvantages but has mostly been a positive experience for him.
"You have to not just be a creative but you also have to think about all the other parts of being an artist. You are the PR person, the booker, the art director, the press department and so on."
"It can be frustrating at times and some days you do question yourself."
"It's also really important to be yourself and enjoy what you're doing too. This and integrity as an artist are very important to me so working this way gives that."
Artists of all genres seem to working more independently. Music consumption has massively changed over time with people often wanting to hear new music periodically throughout the year.
"I wouldn't want to say being on a label is a bad thing, it's different and it depends as an artist what you want."
"Streaming has changed things hugely. Whether the industry was ready for this massive shift I'm not sure."
"Personally I don't feel a pressure to release any differently. I feel a freedom in the fact that should I want to release a track I've made today I can. How cool is that?"
When asked whether he will continue to work this way Matt Watson said: ""Yes, without doubt. I'm enjoying the experience enormously and love the freedom I have."
- Matt Watson's EP is available to stream and buy from the Bandcamp website