Whether it’s writing lyrics, making rhythmic beats, or combining the two, one recording artist from northern Manitoba is getting recognized for his work.
Matthew Monias, who’s artist name is Mattmac, is from Garden Hill First Nation in Manitoba, a small fly-in community nearly 500 kms north of Winnipeg.
Monias has been blind since birth but he hasn’t let that stop him as a music producer and recording artist. Monias was depressed at an early age and said music is what helped him overcome that.
“There are a couple things I talk about in my music that I’m going through like personally. Whether like I’m talking about isolation or being stuck in your head or overthinking, it’s just like a lot of that. For me it helped just to talk about these things so like it’s an outlet for me for sure,” he said.
He first began to make beats and write songs when he was just 13. He recently won rap/electronic album of the year at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards and has worked with artists like Nelly Furtado.
On Spotify in 2021, his work was streamed more than 250,000 times. Even with all the success, Monias said there are a number of challenges to making music in a small fly-in community.
“Getting access to things like say if my computer breaks down or like something happens I can’t just like to take a 15 minute drive down to the mall or like get it repaired at like a computer store, that’s just not like an option so you have to like fly it out or like if something were to happen or would have to take a lot of time to like fly it out,” he said.
He added that recent upgrades to cell towers in the area have helped connectivity and internet issues. With the better connections Monias is currently working on his next album titled Blurred Visions, which is set to release in 2022.
“I’m currently in the middle of album production, so I’m currently working on my new album which is called blurred visions. The project is going to have a lot more songs on it than my last one,” Monias said.
“I’ve been releasing music videos for the past couple months now: Those are like leading singles to the project, so hopefully I’ll have the project out by the middle of spring, I think between like March and June somewhere around that time period.”