Matthew French Q&A

March 14, 2022
Matthew French writes gentle lyrics and soaring melodies.

“It’s always such a joy to hear a listener tell me how much a song brought them back to vivid family memories. The song becomes our story, and that’s the magic and mystery of songwriting at work.”

You’ve said that songwriting is therapeutic for you. Has it helped you articulate feelings that you can apply in your life?

Absolutely. I often think that my best songs happen out of writing advice to myself. The hope is that someone listening may be able to relate and be encouraged.

Your song “Man in the Yellow Chair” is beautiful and cathartic. Do you find that the more personal your songs, the more universal they become?

I do. It’s immensely beautiful that something you write about personal experience takes on its own story for the listener. In regards to “Man In The Yellow Chair” specifically, that came out of wonderful memories of my grandfather, but it’s always such a joy to hear a listener tell me how much it brought them back to vivid family memories as well. The song becomes our story, and that’s the magic and mystery of songwriting at work.

Do you get an endorphin rush while you’re performing or are you too focused on playing the song right?

There is certainly a rush of nervous energy and focus, but I think the biggest feeling is gratefulness. It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to get to write songs and share them with others.

How often do you use your Notes app to capture a lyric?

Maybe not every day, but quite a few times each week. It may be something new, editing a previous idea or even honing a lyric to a song I thought was finished.

Have you always been drawn to folk and Americana music?

I grew up in the ’90s and listened to such a variety of music, from alternative rock to Mariah Carey and everything in between. I think in my writing I’ve always gravitated toward folk and Americana. There’s an honesty and simplicity that I find in listening to artists in those genres that is inspiring to me.

What is the last album you loved?

John Mayer’s “Sob Rock.” He’s one of my songwriting heroes.

What is next for you?

Side one of my album “Two Sides” came out just over a month ago and side two will be out some time before Summer 2022. I’m excited to have the full album out in the world.

Photo by David Dennison