In the not-so-distant past, gay musicians hid in the closet or played coy about their sexuality, but today’s artists are an entirely different breed. For up and coming singer-songwriter Matt Gold, being gay may be a given, but is simply one more piece to his overall puzzle. For Gold, inspiration is found in key moments from his life’s journey; they tell of growing up in a small town as an only child, of being adopted, the search for identity, and the experience of being abandoned, due to being gay.
Such themes and more are explored in Gold’s debut album, Drown Before You Swim. Tellingly, in its CD format, the album is broken into two discs, “Drown” and “Swim,” balancing his darker and lighter elements within. Gold recently took time to share more about his life, art, and the passions that fuel him.
Kergan Edwards-Stout: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, Matt. To begin, as your songwriting is so tied to your piano, how did you first come to play it?
Matt Gold: Originally, I wanted to play the saxophone, but my mother was concerned that it could affect my mouth, especially as I needed braces. So instruments in your mouth were out! I tried the bass drum, bells, xylophone, and finally settled on the piano–but only took a month’s worth of lessons before I quit.
What made you quit?
I was really frustrated at my inability to learn it as quickly as I wanted, but, more importantly, I realized that improvisation was really my style. I love taking music out of the expected and making it my own. I played piano in church for a long time, and those are very structured, by nature. But with hymns and ballads, particularly, you can do so much more than what is written on the page.
Was religion important to you, or was playing in church just what was expected? (more…)
At the time I first met Angela Carole Brown, some 20 years ago, she had this really cute bob, and her sparkle and throaty laugh were immediately intoxicating. She was working as a waitress, picking up a paycheck like the rest of us, and I would soon be her co-worker. What I didn’t know at the time, though, was how extremely talented and diverse she is.
In those days, everyone I knew was working some entertainment angle, so when I heard that Angie would be singing at a club, I wasn’t altogether surprised. It was L.A., after all. But as we were sat and she was ushered to the stage, I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
She had full command of the audience, and her song selection was impeccable. Her voice can be both full-bodied and strong, then turn on a dime, becoming incredibly intimate.
While she made her mark singing standards and jazz in L.A. clubs, she also fronts Orchestre Surréal, is an accomplished artist, and published novelist. There isn’t much she can’t do, and my hope for her is that she find an even wider platform for her art. (more…)