We are always so excited when we stumble upon a new artist to review. Recently, we were recommended to check out Matt Van Fossen, a country artist who released his newest single called “BOOM.”
So who is Matt Van Fossen? His biography on his website states the following:
Imagine the rush of performing your new single to more than 80,000 country music fans on the main stage at ‘Jamboree In The Hills’, one of the top music festivals in the country. Afterwards, you might exchange niceties with superstar Tim McGraw before he goes on stage to rock the crowd. Ohio native Matt VanFossen doesn’t have to imagine because this is his new reality….
With the release of his new EP, “BOOM,” VanFossen is taking his career to exciting new levels. The hard-driving title track is the first single and has already become a fan favorite. It recently won West Virginia-based radio station 97.9 WKKW’s fan-voted “Smackdown” for the maximum of four days straight, beating out new singles from artists such as Dolly Parton and Colt Ford.
The EP follows the breakout success of 2012’s full-length “I Didn’t Come Here to Lose.” Two singles from the album (“Almost Stopped Dreaming” and “This Time Around”) managed to break the Top 100 on the Mediabase country charts. A third single, “A Woman’s Words,” was listed as one of the Top 25 fan-voted songs on Nashville-based Internet radio station NIXA. In addition, his ‘Jamboree’ performances were broadcasted to TV viewers across the Ohio Valley and he received coverage on local newscasts.
The success of the album eventually allowed VanFossen to get a high-profile booking at Nashville’s legendary Douglas Corner Cafe, a renowned venue for both emerging and established songwriters/performers.
“It was a surreal experience to be in a room full of tourists and peers in Nashville. Then, to be singing my music in-the-round with three other artists was unbelievable,” he says. “To have all the talent there recognize me for my voice was just killer. They all thought I was from there. I’ll never forget that.”
During his short career, VanFossen has shared the stage with national recording artists including David Nail, Craig Campbell, Brooks & Dunn, and more. In 2013, he was asked to become one of the main stage artists at the Ohio-based‘Jamboree in the Hills’ festival. For the past two years, he has opened up for the likes of Neal McCoy, Aaron Tippin, and The Oak Ridge Boys.
The newly released “BOOM” EP aims to cement his status as a hit-maker with a voice that grabs your attention and refuses to let go. Mike Ofca produced the project at Innovation Studios in Steubenville, Ohio.
“Mike has this way of turning everything into ear candy. He pays attention to the details and is always listening to see what to add to it to make the song better than it already is,” VanFossen says.
The EP is available at all digital outlets and is distributed by TuneCore. It contains five songs, including “She’s Just Like That” and the feisty “Close If It Ain’t It.” VanFossen says “She’s Just Like That” is his favorite on the project and the song helped him realize the album’s theme.
“The ‘BOOM’ EP is all about the expression of intense feelings. I was listening to “She’s Just Like That” in the car today and thought to myself, ‘you never hear a song from a male artist that talks about love in such an extreme way’ …,” he says. “The song is a way for a guy to say how intense his love is. It gets your attention but in a different way than ‘BOOM.’ It’s like a summer breeze.”
Fans can also expect to hear more about the relationship he sang about on the emotional “Leave Me” from the last album. While “Leave Me” was about a deteriorating relationship that no one had the guts to end, the musical sequel is more of a hopefulcoda. “Get To You” picks up the story after the girl is gone and the guy is forced to move on.
“I remember hearing the song and thinking ‘I know there’s somebody out there that will relate’ …,” he says. “It was the last song we cut vocals on and I thought to myself, ‘put yourself in the place of what you would be like if you found somebody that finally made you forget all the pain and suffering you’ve been through in your life.’”
If it sounds like VanFossen knows a thing or two about heartache, it’s because he experienced it early on. The artist released his first album in 2009 and had a regional hit with “Time Ain’t What It Used To Be.” The song made it to #76 on Wheeling, W. Va. based radio station WOVK’s 2010 year-end countdown and he was named the second most played local artist. Station manager Jim Elliot declared, “Remember this man’s name because you’ll be hearing a lot more of it in the future.”
Then tragedy struck just as his career began to take off. VanFossen’s beloved mother Dot passed away suddenly due to a stroke. Her death was jolting and almost caused him to give up on his dreams. He recalls feeling broken after leaving the hospital and contemplating the end to his career. “…But then I turned on the radio and my song was playing. Then, I knew in my heart that was a sign from Mom to keep doing this,” he says.
Fast forward to 2014 and VanFossen is revisiting his signature song with a newly recorded version created especially for “BOOM.” He calls the track the centerpiece of his music.
“It was the first song that I had on the radio and the only song my mom and I heard on the radio together. It’s a timeless song and I feel now at 30, I’ve lived so much life. I feel like every step of the way, it becomes more of my signature song,” he says. “Now’s the time to bring out a song like this into the world. Everybody’s reminiscing about when life was simple. It’s a way of remembering your innocence.”
Whether he’s performing a hard-driving rocker such as “BOOM” or a heartbreaking ballad like “Get To You,” VanFossen’s live shows are not to be missed. His voice is often compared to artists such as Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, and Blake Shelton. Not bad company for an artist that continues to forge his own path as an independent artist.
“I want people to know that I am a genuine, driven, hard-working artist that cares about them and wants to interact,” he says. “I’m passionate about music. It’s part of every waking moment of my life. It’s a powerful thing. It can help you recover from sadness or help you celebrate happiness. I don’t know what my life would be without music.”
So, what did the Cre8tive Team think of Matt Van Fossen and his single?
Paul – Matt’s EP on Reverbnation starts out with “BOOM.” Right out of the gate is high energy and in your face country music. The next song “Close If It Ain’t It” is a rock’n song but with more of a country feel to it. If you want to start your Friday night out rockin,’ Matt delivers it with a punch! As the tracks go on, Matt starts to show his voice as a country singer/writer that shines through on “She’s Just Like That”, and “Get to You.” I look forward to hearing these on country radio. “I Didn’t Come Here To Lose” is a great anthem for all of us with no plan “B” ! “Leave Me” is a great song and Kelly Clarkson would make a great duet partner for this track. Matt has a great voice that is not like everybody else right now. That’s refreshing with today’s all about BroCountry going on. His stand out songs and style of music will be a great to hear in country music and on the radio down the road as Matt VanFossen grows into a great artist. I made sure that I put Matt’s EP in my car and drove around the town.. The result was driving a little too fast, and found myself singing along with it! So for me, that makes for a great EP and a great start to Matt’s career as a country artist.
Kimberley – I absolutely agree with Paul when it comes to Matt Van Fossen. Stand outs for me would be “Leave me” which definitely would make a great duet with Kelly Clarkson or even country newbie Lucy Hale. Matt delivers solid vocals on all of his tracks and has a unique voice that isn’t really similar to another artist on the radio at the moment. His style of country is a mixture of traditional country and rock and vaguely reminds me of some of the best story telling songs from the 90’s with a modern flair. This is so great considering all of the bro country going on right now and the lack of story telling and creative songs on the radio these days. I definitely think that Matt’s voice and songs will do well on the radio and with his fans. Country music needs this right now. “Boom” is a hard rocking country song that I like, but it’s definitely not my favorite. It sounds a little too much like the other songs that I don’t really care for on the radio at the moment, but it’s catchy and I definitely think is going to be very popular with the radio stations and at shows. I think that Matt is definitely on his way to being a household name!
To learn more about Matt Van Fossen, please find him at the following places: