Taking it easy today with Mat McHugh’s new album “Waves” that we giddily downloaded for free. Below, we interviewed this avid surfer about pre-meal rituals, the creative process behind the album, and if he can break it down.
1) What artists do you draw on for your influence?
Oh man, that list is too big. I get inspired by creative energy in any form. I can be inspired to write a song by eating a beautiful meal, reading a great book or looking at an amazing building. Humans can do great things and I just want to try and contribute my own creativity in the way I can express it best.
2) What is it like releasing an album independently vs. with a major label?
I’ve always been an independent artist. It’s very important to me to have creative control over all the aspects of my art. It all has to have meaning and everything needs to come from the same motivation. The minute that art feels like a ‘product’ is when I lose interest.
3) Tell us about your creative process behind “Waves.” It’s tough to fit into a genre.
Like all my albums, I make them in my home studio. I play all the instruments and produce all the tracks. I love all aspects of it. I like the songwriting element where you sit at an instrument and come up with harmony and melody and lyrics. I also really love sound design and coming up with sounds that have never existed before. A lot of the things that sounds like synths on the album are actually samples that I have manipulated to become their own thing.
4) The first single, “All I Ever Wanted” takes us through an intense dream. Did this dream reflect real life?
For me, the line between dreaming and ‘real life’ is really blurred. I live between worlds.
5) What’s the collaboration process between you and The Beautiful Girls?
The Beautiful Girls is just another name I release my music under. It’s a different lineup live. More influenced by soul music and digital dancehall. Some records are Mat McHugh and some are TBG but, essentially, they’re all me.
6) Could you bust a move like the dancers in “Dancehall Days?”
Oh yeah for sure. Way better hahaha.
7) What do you eat before a performance?
I eat the ice in a single malt scotch whiskey.
8) What do you do to unwind?
I live on the beach so all of my spare time, of which there isn’t much at the moment, is spent there either in water or right beside it.
9) What is your favorite sport to play?
I grew up surfing since I was 5 years old. Before and after school every day of my life. If I had to choose between music and surfing, then surfing wins.