These days, artists who easily make big names in the music industry usually come from either winning a competition or just simply by blood relations. The former is very common as talent is the basis and popularity is a big deal. The latter, on the other hand, is also observed as brothers, sisters or cousins of famous artists become a part of their successes.
However, as one may overlook, there are numerous talents from different walks of life. Take for example the story of Matt Williams who has drawn attention on Youtube with his original song, “You’ll Make Her Cry.” The song has already been viewed over 12 million times. Now, his fans have something to look forward to since he has just released a new Country EP titled Back to Me.
Matt Williams: An Army Veteran, a Singer-Songwriter, and a Youtube Sensation
Not your typical country artist, Matt Williams has something that separates him from most artists in the industry now. He is an Army veteran who has served for 8 ½ years in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, he is a Purple Heart recipient and was also awarded an Army Commendation Medal of Valor. Also, he left the army as an E/6 Staff Sergeant. Sgt. Williams is a native of Geneva, Alabama, but now calls Grand Haven, Michigan, his home.
While he was on his last tour in Afghanistan in 2010, Williams was wounded by an IED (improvised explosive device), which ended his career in the Army. Unfortunately, he also lost two of his best friends in the incident. In 2012, he was officially discharged from the Army to pursue his passion for music. Indeed, this 31-year-old man is an outstanding and respectable individual who has accomplished a lot at such a young age. And what a way to continue this by venturing the music industry.
In an interview with Lumen Student News, he shared how his war experience influences him and his music. He said:
“I grew up as kind of a normal boy, I guess, you know, went around, got in trouble. Grew up in a pretty religious home. My grandfather was a preacher. [I] used to sing in church all the time. I loved it — singing was always my passion.”
Also, he revealed that he joined the Army after the terrorist attacks that happened on the infamous 9/11. He added:
“Another reason was at the time, I was that troubled teenager and I needed to grow up, do something with my life, and so I chose the Army to do that. My military service has influenced my music more than words can even express. My music is more, instead of trying to be fun all the time, my music is more expressive of what really happened in my life.”
Back to Me: Its Story and Inspiration
Williams released Back to Me on Independence Day, July 4, 2018. It debuted at no. 8 in the iTunes Country Music Charts as an independent artist. Behind this powerful song is a story of longing and pure love.
Eight years ago, on July 4, 2010, Williams lost his father after returning home from his final tour. This day made an impact on his life that is why he chose it as the release date of Back to Me. He dedicates this album to his father as his inspiration and forever guiding light.
The album contains six tracks:
1. Here’s to You
2. I’d Give a Lifetime
3. Back to Me
4. Lookin’ So Good
5. Six Feet Under (Acoustic Performance)
6. Country Bar Song
This project of Williams showcases his incredible vocals and talent as evident in each track of the album. The EP starts with “Here’s to You,” which salutes the working-class Americans. “I’d Give a Lifetime” comes in next which unravels Williams’ personal life dedicating the track to his father. For sure, many would relate to this song as it is written full of memories and emotions from the songwriter’s heart.
Moreover, the third track has the same title as the EP. Williams takes the listeners back as he bares his soft and endearing side. Meanwhile, “Lookin’ So Good” is more of rockin’ and boot-stompin’ fun song. It was written by CMA artist Dustin Lynch, who influenced and inspired Matt Williams. The fifth track is “Six Feet Under.” It is an acoustic performance that is close to Williams’ heart. It is a tune that narrates about the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a note, Williams held nothing back when writing this song so people could know who he is and why. Finally, the last track is “Country Bar Song.” It is a more traditional country song that calls out some of the greatest to ever do it in this genre.
When asked about his music, he replied:
“I began writing the story of my life in the form of songs that I hope other people can relate to in many different ways. I want to tell the world about my life to show that I’m not ashamed of who I am and that no one is perfect. Music, along with God, really can save the soul, and it can influence and impact people in ways that they cannot do for themselves. Music saved my life in more ways than one and I believe that it can help others as well.”
Here’s the lyric video of Matt Williams’ third track “Back to Me” uploaded on his Youtube channel:
For more of Matt Williams and his music, you can check his social media accounts:
Facebook: Matt Williams
Youtube: Matt Williams
Also, you can listen to his Country EP on Spotify.