Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Matt Cappy.
Matt Cappy brings a new and innovative sound to Smooth Jazz radio with his new single “Look At Us Now”. We got together for a chat this week.
“Look At Us Now” brings a fresh, innovative sound to the smooth jazz genre. Tell us about how this tune and collaboration with B Slade and Brenda Roy came about.
Thank you very much for saying that! Look at Us Now came about while out touring with Ms. Patti LaBelle. B. Slade, Brenda Roy and myself all were touring with Ms. Patti pre-covid. B. Slade and I had started writing some songs together for some different projects. I told him I was working on my next Jazz album and played him some songs...including Look at Us, which is the instrumental version. Once he heard the melody, he loved it and asked if he could try and sing on it...and I said absolutely! So we threw around some story ideas...and I realized it was best to use the story of my own, with my wife. How staying together through the hard times only makes your relationship that much better..and Look at Us Now!
I think of the single as an “instrumental vocal” tune. The perfect combination of jazz grooves, vocal riffs and rhythmic vibe. To my ears, it’s a new sound for smooth jazz. Were you thinking of any specific genre when you recorded it?
No, I just heard the melody in my head and played it on my trumpet one morning...but I've always been a Donald Byrd fan so naturally I think listening to his albums, especially "Places and Spaces" and "Stepping into Tomorrow" so many times, those infectious groove songs have immersed into my subconscious at this point.
As a side man, you’ve recorded with Michael Jackson and Earth Wind & Fire. Talk about how that experience has fed your new career as a solo artist.
Every chance to I get to play or arrange and add my trumpet sound to someone's album is a great learning opportunity and at this point I'm proud to have recorded on a bunch of great songs with some of the most famous artists....so I've definitely taken this knowledge and experience recording and brought it into my own music.
You have also toured with some amazing artists like Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifa, Patti LaBelle and Jill Scott. Did this have an impact on your own music as a solo artist?
Most definitely! Everyone you listed I've learned so much from! Ms. Patti performs with such happy gracefulness...that feeling is felt throughout an arena! Queen Latifah similarly always has a smile on her face and is so ecstatic to be performing music. Jill Scott, who I go back twenty years with, has such a gift of allowing her audience to see her vulnerable side where when she talks, everyone feels she is talking just to them..not to mention her Immense singing talent coupled with her storytelling. A young living legend is Jill!
Your debut solo album “Church and State” came out in 2017. What led you from side man to front man?
I felt I finally had something, a voice, worth sharing and I was ready to do so. I also am constantly trying to learn new things and improve in all aspects of life so it was a natural progression for me.
You are also a music educator. Please tell us about that important part of your life.
I've taught at my Alma Mater, The University of The Arts, in Philadelphia and also have my trumpet studio where I have helped place many of my trumpet students into Music Colleges across the U.S. Teaching the younger generations is so important! Not only for the continuation of the language but for the betterment of our societies and communities at large. Music is powerful..is the backdrop of our lives and can help heal us and unite us.
What’s next for Matt Cappy?
Excited to release my Sophomore album "Tales of the Tape" this June 2021 and to play live shows in support of the album!
Keep up with Matt Cappy on his website.