After meeting at a writing camp, the duo created a song that is an anthem for taking a leap of faith and believing in yourself, Sydnee's sweet soulful vocals compliment a driving acoustic guitar groove, alongside a dynamic rhythmical drum beat and a tasteful use of a harmonica in the drop, leaving their catchy hooks stuck in your head.
Matt Riley better known as Wasteland has established himself as a unique and versatile artist who blends pop with EDM.
Wasteland caught the attention of the industry with his official music video for 'Tail Lights' which went viral on Facebook, achieving over half a million views in just a few short weeks and then followed up with the release of 'Paper Towns', a collaboration with Norweigan born breakout star Mileo.
Question: What inspired you to collaborate with Sydnee Carter?
Matt Riley : Well we met at a songwriting camp locally in Perth, I knew when I heard her amazing voice that I had to do a song with her at some point. I had plans to relocate across to Sydney before COVID-19 happened with my writing partner (Justin Martins), we had decided to write a song to summarize the feelings around such a big interstate move, and also for it to sort of act as the theme song. We had the song, but needed someone to really portray the emotion and feeling. When I heard Sydnee sing I knew she would absolutely crush it, and she did!
Question: Your music together sounds great, do you have plans to create more music as a duo?
Matt Riley : God Yes! Haulin was actually song number 1, since then we have written about 8-10 more in the studio with her, so I'm excited to be sharing a lot of music this year!
Question: How has Sydnee influenced your music?
Matt Riley : It's quite often you don't mesh with a singer, but I'm so glad this wasn't the case with Sydnee, we clicked so well from the get-go. She's really influenced me about the softer side of music, she really has this unique way of personifying the whole "less is more" mantra in the way she writes and sings, and with her voice I literally think she should sing me the dictionary and I'd love listening to the whole thing.
Question: Is there a particular message you hope listeners take from your music?
Matt Riley : Well music is so subjective, I'm sure everyone will get something totally different from it. But this song was a bit of a "ignore the haters I'm off to live my best life and chase them dreams" song. So I guess the message is just leave if you want to go somewhere, just do it!!! (Nike don't come sue me for using that!).
Question: If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be?
Matt Riley : I'm an absolutely dire Halsey fan, I have been a Halsey fan since the start when no one knew who she was (claimed), so I'd have to say her. She has such bad ass lyrics and whole vibe it would be a dream. Second would be LA Band LANY (if you haven't heard of them for the love of GOD! Check them out).
Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?
Matt Riley : Yes, that making music would be the hardest part! It's literally the business side that trumps it. James Brown once said the music industry is 90% Business 10% music, I second that. Also a notion I had was that people don't want to see you succeed. It's quite the opposite, but it took me years of work to try and flip my outlook around. The world wants you (and me) to do well!
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Matt Riley : I'd definitely say self doubt. Music is a crazy thankless Industry, you may write 10 songs, and only hear back on 1 of them from a label, so it's this paradox of:
"Well they are not good enough songs because people aren't interested and you need to work hard and write better songs" or "well I like the song, and the song is a piece of my art, and I want all the art I make to be out in the world". It's something that is quite hard to deal with, mix in chronic self doubt and it can be a case of thoughts getting in the way of music.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Matt Riley : I'd have to say freedom, I strongly believe that the whole purpose of our life is to create. I think as a human we exist to take in the world around us, then create how that makes us feel. It's sort of the only thing I ever want to do….create; specifically I'm wanting to create a music stage of life (it may manifest to something else later in life). Creating music is also fantastic because people know how to consume it by listening, where other art mediums it's hard to get people to consume it.
Question: Has COVID-19 affected you making music?
Matt Riley : Not much to be honest, I'm still doing sessions all week, working on a bunch of upcoming music. I'm actually partaking in my first online writers camp next week, which will be all over Zoom, so that will be a first, but COVID definitely hasn't stopped that flow.
Question: What's a typical day like, during COVID-19?
Matt Riley : 9:30a.m - Wake up, check Reddit.
10:00a.m - Get Up, Have a juice, check emails, follow up calls, easy to do stuff.
11:30a.m - Workout either floor pilates or floor weights literally next to my desk.
12:15a.m - Shower
12:30p.m - Lunch (Avodcado on toast!)
1:30p.m - Head to studio session somewhere or prepare for zoom session.
2:00p.m - Studio session/writing session
4:30p.m - Maybe go for a scoot (I just bought new electric scooters with my girlfriend, so we are getting our "city zoom on" constantly)
6:30p.m - Make dinner (just made a Thai massaman)
8:00p.m - Netflix and some chocolate (I'm super intro peanut butter cups right now)
10:30p.m - Sit on balcony and talk about the world and another day in isolation.
11:30p.m - Smash out a RuPaul episode
12:30p.m - Goodnight world!
Question: What's next, for you?
Matt Riley : Moving to Sydney hopefully! But who knows right now, COVID might be wrapped up in 6 months, I may still be here locked up writing a truckload of music in isolation! But there will definitely be heaps more music (I know all artists say that, but I literally have the next couple singles lined up, so strap in!).
Question: Can you share your socials? (links please)
Matt Riley :Facebook
Interview by Gwen van Montfort