Australian singer/songwriter Matt Corby  is a talent on the rise in the local music scene. At the age of sixteen, he placed runner up in that year’s Australian Idol after winner Natalie Gauchi. Having experienced a musical and physical journey that has taken him to locations such as New York and primarily the United Kingdom, he has released three EP’s of original material over the past few years. In 2009, Corby released Songs For…. This was followed in 2010 by both My False and Transition To Colour.

Corby continues a rich vein of candid and almost confessional singer/songwriter/guitarists like Nick Drake, Cat Stevens through to modern day artists like Jeff Bukley and Lior. “Gospel music was a big influence on my childhood. It was always part of my life in one form or another,” says Corby. “This is probably what inspired me to pursue music as a career. Being part of the whole Australian Idol experience taught me very much what direction I didn’t want to go in as far as my career was concerned. The whole experience did teach me how important it was to have a career on your own terms.”

This is what very much inspired Corby to head to London to follow his dream of being a musician. “The big thing I noticed about the British music scene was that whole emphasis on the importance of being a good songwriter above all else. It doesn’t matter if you’re hideously ugly physically or if your voice isn’t ‘perfect’ by someone else standards, it’s the songwriting that really matters,” Corby continues, making an excellent point. Think throughout musical history. Would you think someone as unconventional as, say, Johnny Rotten would have stood a chance on a reality music show? “My experiences in London really helped me to change and grow as an artist. The scene there is so down to earth and unpretentious. It definitely helped shape who I am today on both a professional and personal level.”

Like artists of all shapes and sizes, no matter how long their careers have been, Corby admits he still finds the concept and being part of the industry, at times, intimidating and a little bit scary. “There’s no worse a feeling than someone, whether it be a crowd at a gig or an industry person, telling you what you’re doing and creating is not to their liking. I guess I’m trying to find a happy medium with my music in regards to what satisfies both myself and the people that like what I do,” he says.

The Secret Garden series of shows have, according to Corby, been quite an enlightening and enriching experience. “These shows have been so different to anything I’ve done previously. There no real time limit in regards to how long you can play. There’s also no safety net, which can be both exciting and daunting as an artist to work with. Everything single show has been different. It has been a great experience.”

Supporting Elbow on the Australian tour a while back was one of Corby’s absolute career highlights. “Elbow are such a fantastic band. It was an absolute honour being their support act when they toured here. This is a band that truly inspire me with where they take music. The exposure for myself on the tour was incredibly beneficial as well.”

So, what does the future hold for this talented young man? “I’m planning on recording another EP early next year. After that, the plan is to play live as much as I can and work towards both writing and recording my debut full length album. Hopefully, I will be able to release it around the middle to late part of next year.”

Matt Corby’s three EP’s to date are well worth checking out if you like your singer/songwriter style of music, and something a bit different from most of the music currently on the Australian musical landscape.

-Neil Evans.

Check out our pics from one of Matt’s recent Secret Garden shows and find out more about his end of year tour dates.