Matt U. Johnson is a New York expat who carries a refreshingly friendly demeanor as things steadily go his way. While living in El Paso, he’s making waves in the world of EDM with his pop and reggae-infused twist. Locals will get to hear his unique sound on Friday, June 2 at Gravity Night Club.
Johnson has collaborated with a number of acclaimed international artists and DJs, but says he’s excited to be part of the local scene. The message he wants to instill is simple.
“Everybody, no matter their interest, should go after their dreams,” he said in a recent phone interview.
He recently co-headlined a concert at UTEP, where he performed in front of 30,000 people. The understandable fear that would come with performing in front of such a crowd evaporated when he took the stage and was able to share the thing he loves.
“You’ve got to grab people’s attention, stay creative and really work the crowd,” he said. Easier said than done, perhaps, though it all comes naturally to Johnson, who is an actor as well as a musician.
Johnson has been making his own music for at least 14 years. He started singing at age 4 and majored in music in college, attending school in the U.S. and England. He was taken with the electronic music scene in London, he said, and the experience inspired him to immerse himself fully in the world of EDM.
Johnson came to El Paso from Staten Island thanks in part to the recommendation of his dad, who lived here in the ’90s. Johnson soon found that the city has a thriving electronic music scene and felt like the glamorous locales elsewhere in the country.
“It’s got weather and mountains like LA,” he said, but without the stress of killing yourself to make ends meet.
Overall, Johnson is thrilled to be performing, promoting his label Inner V Music and shooting another video. The life of an up-and-coming artist requires a lot of hard work, but it’s the kind of work that Johnson doesn’t mind doing. He wants to take his name and the reputation of his city to the next level.
“All eyes are on El Paso, brother,” he said, “And I’m working toward that first Grammy!”