Thursday, November 7, 2013
Artist Spotlight: Matt Strasner Stands Out as One of the Only 'True' Country Artists in Slovenia
By Chuck Whiting
Matt Strasner is a country pop singer-songwriter from Slovenia known for his one-of-kind performances in the tradition of popular American country acts such as Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.
Considered one of the only "true" country artists in his home country (who writes and performs his own songs in English), he has performed at major clubs and appeared on the Slovenija National Television Network. He brings a one-of-a-kind mix of country pop and country rock in a region better known for Slovenian pop music. This makes the artist stand out -- drawing national exposure and introducing American-style country music to thousands of appreciative fans.
"Songwriting and singing to me is a chance to help other people go through life easier," says Matt, who recently recorded his first country album, "Fly", in Nashville, Tenn. "It's a chance to tell people that how they feel is okay, and that they're not the only ones. We are together in this, and we have to do the best we can with what we've got. For me, it's a way out of the ordinary routine... a chance to relax and just enjoy the moment."
Although he's only in his early 20s, Matt's view of life (reflected in his songs) has been impacted by personal relationships and unforgettable experiences. He wrote the title track of his new album while walking to the final test before graduating high school. He had meticulously studied five major subjects for two weeks, knowing that missing the smallest details might derail his future.
"I just felt like I wanted to fly away and not think about it any longer," notes the artist, whose album was produced by music industry veteran Kim Copeland. "Most of my songs come from just seeing people rush and worry, cry and smile."
For Matt, writing country-pop songs represented a major transition. He began his musical journey in his teens as a punk rock artist, performing at a host of major clubs in front of hundreds of concertgoers. The change in his artistry is a reflection of his life-changing experiences and a growing appreciation of the U.S. country acts who deeply inspire him. He now dreams of performing across Europe and eventually in front of American audiences.
The singer-songwriter is beginning to land significant exposure in his home country. He has appeared twice on the Slovenija National Television Network's morning show and at popular Slovenian venues such as Orto Bar, the Pekarna nightclub, and the Taverna concert hall. He has received standing ovations (and new fans) in major cities such as Koper, Ljubljana and Maribor.
While visiting Nashville to record "Fly", he had the opportunity to perform at a popular songwriting venue called the Commodore Grille. He says he loved sharing the stage with professional and emerging tunesmiths. He also was thrilled to work in the studio with some of Music Row's most accomplished session players.
The artist's onstage experience as a former punk rock artist gives him a confident and passionate persona that appeals to fans of all ages. He brings crowds to their feet with rousing renditions of hits by Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, then captures their hearts with expertly sung original ballads about love and loss. His shows, which range from one to four hours, offer depth with a wide range of originals and classics made famous by America's country stars. Matt's vocals and guitar licks are accented with piano, bass guitar and drums.
Matt's playlist includes original songs from his new album ("Fly", "Afraid", Stay A Little Longer" and "Still Around"), as well as popular country covers ("Drunk On You"/Luke Bryan, "Tattoos On This Town"/Jason Aldean, "Let Me Down Easy"/Billy Currington, "Wagon Wheel"/Darius Rucker, "Stupid Boy"/Keith Urban, "Folsom Prison Blues"/Johnny Cash, and "Desperado"/The Eagles).
The artist is receiving praise from music professionals and the news media.
"What can you say about a boy born and raised in Slovenia who grows up to be a writer of country songs and a Nashville recording artist?" asks Nashville producer Kim Copeland. "A lot of good things if you are talking about Matt Strasner. His talent transcends language and borders. Matt writes about love and loss, and his smooth vocal texture makes you a believer. His humble attitude and warm smile are infectious, and both come through in his music. He is a new voice in country music, but one that is destined to be around a long time."
"Every week there's two or three songs that stick with me," writes Bill Hughes, host of the "Rising Stars" show for radio stations Y 99.5-FM, 101.7 WJSQ-FM and WYGO-AM in Tennessee. "[The tune 'Still Around"] is one of them."
"[Matt's] four-song EPK is amazing," raves Digital Rodeo reviewer Pam Stadel. "His style is pop-country, his vocals are smooth and strong, and the lyrics are clear and well written. As he sings, he draws you in with the emotion and has you hanging on every note. It is amazing that from halfway around the world, a great artist can emerge onto the country music scene."
Matt is available to perform at concert venues, fairs, nightclubs, hotels, casinos and festivals. He plans to launch a European tour in 2014 with stops in Germany, Austria, Italy and the United Kingdom. He also plans to visit Nashville to write and record new songs, attend music industry events, and perform at legendary songwriting venues.
For more information or to book Matt Strasner for your next event, send an e-mail inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.mattstrasner.com.