San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Matty Thomas: Making grooves that soothe

The SDSU musician plans to use his art to make a difference
Sam Hockaday
Matty Thomas looks to make an impact on people through his creativity.

Modern songwriting involves many skills, including creating beats and instrumentals, crafting vocal melodies and mixing songs. One of the foremost skills involved in creating music is lyric writing, and the ability to write meaningful lyrics allows artists to connect to audiences on an intimate level.

Matty Thomas, a first-year English major at San Diego State University, finds that his studies translate directly into his ability to write music. Thomas hopes to channel his ability to communicate his feelings through writing to create music that is universally impactful.

“Certain songs resonate differently with different people,” he said. “[Whatever] they need to feel in that moment, I hope it makes them feel that.”

Thomas gets much of the inspiration for his lyrics from Frank Ocean, but he named Dominick Fike as having the deepest influence on his art overall.

“Dominick Fike (is) my biggest inspiration,” Thomas said. “Performance wise, lyric wise (and) style even. He’s just a beast.”

Thomas is adept in lyric writing. However, he usually begins the songwriting process by creating an instrumental part or looking up a beat. Then he creates a melody and weaves lyrics in as he goes. 

At the end of the process, he usually switches the original instrumentals to suit the new tone. Although Thomas’ songwriting process is fairly structured, he acknowledges that his writing schedule is sometimes irregular.

“Recently it’s been super sporadic because I felt like I could not write a good song for like two months,” he said. “But since a week ago, I’ve written three songs a day.”

Thomas hopes that his writing will become more consistent as he gains experience. He expressed that the people around him are a major factor contributing to his motivation to write. 

“Music and social life are kind of together,” Thomas said. “My social life influences my music… it’s also just fun to hang out with your friends.”

 The social aspect of Thomas’ music extends to his live performances, as he often banters with the audience and with his band members. This creates a sense of ease and comfort which audiences enjoy. Luke Pereira, a friend of Thomas’ who often goes to his shows, expressed his appreciation for the positive atmosphere which he creates.

“(Thomas) does a really good job setting up a lively and fun yet relaxed vibe during performances,” Pereira said.

Many of Thomas’ songs reflect the importance of the people in his life as they often focus on the subjects of love and relationships.

However, he hopes that listeners will not mistake his lyrics for his own experiences, as they are often fabricated or inspired by his friends’ stories. 

According to Lexi Pero, Thomas’ girlfriend, his ability to faithfully replicate unfamiliar perspectives makes his musical universally appealing.

“Each one of his songs has such a different connotation so it’s hard to encapsulate his music into one feeling,” Pero said. “His music makes me feel so many things at once, and I think it’s a good reflection of real human emotion because human emotion isn’t just one feeling, but a bundle of feelings that can change on a dime.”

Thomas’ ability to expand his subject matter beyond his personal experience reflects his view that art is not only a way to express himself, but it is also a platform for creating meaningful change within his community.

“I want to be as big as possible,” Thomas said. “Not only because I like the spotlight, but I want to be able to influence other people. It sounds cliche, but I want to make the world a better place. I feel like there are so many people that use their platforms negatively and they could be doing so much more.”

Thomas is diligently working towards broadening his platform, yet his recent attempts to use social media to promote his new song “Cheap Gold Chain” did not prove entirely fruitful.

“With ‘Cheap Gold Chain’, I did a lot more pre-promotion on TikTok, which didn’t work,” Thomas said. “But it only takes one to blow up, so I keep posting.”

For his next song, Thomas plans to return to the grass roots method of promotion, which he used for his first single, “What It’s Like.” He placed flyers with a QR code, linking the song on Spotify. His song now has over 100,000 listens, and Thomas’ music is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

You can follow him on Instagram at @mattyythomas.

“You should go listen to my music,” Thomas said. “I hope you love it and you love it so much.”

About the Contributor
Sam Hockaday
Sam Hockaday, '23-24 Arts & Culture Editor
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Matty Thomas: Making grooves that soothe