Matt Wertz gets nostalgic over U of I

Matt Wertz, an acoustic-pop revolutionary with a voice to rival John Mayer, has been producing albums since his graduation from the U of I in 2001 with a degree in Industrial Art design. His 5 studio albums, including his most recent Under Summer Sun, contain glimpses into the colorful world of this soulful singer,
The Liberty, Missouri native has done his roots proud, between the melodically driven lyrics of his songs like “Carolina,” and his classic acoustic campfire edge. There are many facets of his sound that make his fans feel in tune, whether that be on the coast or in the country, just as diverse as his influences.
“I’ve just been drawn to music that was passionate,” said Wertz. “Music by people who believed what they were singing about, bands like U2, and Michael Jackson. I really believed them.”
His eclectic and imaginative nature budded from the beginning both musically, and artistically, expressing a passion for a fusion of fashion and art.
“I was going to be a shoe designer,” revealed Wertz. “I wanted to work for Nike. My friend and I actually made our own make-believe shoe company … that’s why I became an art designer.”
Though Wertz journeyed to the U of I to pursue an education in art, he also found his niche in music, premiering his talents in the band Damascus Rd during his college years.
“We played different fraternity houses, we played at coffee houses, and a place where Café Giuliani now is,” said Wertz.
While so much has changed within the last few years on campus, this continual evolution still fits Wertz’s philosophy. To him, the University experience was about growing, figuring yourself out, and making the most out of life.
“College is different for everybody a lot of times,” explained Wertz. “It gives you four years to figure yourself out. You get a grace period before you have to be put in a spot where you have to make a living. It’s a perfect situation because there are opportunities everywhere.”
Now a staple in the pop industry, Wertz remains on his toes to keep up with the fast paced world of music. Facing the tumultuous progression to the indie-rock movement, Wertz is determined to be as honest with his music, and his fans, as he is with himself.
“My thing is that you’re either going to like my music because you like my music, or you’re not,” said Wertz, “I’m a what you see is what you get kind of guy and I’m not about to put on a façade to sell records.”
The down-to-earth lyrics range from playful to nostalgic, but singing on what he knows, he believes, is what makes his music relevant and relatable.
“I have always wanted to write music that lets people know that they’re not alone,” said Wertz. “Singing about something hard like loneliness, or longing, or even just joy — I hope people come away and feel good hearing somebody else saying the same things they want to say.”
Wertz attended shows at the Canopy Club during his college career, now it’s his turn to grace the stage. Come bear witness to the legacy of the CU music veteran October 4 at the Canopy Club.

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