by Mely Duong
Matt Santry is a pop, rock singer songwriter hailing from Philadelphia and was formerly a social worker. He often played music for autistic children, combining his love for social work with his love for music, the life long process of creating. On an inspirational side note, one autistic client who was mostly nonverbal could actually sing Santry’s full songs. They were that uplifting. While both jobs meant something to Santry, he began to earn more money playing gigs at night than through social work, so he made the transition to being a full time musician. Santry has always been drawn to music, believing in the power behind music and his personal experience is a testament to this.
Interestingly enough, Santry did not start out as a vocalist. As a youngster in a band, he became the vocalist when the band realized the lack of talent in their vocalist and the incredible talent in Santry. Having been at this for a while, his sound has certainly changed over the years.
“I’ve definitely developed more of my own sound, especially with having a band that plays on my records as well as with me live. I had more of a rock thing going on in my earlier stages. Now it’s more of about space than about loud guitars,” he says.
Furthermore, if you listen to his music you’ll hear various influences, but none of which Santry will reveal. Instead, he turns the question on us and asks us what we hear. What we hear is a soulful singer with a slight twang reminiscent of country. The music is very melody intensive akin to pop. The backbone is Santry’s voice and the piano or guitar. The addition of the band allows for a bigger sound with more energy and improv.
Current members aside from Santry include Tom Walling on drums, Kjell Benner on bass, and Avery Coffee on guitar. At times, different musicians come in to play an auxiliary role such as keyboards/guitars/harmonies, etc. Two musicians that occasionally appear and play are Brian Fitzgerald and Brian Aglira.
In 2010, the group released the album Tin Ace City which is a play on words for tenacity. The album was well received, but Santry insists he’s improved much since then. To hear more recent work visit www.mattsantry.com
Over the next few months, Santry will record two new songs, launch a Kickstarter program, and promote his tour in April. He’s striving to release an EP by the end of 2015 and book another tour. Santry will also be performing at That Mag‘s music series on 3/26 at Tin Angel in Philadelphia.