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Mat Gorman Digs Deep In Single "I Pray"

Over the years, Matt Gorman has become one of my best friends in Nashville. It all started 3 years ago, during the summer of 2020, when I interviewed him about his second single "Lakehouse". What began as a blind interview with someone I’d never talked to, blossomed into a friendship that will last a lifetime. It has been so cool to take a step back and see Matt's growth from a college baseball player who was just learning the ropes, to a respected songwriter and rising artist in Music City who's quickly coming into his own. As an objective individual in the music industry, a friend and Country Music fan it has been a pleasure to watch Matt from close and afar as he nears closer to his dreams. He’s one of the best and hardest workers in Nashville and there is no debate there. I sat down with Matt and talked about his single "I Pray", the highs and lows of being in the music industry, how perspective has helped give him clarity and motivation to keep chasing his dream and more.

Get To Know Matt

"I'm originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I moved to Nashville just over 4 years ago, which is crazy to think about. I moved here to play college baseball at Lipscomb University, which is how I ended up in Nashville initially. Baseball had been my entire life leading up to my music career. When I was in junior college I was in Harford County, Maryland. After that season I went out to Bismark, North Dakota to play in a Northwoods League, which is a highly competitive baseball summer league. During my time there, I got a message from Lipscomb, which was my dream school. I wanted to go there because it was a Christian University in Nashville. For me it was a "plus-plus' ' because I also wanted to be in Nashville to write music. To be able to write songs and play college baseball was a dream come true. Got here and played baseball, got my degree in psychology from Lipscomb University and graduated in May of 2022.

Since graduating college I've worked a bunch of jobs I don't really like so that I am  able to do the ones I love. I've worked at a golf course cutting grass, I've worked at a restaurant for 2 years, I've done electrical work, construction, playing Broadway. Just about everything you can think of to be able to pay the bills and chase my dream in music. That's been my experience in Nashville so far. But when COVID hit in the summer of 2020 and baseball was canceled, I learned to write with other people. Fast forward to now, hundreds of songs later I'm chasing the same goals, but with each song getting one step closer."

A Song That Resonates With So Many...

Country Music is glorified for its storytelling and honesty and how it's able to strike a chord on many levels. Being able to resonate with what an artist is saying and singing about can give you peace of mind that someone else feels the same way you do. Or in other cases, when you are filled up with emotion - happy, sad, angry - whatever it is, a song can put those feelings into words in a way you never could. Music is a powerful thing. "I Pray" is such a special song that doesn't just speak to those who are Christians and go to church every Sunday, but for anyone that has struggled at some point and felt like there was nobody to talk to. For the church goers, the non-believers that are inching closer to God each day or those who simply have their own way of talking to God and their own definition of religion, this song is powerful and is here for anyone who needs it. It lets you know, no matter who you are or where you come from, God will listen. Matt shows his honest side from start to finish in "I Pray" and you can feel the emotion and honesty in his voice. Authenticity and purpose can often get lost in today's crazy world of creating music, but Matt does both very well. That along with his work ethic will be the reason he's remembered for a long time in the Country Music industry.

Inspiration Behind "I Pray"

Written By: Matt Gorman, Aaron Patrick & Kaylin Roberson

Produced By: Aaron Patrick

"It was an idea that Kay had. Simply had the title "I Pray" and over the last two years we've found ourselves in a different church and I've had a connection with God my entire life, but I never felt I was close to God. The closer I've gotten to God by going to this church, I've found all these different ways to pray and it's not just folding your hands and bowing your head. You can talk to God anyway you want to. When Kay had the idea, a lot of what we incorporated is what we've learned in church or through other people in order to make it a song that not only people who identify as Christians, believers in God or even people that don't believe in God can relate to. It didn't take us very long to write this song, it all just fell out. I wrote it with Kaylin Roberson and Aaron Patrick joined us that day to make the track; the three of us finished that song together. We knew we had something special with the song and not in the way of "this is going to be a chart topper, #1 hit, but an honest song that we felt was relatable to more than just us. I think that's where the power comes from and people have resonated with it on social media. People feel like it's a truthful statement coming out in a way of praising God."  

Q & A With Matt Gorman

Q: What were your initial experiences moving to Nashville and some of the highs and lows you've faced along the way?

A: "The first experience coming to Nashville I can remember was visiting Lipscomb University. But the one that really sticks with me more was dropping my parents at the airport, for them to leave and for me to stay. That was my first core memory of Nashville. And I remember going back to my apartment where I had no furniture, just an air mattress to sleep on and I was scared beyond belief, but also so excited at the same time. I try to channel that feeling regularly when I'm going through the highs and I'm going through the lows, because I remember that day I was able to say I live in Nashville, Tennessee. I get to be here and play college baseball and I get to write songs and play these different stages. I remember me and my buddy Jake went through a checklist of places I wanted to play and besides Bridgestone, The Ryman and The Bluebird Cafe I've played all of them. To me that's pretty cool, to set these goals when I first got here and to check a lot of them off. It goes back to that feeling, I never want to get tired of saying I get to live in Nashville. I miss my family and friends, and I have to remember my purpose for why I'm here. It's to write and play songs and that's what continues to drive me.

I'll start with the highs because there's less of them. I think the highs of releasing music and making friends I get to work with, write with, produce with. I think releasing music has been a high and I get to say I've released music from Nashville. You can release music from your bedroom in Illinois, it doesn't matter, but it's special to me to release music here. It's a high that gets better every time. Another high is being on stage and meeting new people. I've met some amazing people in this town and getting to see them regularly and write with them is something I treasure. My highest of highs is getting to be around being around people that I know have my back and I have their back. And we all believe in what each other are doing.

The lows... I could go on forever. For me, the lowest aspects of what I do... I'm not complaining about it at all, because it's what you have to do and it's part of it, but working different jobs. Working at the restaurant was tough because I wasn't happy and when I got home from work I felt 60 not 23, 24, but it was a job that allowed me to be able to write and put out music. Now I have a different job that allows me to pay my bills, put food on the table, release music and buy the equipment that's necessary to be successful. A hardship is definitely balancing a job and trying to write multiple times a day or week. The other low is getting your hopes up, when you're in town and you're writing enough songs and writing at publishing companies with published writers. Your hopes definitely increase when you feel like you get a really good song and they are going to pitch it to a major artist. And when you hear that your life could potentially change. With that comes a lot of weight in that hope. When those hopes or dreams get crushed it can bring you to a dark place for a little while, until you get back in your groove."

Q: What's been the response to "I Pray" so far? As some artists steer away from putting out a song that focuses on religion, how did it feel to go head on and to create a song that's relatable to so many?

A: "I don't know if there's any personal gratification with it. I think it's more as an artist it's really hard to find a lane and stick to it. To me, that's the first song I've released in my short career that actually means something. "Little Things" means something, "Time On You", "Homeless", they all have their meaning, but in my opinion "I Pray" is the first song I've been a part of that has some weight to it. The reason for that is that it's real and it's something everyone thinks about. Everyone knows they can pray and talk to God, but not everyone does it. It allows people to know that you can talk to God in any way shape or form and he's going to listen. I want to create honest music and in that honesty I feel like I'm not hiding anything. For me that feels real and why I do this.

The response on social media has been awesome and it had its "viral" moment. I don't know what that's considered anymore, but it did enough for us to rush and put it out. For me, putting it out in the world and having people appreciate it and listen to it and use the sound on their videos is so cool. Seeing all of these touching comments as well is really special and is the most important part of the song to me."

Q: Who are some individuals who have made an impact on you in the music industry?

A: "First and foremost, for sure, every step of the way has been my girlfriend Kaylin Roberson. Just writing songs together, which we do all the time, is such a blessing to me because she's such an incredible writer and she's so out of my league. She teaches me a lot and I admire how hard she works. Kaylin is always writing with new people and goes out and plays and never complains about it. She's constantly making content for social media and she's doing everything she can to make her dream happen. I'm inspired everyday by it, and it's not that I love her to death, it's because even if she wasn't my girlfriend I see how hard she works and realize that's someone who pushes me, no doubt about it. She will also tell me when my songs stink.

Another person is Jamie Shoemaker, and it's not because I'm sitting here talking to you. For someone like yourself to go out and create a platform for artists who are undiscovered, for artists who are trying to make it, working multiple jobs and in hopes to make it one day and to give them a spotlight whether it's a stage to sing on, or a platform to get heard, it's one of the most valuable things Nashville could have. I would view you as an extremely valuable part of the Country Music community, especially since I've been in Nashville, there's no doubt about it.

Lastly, there's so many people I could shout out and thank, because so many people have helped me in my music career, but Jaron Boyer has been so influential in my music career and helping me get to where I want to get to. He's had a lot of success as a songwriter in town and even though he's found so much success, he has still taken a fondness in myself, Kay and Jon Jon and helped us to achieve the goals we want to reach. He's stuck his neck out for me multiple times and helped get me in front of people. He's a guy that puts God first and really tries to give everything back he probably can."

Q: Since our last interview (August 24th, 2020), when you step back and think about it, how have you grown both in music and as an individual?

A: "I actually battle myself with this question every single day. If you'd known then what you know now, you would do things differently. However, those experiences then, make you who you are now. A few years ago when I was putting out my first few songs, I was so amped up and thought I could conquer the world. I came into the music industry like it owed me something and I now know that was the wrong approach. I wouldn't say there are things I regret, but I think I went with a mindset to accomplish things I wasn't ready for. I personally wish I would have understood how things actually worked and didn't rush into things. I went from thinking everything I put out needed to be commercial, to now when it's so important for me to know what I want to say and how I'm going to say it. In the last few years since our last interview, I've learned to take a back seat, slow down a little, but keep my foot on the gas and proceed at a steady pace, while understanding you can't put a timeline on this career. Once you do, you restrict yourself in so many ways."

If you are just discovering Matt Gorman follow him on Apple Music, Spotify, Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok



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