Music has always been an integral part of Matthew’s life. Growing up in a small town in central Ohio, his first memory of music was watching his mom rock the air mic to Prince’s “Purple Rain” record while cleaning the house. “I remember my dad playing a guitar amplified through our stereo one night and thinking that he was just as good as anything on the radio.” After discovering a 45 in his parents’ collection with a picture of his Uncle Johnny on the cover, he realized that music was just part of his family’s life. “I really can’t think of one memory, good or bad, that doesn’t have music in it. We always had music playing- we all sang, we all danced.”
After graduating high school, Matthew joined the Ohio Air National Guard as a C-130H engine mechanic and started traveling the world. During a temporary assignment to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in 2003 he overheard the familiar cadence of a pick against strings. “I walked down the hall and got to a room where a guy was playing and singing a song so I watched the rest of his performance. I then told him that I played too and asked who he was singing, and his response changed my life. He told me he had written the song. A textbook paradigm shift happened right there.”
Overrated Life was released in 2005 and the song, “Issues” charted in several states on college radio stations. Matthew began getting requests to perform on radio shows and at special events and colleges all over. “I love music but hate the spotlight. I’d play these shows and see the artificial feelings that people develop because they attach to someone they thought I was because of a lyric I wrote. I hated letting people down when the show was over.” It was then that Matthew teamed up with Mike Brown, the owner of Lava Room Recording studio in Cleveland, Ohio, and formed BrownStake Music, L.L.C.
BrownStake Music is an independent production and publishing company that offers a myriad of services to independent musicians with the intent to provide artist development and consulting. “Our goal is to help musical artists achieve goals. Our passion is music and we are in love with the effect it has on the world. If we can help get someone’s story out there in some capacity, who knows how many lives it may change.”
In addition to working with independent artists, Matthew is still in the Ohio Air National Guard, where he works as a Maintenance Officer and often writes about the adventures he has while traveling with the Air Force.