Matt Van Sol breaks down his artistry and what's next to come..
We love to discover new music and are so happy we had a chance to interview this artist. We asked Matt Van Sol a few short questions about his artistry and what to expect next. Here's what he had to say..
Please tell us about your art. What do you do / make / create? How? Why? What’s the message or inspiration, what do you hope people take away from it? What should we know about your artwork?
"I write poetry, rap and produce inspired by my love for God, His love for me, my testimony, my past experiences, my pain, my ups and downs and love for hard drum beats, vocal samples and electronic music. This is my form of worship and regardless of the story or subject matter I am writing about, it always points back to my relationship with God, at least I try to make that clear. I can do nothing apart from Him therefore, I do my best to do all things with Him because with Him, He can do things through us we never really think possible. We serve an awesome God. Jesus is really The Living God. Amen"..
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work? What's the best way to support you as an artist?
"You can find me under all streaming platforms ( add me to your playlist fam!) haha and subscribe to my YouTube and follow my socials under @MrVanSol. It doesn't cost anything to throw a like, comment, follow or share, if you think my stuff is dope and it inspires you touches you, it's mad appreciated. Also, if you're not already seek God for your own life and experience all He has for you... I'm not tryna sound cliche or fluffy or whatever but if my music or art can drive you to seek a deeper relationship with God or get to know Him for the first time, that's a true treasure."..
Single "Draw Near" by Matt Van Sol Listen
When and why did you start playing/making music?
"I was getting bullied in middle school, so I wrote my first poem and then got into battle rap cuz freestyling seem to come easier to me than some others and it gave me attention at parties from girls ha-ha but it was like medicine for me too, therapy to get the poison out and put it down on paper and say it out loud in a creative way that moved people, that's a feeling that you can't really buy, that's what got me started but The Spirit of Christ is who keeps me doing it for God's Glory now and I'm blessed He lets me turn my pain and life events into Joy and share in that glory with Him."..
Tell us a little about your faith journey and how you came to give your life to Jesus?
"Like I said earlier.. I was on my back and the only place to look was up. I know Jesus is real cuz He showed up when I called on Him, no one else, no other god, drug/medicine, woman or person could transform and heal me in all my broken parts like He did and continues to do. I didn't even know The Bible or the "truth truth" about Jesus until I really confessed in my heart and out of my mouth that I believed and wanted to believe in Him from the evidence I saw He did in my friends life who told me all about the changes Jesus made in his own life. I didn't want to live any more how I was living, I couldn't handle the mental anguish, it was overwhelming and I didn't want to live and felt boxed in without hope and I needed a radical transformation and a savior in my life. Glory God, Christ came when I asked. He is The visible representation of The Living God. Try Him yourself and see The Lord is GOOD and have life and true LOVE in Him."..
Watch "Hero (Spoken Words)" Music Video by Matt Van Sol
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
"I've done a lot, server, delivery boy, after school teacher, weedman, promotions assistant at HOT 97, manager at Cinematic Music Group, Social Media Manager at The Source, I was a janitor for about a week in community college, I was a deli man for a couple of summers, a VIP host at the 40/40 club and various social media jobs and internships."..
How do you balance your music with other obligations - significant other, children, job etc.? Are you full time music?
"No kids, No wife, I take it one day at a time and I try to stay humble and let Thee Lord lead.. all we have is today and Matthew 6 is one of, if not my favorite chapter in the bible.. all we got is today, who by worrying can add another hour to their life Jesus says, He says.. tomorrow will worry about it self, today has enough worries of its own and Matthew 6:33 is my life verse and I believe God's Word to be true and my mission is to be a testament and witness of God's Love and Truth. So, though I fall short and mess up, I do my best to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, so that all things will be added to me in which meet my needs.. but tbh God is so good, He always seems to do better than what you expect especially when we wait on Him and just trust Him to be who He says He is. He always meets us where we're at and meets/exceeds are needs. So I do my best to live like that and let Him lead to the best of my ability by being submitted to him the best I can."..
What advice would you give up and coming independent artists?
"Seek firs the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness and let Him lead you and blow your mind. His yolk is easy and it's His great pleasure to bless His children like any good Father, so just ask Him to be a part of every aspect of your life and He will plant the desires in your heart and help you walk them out in faith to bring your desires into fruition according to His Will. His ways are better than ours, trust Him, He created you, He knows better, no cap right?"..
Are you planning on staying independent as an artist? What's the next move?
"I am not independent at all because I depend on God everyday for everything, I even list myself as co-founder as Roman Roads, even though I am the only human entity involved in the label ownership, I could've never done this without The Holy Spirit, and that's on God... He gets all the Glory, the vision came from Him. But in terms of a label situation, whatever God wants me to do, He will do but Roman Roads is new label and we're growing."..
What can we expect next from you?
"I have my first music video "The Most High: coming out in July, a single off my next project with Brett Raio called "Live For You" that I produced.. I think it's my hardest record ever.. .really heavy about some pain and testimony and the ups and downs we can encounter in this walk but ultimately makes us stronger and more rooted in our faith and I have a pretty big special collab project I can't disclose yet but it's one of my focus priority's right now and I'm super excited about it."..
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly tell us about yours?
"When I got saved in Dec 2019, I was battling thoughts of suicide, clinical bi-polar depression and anxiety. I was being medicated for it by some doctors.and TBH, the pills helped with the lows a little bit but it was like I was on 10 cups of coffee all the time. See, I had gotten kicked out of 2 schools growing up for my behavior due to my issues and I think it stemmed from the trauma I went through as a child with my biological father that would need healing. I had developed a terrible gambling problem and I tried to find my peace in weed, women and praying to the universe, yoga, psychics and special crystals.. like a rock sitting on your desk can answer prayers LOL. The transition really started happening in 2017 while taking care of my grandma in rural Florida till she passed away, right around the time when my gambling addiction started cuz I learned to play poker and money was slow in FL, as I was working in a chilis for like 60-100 dollars a shift. During that time in summer 2017, I taught myself how to use Abelton watching YouTube videos and I made this song called "Lights Out" with my best friend at the time, JADEISDXPE, when she came to visit me when my Grandma took a turn for the worst and ended up in hospice, we recorded a demo version of this song :"Lights Out" which she played for some homies at The FADER magazine back in NYC and they thought it was going to be big and they encouraged us to go all in with it. So I moved back to NYC to pursue this music dream as a producer/dj for JADE and that song along with another that hasn't come out yet, called "Shizukani" almost landed us a deal about a year later with Parkwood entertainment when this A&R admin heard it in a studio session. I remember the night we got invited to dinner and drinks by the a&r, It was like a dream come true, telling us that they wanted to buy two songs, which meant a real bag (I had 94 dollars in my bank account living in NYC, which is tough) and it meant the likelihood of a publishing deal which was my dream at the time... until the deal fell through and I had already quit my job at The Source Magazine because it didn't pay enough for the hours I was putting in and it wasn't serving me in other areas but I got mad respect for Londell, the owner of The Source, because he put me in a position to be successful and that's how I connected with JonnyShipes (yes he likes his name spelt as one word) CEO at Cinematic Music Group, where I'd work later on from working at The Source. Anyway, I always wanted to make music full-time because music is my heartbeat, so when the deal with Parkwood fell through, I got depressed and took a job as a delivery boy because it was the first available job I could find until I dj'd an after school party for my friend at her kids elementary school and ended up getting an after school music and poetry teaching job in East Harlem and The Bronx. This was great, but I would get offered a full-time job from Cinematic Music Group the end of the school year and that would take me closer to what I thought was my dream but really led me closer to my journey to repentance. I mentioned earlier that I met JonnyShipes a few months back in 2017-18 and we tried to figure out a job for me but didn't originally work until Nispey Hussle died, see Jonny discovered Nipsey and got him his first deal with Epic I believe, so he had a really close relationship with him, and one day I got a text from my boy asking me about the crazy things I was posting on the sources Instagram in relation to Nipsey's death and Jonny even made a statement about it, but I didn't know because I quit the source a few months back and unfollowed them, so I wasn't aware that they were making posts about Nipsey's death and I saw Jonny posted on his IG about it and calling out magazine and blogs for posting Nipsey's death in a way that was less than honorable, so I reached out to Jonny to apologize and he responded and asked me to send my resume again, and boom 2-3 months later I was hired as the marketing manager for Cinematic TV and The Smoker's Club. I would go on to work there for 2 years but saved in my first 6 months. I had a lot of energy and I smoked a lot of weed and the weed would give me like anxious energy so much so, after my first two weeks working in the office, I got in trouble for staying over night by the CFO, but they liked my work ethic but said I should work from home for a little why, that my energy was too much for the office. Working remotely before it was cool, I got back into poker and my gambling problem developed and grew out of control, I started staying a lot at Foxwoods because you could get the bus from queens for like 15 bucks and they give you free hotel and dinner as long as your losing money in the casino lol.
See, I was so alone and isolated and ashamed that I was separated from the office because of my energy and desire to win that I found that comfort at the poker table and in women. The high of walking into casinos and meeting girls on tinder plus weed was my crutch, even though it always left me empty late at night and in the morning. I'd spend hours at the table wasting my gifts, isolating myself from family, friends and calling. I would lose my roommates rent money to the point of almost being evicted and blowing my paycheck in a weekend even though I was working as a manager at a record label. Most people would've thought I had a dream job and that I had made it but I was in bondage, money was my master, I craved validation from people and I was always broke, depressed and anxious. It got so bad that I pretty much lost everything one night in December, even traded the girl I really liked for a 5 dollar poker game on my phone in which I lied to her and said I had to work but I needed my poker fix.. I was a full-blown gambling addict. It got so bad I ended up with a negative bank account balance and a 420 credit score from taking advances on my credit card and I didn't know what to tell my roommates about their rent money, I was lying to my family, my friends and I pushed everyone away. One night after I lost everything, I was distraught and finally broken to the point that on my walk home to the train I thought about killing myself and not just the thought of doing it but how am I going to do it and on 28th st and 6th ave, I walked passed a palm reader and she shouted at me for a 5 dollar pam read.. I believe I had 40 dollars left in my cash app and it was all the money I had. I agreed and she brought in her mom to help read my energy and without me telling her anything, she told me that I was unlucky and I need to stop doing what I was doing and that I am supposed to be at the top of what I do! She reiterated that mad times, do you know that>? Do you know that? she would say and then she asked me, why am I not with the one I am spiritually connected with and I get chills remembering her saying that because I thought she was talking about one of two girls but I know now she was talking about Jesus. Anyway, she told me I needed to heal from the hurt I was carrying from my father (again, I told her none of this) and that she could sell me a candle that would make the pain of the situation with my father go away but I couldn't afford it.. so I go home feeling worse thinking again of the easiest and least painful way I can end my life.. when I get of the train at 163rd street and Amsterdam in NYC walking to my apt.. I call the one person that was always checking in on me, Bryan, Bryan had gotten saved 9 months prior and kept telling me about how Jesus saved him and completely changed his life and gave him true joy and peace and real love. H"is change was so evident I didn't understand it but Bryan always showed my love and never made me feel bad about my sins and addictions but tried to give me wisdom and give me little seeds about God and His goodness. I told Bryan as I am getting into my apt that I messed up big this time and I can't climb out of this hole, that this was it, I am ready to kill myself and I was so lost and distraught and he just said to me "Hey if you tried everything and you have nothing left to lose, why don't you try Jesus for real this time.. just try Jesus first before you give up..." and I did, I meant it in my heart and confessed with my mouth and I can't tell you everything verbatim what I said, but I remember saying I can't live like this anymore, I believe in you Jesus, I take you as Lord over my life, please take my life I don't want to live like this any more, take my burdens.. and I cried out to Him and cried myself to sleep... I woke up the next morning and I was INSTANTLY difference, changed, transformed.. I had peace I never felt in my life, everything was slow, there was a light shining through my 3rd story window over my fire escape that was so vibrant in colors, it's like I never saw colors like these before against the light.. and from that moment.. things started happening.. I did an event for work, killed it and got promoted, came back to the office until the pandemic started and that made me read my bible ( I was saved for 3 months without knowing the bible or attending a church) after my 6 month of being saved I got put in charge of smoker's club records and did my first album roll out and got published in Forbes. I was making money again, I got delivered from my gambling habit, I became celibate, I felt The Lord tell me I didn't need my anti-depressants any more that I no longer had depression or bi-polar disorder and I stopped taking any prescription pill in June 2020 and haven't taking anything but vitamins since. After a while, I didn't want to get high anymore, I cut down a lot and stopped smoking weed for good after about my first year being saved and then The Lord ministered to me to make music again for God's glory regarding my testimony and we would do it together. He gave me the confidence to rap and I did my first project and released my first single in July 2021 and my first project in November and launched Roman Roads Records and during that time I also worked for TRIBL records on a contract basis and now here I am and the music is pouring out of me and I moved from NY to Texas like 2 weeks ago to go further in my purpose as The Lord has led me to new opportunities in ministry and music and the two go hand in hand. To God be The Glory, He is real, He is alive and Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life. Amen
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