Twenty-year-old Matthew Monias is making waves with his music. The born-blind indigenous musician has released his first single. Nothing can hold him back, he says.
The single is already out there gaining momentum on local radio stations. In fact, it reached number seven on the indigenous music countdown.
Music is his creative outlet for sure. Now known as Mattmac, his debut single, Paradise, was written, sung and mixed right from his own bedroom in Garden Hill First Nation – about 470 kilometers north of Winnipeg, Canada.
“I’m not one to let my disability hold me back. There needs to be more of that mentality.”
The song is about love – what else! It pays homage to his story. For example, “When I’m with you, I’m in paradise, I swear my eyes are paralyzed.”
According to music producer, David Hodges (also Executive Director of N’we Jinan, a music education program),
“Everyone is really in support of Matthew.”
For Hodges, it is all about self-esteem and community empowerment. Plus, it is not just about the story; this is actually a good song, he said.
As a kid, Monais had a tough struggle with depression. He remembers the first time he realized that he was not the same as his peers.
“My mother was telling me what color the trees are, what the sky is and
what is the sunset. I really started realizing: ‘Hey, I’m blind, I can’t see.
I’m different from everybody else.’”
The good news is that can certainly hear. He reveled in his mother’s gospel music and the rock and rap his siblings loved. In no time, he taught himself to play various instruments – the drum, guitar, and keyboard.
Monias isn’t stopping at this one single. Get ready for a host of his new and old songs.
“I just want to be someone people will look up too,
and encourage them to do big things.”