He loves vintage guitars, country music and highway rock ‘n’ roll. He recently won an ASCAP Writers’ Night in front of a panel of two music industry representatives and a legendary Nashville songwriter. Now he will be performing at the Best of the Best Showcase Saturday night.
Matt Roy, a junior music business major at Belmont University, has played around Nashville and has written with several local legends, including Taylor Phillips and Adam Doleac. Phillips and Doleac are his biggest role models here in town – his “older brother figures.”
One of the songs they co-wrote is called “Pull It Off,” and it has been recorded by country music artist Kane Brown.
In the future, he would like to be performing his own songs. For now, being unpublished and independent, he writes with published songwriters, who then give the products to their publishers to work with.
“To see how a written song gets to be a recorded song and a recorded song gets to be a radio song and that whole process is something I needed to learn,” he said.
The biggest factor in Roy’s success has been due to venturing outside of Belmont’s campus to find musicians and songwriters. He uses his own experience as advice to younger songwriters who look to follow in his footsteps.
“I used Belmont as my jumping off point, mainly in the beginning to meet people,” he said. “Use Belmont as a jumping point, but do not get too comfortable. There is a whole world of musicians out there outside of Belmont University in Nashville that are at your disposal.”
After picking up a guitar at 8, Roy began playing gigs around age 11 or 12. At 13, he started writing.
Roy had a teacher who taught him the ins and outs of being a performing musician at a young age.
“He would take in younger musicians and formulate them in bands and go out and do shows with kind of a Mötley Crüe rotating group of people,” he said.
As a kid, Roy was a hockey player, but by the time he was 15, he knew it was music.
He says he could have either played Division III hockey in the Northeast or come to Nashville and play music.
The choice wasn’t difficult. By that time, he knew he was a better musician than hockey player. From there, Belmont was a no-brainer.
“It was always the option around here, between the music industry, Nashville and the school itself,” he said.
At Belmont, Roy is involved with Bear House Writer Management, a student-run program that allows Belmont songwriters to pair up with aspiring music managers. Both parties benefit.
“It makes my life easier, for sure, and it gets them a little bit of experience,” Roy said.
Before his shows, Roy drinks a full glass of water, takes his keys out of his pocket and soundchecks with the Allman Brothers classic, “Melissa.”
His rock-inspired country genre is sure to shine through at the Best of the Best Showcase. Catch Matt Roy on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Curb Event Center.
This article was written by Reed Ferguson. Photo courtesy of Matt Roy.