Matthew Stephens –
Here’s a little more info on me – it’s just a brief history of a musician that has done little else in his life except play music in one form or another, or has been involved in music in one form or another! It’s pretty much all I’ve ever done!
I started learning the guitar as a huge Oasis fan and a soon to be school leaver in the late 90’s – someone showed me my first four chords (for Wonderwall predictably!) and I was obsessed. My parents bought me a cheap guitar with the promise that if I practiced, they would buy me a better one. And practice I did. I took my guitar everywhere – even into the bathroom!
Luckily my new found obsession helped me choose what to do after school and I went straight to music college in the new term and was performing in my first band within six months of picking up a guitar. Far from a natural vocal talent, I was a god-awful Liam Gallagher wannabe singer, but I just carried on for years and years and little by little, I got a little better.
My first band had some highlights – we supported The Levellers to a huge home crowd at our student union and this was an enormous deal to us. I’m not sure any gig has ever elated me so much. Backstage as we danced around in an extremely excited circle with the large crowd shouting for more (led by our mums and dads), I felt a buzz that I chased ever since!
After that band broke up I returned to college and formed another band called The Jives. We were the real deal (eventually). At first we played weddings, holiday parks, working men’s clubs and the likes playing hits from the 50’s and 60’s and we were very successful. We earned a healthy wage, despite me being the oldest at 20 and my fellow members being 17 years old! We put in many hours of live work, learning the real craft of crowd work, live sound and all the other many facets of being live, working musicians.
Eventually we decided that we wanted to only play our own songs and set off in our dream of being successful rock musicians. That journey took us everywhere – from pubs in every corner of the country, to the most exclusive clubs in Mayfair – from the universities of Scotland to the stages of the country’s arenas.
We even signed a record deal due to our huge Myspace following and catchy Beatle-esque tunes! We left the deal due to our album being recorded on the cheap by the record company and the feeling that we could do much better. This took the wind from our sales and we disbanded soon after.
After this I took up my current role as a musician for hire. And the thousands of hours touring, setting up live music a a sound engineer in a million situations and working audiences of many sizes stood me in good stead to qualify me for the job I love. I work as a singer and DJ at functions of all kinds all over the country and I give all I can to make my job a successful one! I have dates booked in my diary years in advance from new customers and repeat customers which is the ultimate sign to me that I’m doing something right. And for this I’m very thankful.
From the little, broke teenager with an obsession for guitar, to a man today making his living from his passion – I count myself as extremely lucky and I always go the extra mile to make sure my customers are happy as I’m clearly in this game for the long haul!
….and even more about me!
Here’s a little rundown of the achievements, experience and qualifications I have that have helped me become the professional I am today…..
- 20 YEARS experience of singing and playing live on a weekly basis! Giving me THOUSANDS of hours of stage time experience in ALL situations.
- A diploma with distinction in Popular Music, following four years of study at college in the areas of Live Sound, Performance, Music Technology, Musical Theory and Musical History.
- Completion of a two year study in all facets of the music business at the famous Red Tape Studios.
- 5 YEARS of employment as an independent ‘Sound Technician’ that had me setting up a full stage and sound equipment for some of the country’s top live acts. This has been particularly useful as a solo live musician. Singing and playing a guitar is one thing, but understanding the dynamics of live sound is a science in it’s self and one that cannot be achieved without many hours of practical experience.
- Playing at weddings and helping coordinate the entertainment at weddings and functions since 2002.
©matthewstephensacoustic / Acoustic Wedding Singer / Wedding DJ / Yorkshire / Doncaster / Leeds / York / Bradford / Rotherham / Sheffield / Nottinghamshire / Lincolnshire / Cheshire / Derbyshire / Lancashire / Manchester / Liverpool / Lake District / Midlands / UK / My Wedding Supplier Friends