Quick facts about Matthew West
PLACE OF ORIGIN
Matthew West-From Silence to Song
Christian musician Matthew Joseph West was born in Downers Grove, Illinois on 25th April, 1977. To date, he has created five albums in the studio, among which are his hit singles You Are Everything, More, and The Motions. West had an incredible year in 2005 when he was nominated five times for GMA Dove Awards, receiving 2 for Happy, his album debut. West’s career as a Christian musician began in 1997 when he released three albums, which he produced independently, before signing with major record label Universal South Records. The first single off the album Happy to premiere on the radio, More, peaked at #1 for nine weeks on the Contemporary Adult Christian charts.
After he released his next album, History in 2005, 2006 saw him remaster and release for a second time, Sellout, an album that he had previously released when he was an independent artist. The inspiration for History came from an article West read about himself, calling him a history maker. He celebrated the album release by touring 30 cities in his first headline tour, where he welcomed fellow Christian musicians Paul Wright and Shawn McDonald.
West’s Career Threatened
Although West was at the height of his success, the tour began to take a toll on his body. Beginning with mild vocal fatigue, West gradually strained his voice until doctors confirmed what he had been afraid of, that there was hemorrhaging in his throat caused by polyps. This led West to consider surgery as the sole option open to heal his voice, given that his throat has been in a poor condition for weeks by then. West was admitted into surgery in what was a career threatening process. The surgery was a success however, and West was free to sing again after an 8-week prescription of ‘silence’ for his voice to heal properly. In 2008, Director and producer Benjamin Eisner created Nothing to Say, a documentary illustrating West’s vocal recovery and season of silence.
“Father Break my heart for what breaks yours Give me open hands and open doors Put your light in my eyes and let me see That my own little world is not about me”
There’s Strength in a Story
After enduring vocal issues in 2007, West returned to release an impressive three albums in three years. Something to Say, The Story of Your Life, and Into the Light propelled West to even more success and established his name as one of the great Christian musicians of the 21st Century. West reports that The Story of Your Life was inspired by the thousands of testimonies that his fans were sending into him. The album was finished as West retreated to a cabin not far from his house in Tennessee where he spent the next two months writing songs inspired by the stories he was reading.
Alongside his work in the studio, West proved he was more than just a Christian musician by starring in a Christmas film entitled The Heart of Christmas. The film was directed by Gary Wheeler and West starred alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure, the pair helping to score the film a 7.1 rating on IMDb.
West has continued to make music, releasing eight albums to date with his latest, Brand New, making waves in the Christian music scene on Valentine’s Day 2020. West is noted for his social presence, connecting with his wife and two teenage daughters. West reached out to connect with fans during the recent Coronavirus lockdown by releasing Quarantining Life, a humorous insight into life in lockdown with his girls (and his dog!).
With Brand New receiving praise from fellow musicians worldwide, West is focusing his energy on a new chapter in his creative career. This fresh project allows West to experiment more with his own music as well as scout for and introduce new artists to Story House Music, a project launched by West in association with Sony’s Provident Music Group. Such artists include up-and-coming, young Christian musician, Leanna Crawford, who had not even graduated college before West discovered her at a conference and was blown away. West said he was only happy to sign her, inspired by the lack of female Christian musicians, which was pointed out to him by the musical interests of his daughters.
There is a buzz around West and the world is on the edge of their seats waiting for what’s next. With the release of a stripped back version of hit Grace to Grace on May 2nd 2020, could another album be on the cards? Only time will tell but one thing’s for sure: it will be worth the wait.
Christian Musician Matthew West:-"THE STORY OF UR LIFE"