Although only 19 years old, Matt Gumley is no stranger to showbiz, having first worked on Broadway as Chip in the ‘Beauty And The Beast’ musical at age 7. He continued on this path for the next decade, with roles in three more Broadway shows – ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘Elf The Musical’, and ‘The Addams Family’. He followed this up with several regional theatre productions, movies, TV (including ‘Drake & Josh’, ‘Law and Order’, and ‘Modern Family’ – he’s also the voice of Benny the Bull on ‘Dora The Explorer’), as well as two video games.
All that time, Gumley, who is originally from West Palm Beach in Florida, but now based in New York City, had another direction in mind for his talents:
“I really wanted to be a musician and songwriter,” he says. “I used to go down in the orchestra pit and sit by the various instruments and listen for as long as I could until my next cue, and then go back upstairs. It was the most magical thing.”
Matt started playing piano when he was 5, taking up ukulele at 14, which was closely followed by guitar, bass, drums…he’s now able to play ten separate instruments, including mandolin, sitar, and banjo.
‘Six Degrees Of Separation’, Matt Gumley’s debut EP, is four tracks of energetic pop, with lead single, ‘Subway Rider’, a very catchy song with Matt’s summer style vocals accompanied by ukulele, keys, and a funky drum beat.
Following this is ‘Gone’, which is a moody ballad showing the range of styles that this young singer songwriter has. All the songs have been co-written and recorded with songwriter and producer Austin Zudeck, in his studio in New York. With some serendipity, the pair met in 2015 while waiting in line for tickets to a Broadway show – “If that’s not fate, I don’t know what is”, says Gumley.
The four tracks on ‘Six Degrees Of Separation’ are the result of a heavy duty culling of a year’s worth of songs – showing that there’s plenty more to come from this young artist.
‘Fallout’, the third track on the EP is where we find the title, is a poignant, soul-searching anthem of a song, and is the perfect contrast to the very rootsy, guitar driven, ‘Make You Mine’.
Matt cites among his influences vintage acts such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, as well as more recent artists such as folk-pop singer, Matt Nathanson, and country singer Eric Church. His sound however, is clear in his mind – he’s after a modern pop-rock vibe, which mixes, “past and present, familiar and unfamiliar”.
“I’ve always tried not to put myself in a musical box, whether that’s writing songs that don’t all sound the same or not making music for just one demographic,
“Music is where it’s at for me, and always has been. It just took me growing up and maturing to realise it.”
Check out the video for ‘Subway Rider’, which was directed by Matthew James Thomas: