After ten years of successfully fronting Red Electrick, writing monumental Maltese hits such as Paul and Young Again, Matthew James has embarked on a new journey as a solo act at the beginning of 2018. With a fresh twist to his sound, Matthew James seems to deliver hits with every release. Lemonade, a summery tune he released in August, has reached the number one spot in local charts and placed second in some foreign independent charts.

With his brand new single, High, Matthew reveals an interesting secret. “High is the last part of a three-chapter story that started when I wrote the song Paul and continued in Young Again. Paul speaks about a man who has decided to let go of his dreams and settle in his comfort zone. Living a life of safety, and no risk, he is dearly missed by his wife Marilyn and his two children Mike and Jane, when he passes away. This experience makes Mike – Paul’s older son – change his approach towards life. He realizes that we only have one life and he must make the best of it because, as the song Young Again says, ‘We’ll never grow young again’. He therefore sets out into the world to achieve his dreams, letting nothing get in his way, not even love. This moment leads to High”.

Matthew has teamed up with Richmond Foundation to raise awareness and funds about anxiety, a mental disorder that is steeply increasing, especially amongst today’s youth. For this project, Matthew also works with Maka Visuals for the production of the music video, and renowned Music Producer and X Factor Malta Judge, Howard Keith, who took care of the mixing and mastering of this track.

Eve: You were Red Electrick front man, and lately you’ve embarked on a new journey as a solo act. How did you come to such a decision?

Matthew James Borg: Sometimes life presents you with situations in which certain decisions must be taken. Leaving Red Electrick was an inevitable decision for me at that time. Starting a solo act was a project that came to mind after I had left the band. The idea was inspired by the great amount of messages from many beautiful people telling me to continue making music and never stop doing what I love.

Eve: Is there any type of music you cannot stand?

MJB: Genre wise, I enjoy every kind of music. However, it is important that the song in question is honest. Shallow fabricated teenage pop is a big no no for me.

Eve: Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?

MJB: Before every single gig! I think it is important to feel excited or a little nervous before a performance. It offers you that extra adrenaline in your bloodstream that gives an edge to the performance. You have to channel it in the right way though, because it could destroy you.

Eve: What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

MJB: That you shouldn’t try to please everyone. It is an impossible task.

Eve: Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

MJB: I will definitely be making music. The idea of the future and what it may bring is of huge interest to me. I like to imagine that in a decade our individual consciousness could be uploaded as a software into an immortal robot. Yes! I am a science fiction geek! So yes, in ten years time I see myself as an AI songwriter [laughs]!

Further reading:

Top Maltese melodies of all time