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Daily Inspiration: Meet Matthew Runaway

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Runaway. 

Hi Matthew, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was raised on a diligent crops and cattle farm in Perth, Ontario. 

I’d always had an interest in music but never thought of it as a career. At 15 years old, my mom convinced me to go with her to a Def Leppard concert. The second I heard the intro riff to “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, I knew that music was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I didn’t know how I was going to do it… I just knew that this decision felt right. As funny as that sounds, my love for music really did switch on just like that. The very next day, I went out and bought a $100 acoustic guitar. 

I became obsessed with the guitar. At the time, I was so determined that I had made a deal with my mom: 1 self-taught year meant that I could pursue guitar lessons. I became infatuated with 80’s guitarists but my priority was to focus on my songwriting and learn enough guitar to start playing in bands. 

At the end of high school, I got into my first band. This was 2 years after I started playing guitar. Over the course of the next few years, I played in various local rock and metal bands that carried me into my early 20’s. 

My first serious band was called Aspire. We toured across North America, played Warp Tour, and had a good amount of accomplishments behind us. Around my mid 20’s, I realized that it was time to pursue my dreams of becoming a country singer/songwriter as it is the genre that I have listened to all my life and what I found myself writing in my personal time. 

At this point, I knew that it was time to part ways with Aspire. With that, I closed this chapter of my life and began writing more full-time while playing guitar for a few different artists so that I could learn more about the country music industry. 

I’d eventually moved to Nashville to cut my teeth with the legendary writers down here. There’s a kind of magic about the city and caliber of writers where simply being around them helps you grow. It was also a town where you quickly came to realize the hard work you’d have to put in just so you can stand out. 

In 2018, I released my debut single “Small Town Pride” and since then, singles that reveal that raised-up, heart-on-your-sleeve feel-good that speak to my authentic country upbringing. I’ve had great success, charting on the Canadian Billboard and reaching an amazing YouTube fanbase totaling over 12 million views. I’m currently wrapping up my latest single release “Just Drive” and excited to release new music in 2022! 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not at all. 

I came from a modest cattle and crops farm. There was no trust fund or really any money to back me up at the start. I actually ended up using most of my student loan to pay for my music gear. 

When I started out with Aspire, I put myself in a huge amount of debt to get that project off the ground. On some tours, we found ourself living out of a van relying on our merch sales in order to eat. 

Music has honestly been full of roadblocks and “no’s” – it’s just learning to never take “no” for an answer and keep pushing through it. You really have to love music and love what you do. 

It’s funny – there can be one moment from a large show or an adrenaline rush from music that can keep you going for years in pursuit of that next moment. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My life has only ever been about music. More recently, my viral popularity with YouTube generating over 12 million views in the last little bit. It has gained me a lot of popularity and presence online. In the scene, people know me for my songwriting and country music. I always write about a real story. At this point in my career, I’ve never cut a song I haven’t written and I feel very proud to have reached the level I’m at without having to. It’s not something I wouldn’t do, it’s just that the write song hasn’t come to me yet. 

As for what sets me apart from others, I’ve always went by the mentality that I would outwork anyone no matter what I had to do. My background coming from a farm and having that experience and love for rock and metal as well creates a really unique flair in the country music industry. 

I really do have a deep love for all music in general. I can always find something I like in any genre. I feel like that gives me a bit of an edge. 

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
In my personal time away from music, I’m a huge car and truck enthusiast. I love working on engines and racing. I own a highly modified 5th Gen SS Camaro that I’m currently rebuilding the engine on. 

I like being very personal with my fans. I always enjoy when a fan stops me in the street to say hello! For anyone new finding me, don’t ever hesitate to send me a message. I love chatting and would love to hear from you on Instagram or any one of my platforms! 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Toby Bey
Kelsey Giesbrecht

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