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Angry Mob Spotlight: Matt Cohen

This month’s blog post features Matt Cohen, Manager of Production here at Angry Mob. During the day he handles micro licenses, but at night he is either making music or performing it. This interview gives us an in depth view on the creative world of music. 

 

1. Where did your love of music come from?

My interest in music grew organically over the course of time. When I was young I was obsessed with the Fantasia soundtrack, trying (and failing) to sing along with the melodies. My real conscious love of music didn’t really appear until later on in middle school, when I started to play guitar. My pinnacle “music is freaking awesome” moment was when I first heard “Afro Blue” by John Coltrane during a music theory class at the New England Conservatory Of Music. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since!

2. What is it like to play live shows?

I am sure the answer is different for every performer, but I see it as a personal release. For me, it is a break from all the other aspects that are going on in your life, and puts music as the 100% focus. It’s fascinating because you put all these hours into practicing your instrument, and the moment you hit the stage and start to play live, all those concepts you practice become the last thing you think about. I love that part of playing live – you truly don’t know what aspects of what you have been working on is going to come out or not. 

3. Describe the creative flow in composing/writing a tune or song.

I think the process of creating a song is different every time. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and I think it’d be foolish to stay stuck in any one way to create a composition. That being said, I often find myself most deeply connecting with the underlying harmony of songs, and tend to gravitate there when I begin to create something. 

4. What is some advice you would give to other songwriters?

Don’t get stuck in any one routine when composing, and keep trying to break the mold in new ways. It’s easy to fall into a familiar process when creating, but I think the most interesting material arises when you do something different. I would also listen to a lot of different types of music to gain perspective and ideas, as opposed to constantly listening to popular references to create songs off of. 

5. What is your favorite album of all time?

This question isn’t really fair, but I’d say some records that have greatly influenced me up to this point are the following:

– At The Pershing (But Not For Me) – Ahmad Jamal

– James Blake – James Blake

– Pet Sounds – Beach Boys

– Smokin’ At The Half Note – Wes Montgomery

– Late Graduation – Kanye West

– Cosmogramma – Flying Lotus

– In Rainbows – Radiohead

– The Renaissance – Q-Tip

– The Shameless Years – Rafael Anton Irisarri

– Anything by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Anything by Johann Johannsson

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