It’s a long way from Rockingham to Berlin. This is especially true for Matt Gresham, who splits his time between the two locations.
The WA singer landed a German record deal after wowing at Texan music showcase SXSW last year, sparking a move to the creative hub and the birth of his first full album, Who Am I Now, which is out in August.
The juxtaposition between his two homes has been difficult at times but Gresham is happy to be pushed beyond his comfort zone.
“It’s been challenging because I am from a small beach town so moving to a city of 12 million was confronting, but I feel you write the best kind of music when you’re not comfortable,” the former X Factor star told AAA.
“It was the most amazing way to grow as a person.”
Gresham said Berlin’s edge had encouraged him to move beyond his acoustic roots and explore electronic, industrial and soul music.
“There are so many warehouse parties and it’s gritty,” he said.
“Your surroundings influence you as a person and your art comes from that.
“The best part is that you can be around music all the time if you want, but that can also be a bad thing because you can get sucked into the party scene. There are 24-hour nightclubs there, it’s wild.”
Gresham’s visit home to Perth has coincided with the release of his new single Rising Up, which features UFC champion Robert Whittaker in the film clip and has already chalked up hundreds of thousands of streams.
Having come from support spots alongside James Arthur, Bebe Rexha, and Guy Sebastian and with a monster tour of Europe and Australia planned for the rest of the year, being back in Rockingham has been soothing for the musician.
“It’s grounding,” Gresham said.
“I travelled 20 hours but my friend picked me up and we just went straight for a surf.”