By Cady Kuzmich
Round Lake — Matthew Decker, 17, is ringing in the summer with new music — his own debut album. While the Round Lake native hopes to move to one of the creative centers of the nation one day, he said the beauty of Round Lake leaves him with plenty of inspiration for now. Decker, who is inspired by the likes of Lana del Rey, Lil Kim and Amy Winehouse, started experimenting with electronic music about six years ago.
Q & A with Matthew Decker:
Q: Are you originally from Round Lake?
A: I was born and raised in Round Lake. I’ve lived here all my life. One day I’d like to relocate [to] a creative-hub like California or New York City. Every artist ends up in one of those places sooner or later.
Q: What do your parents do?
A: My Mother, Donna, was a psychiatric nurse at Four Winds in Saratoga for over 24 years. She recently got a new job working at Saratoga Hospital that she’s very excited about. My father, Kevin, has been working as a food broker for years and also is the manager of Siro’s in Saratoga.
Q: How old are you?
A: I am 17 but will be 18 later this summer.
Q: Where did you attend high school?
A: I attended Shenendehowa Central School District for all of my school experience. About two years ago I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Babesia, and got so sick that I had to drop out of school in tenth grade. I currently am not enrolled in any schooling platform. Sometime in the future I plan on getting my G.E.D.
Q: What are you working on lately?
A: I currently own a few different businesses. I have my own clothing line called “Hollywood Ain’t Dead” which is a clothing and skatewear line with an Old Hollywood theme. Each month there is a new theme or movie that the clothing is inspired by. The month of June is based after the cult classic 1967 Film “Valley Of The Dolls.” I have my own line of fragrances, clothing and coming soon Matthew Decker hair products.
Q: When did you first become interested in making your own music? How did you first begin?
A: I became interested in making music when I realized trying to become a famous movie star wasn’t really going to happen anytime soon. I’d say back in 2010 is when I first started experimenting with music on one of my dad’s old work laptops I downloaded a music recording software program called “Audacity” and just played around with that for a while. I eventually decided that this is what I wanted to do, so I really started doing my research on how to make music. In 2012 I came out with my first single, which in retrospective was completely disastrous and absolutely horrible, and of course…It took off in the community, everyone in school knew me for that song and knew that I was making music. After that, I really began putting my time into it, upping the quality and lyrical content.
Q: Do you play any instruments? If so, when did you begin and how?
A: I don’t really have the stamina to do that. My hand eye coordination isn’t that great. I do produce my own music using virtual musical instruments.
Q: What’s your writing process like? Do you set aside time each day to write or do you just write when inspiration strikes?
A: I can never stop writing. I’ll literally be at a restaurant somewhere far away and if I come up with a good line or lyric, I have to write it down.
Q: What inspires you to write?
A: My writing is autobiographical and I draw my inspiration from things that are happening or have happened in my life. I also try and add a punchline or a funny lyric into everything, even the more serious or sad songs. I think music and writing are one of the best outlets for depression. I’m lucky I have that outlet because some people don’t. I get inspiration a lot of the time from current events. It’s definitely a party record. There’s a song for everything on there. I think teens will like it and maybe some older people just because it’s a very fun record.
Q: How has living in Round Lake influenced your music?
A: I love Round Lake. It’s beautiful. I don’t know of any particular situations in Round Lake that have influenced my music, but it’s beauty definitely sets a good mood for the writing process on a hot summer day!
Q: What do you have planned for the upcoming year?
A: I have a lot planned for the upcoming year. My debut album “The Wild, Wild World of Matthew Decker” will be released on iTunes and CD June 25. I have another fragrance coming out in August, a hair product line and so much more. I also hope to be adding some tour dates, too.
Q: If you could tour with anyone, who would you choose?
A: Well, that’s complicated because there are so many people I would [love to] tour with. I’m really into Lana Del Rey. Her writing style is similar to mine and [I think] we would mesh very well.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
A: I have a million and one influences. I grew up listening to pop music, obsessed with Disney Channel and also BET. I listen to just about everything now besides opera. I love the masters of every genre, like Amy Winehouse, Judy Garland, Britney Spears, The Ronettes, Mos Def, Lil’ Kim, Donna Summer and Aaliyah.
Q: Can you remember the first CD you ever bought? What was your first concert?
A: The first CD I ever bought was probably Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black.” I just love her. The first concert I went to was a joint tour with Heart, Cheap Trick and Journey at SPAC.