Matt Gray: From festival stages to textbook pages

It’s been a turnaround journey for local musician and producer Matt Gray, who has swapped the stage lights for study lamps.

After many years touring Australia with various bands, including performing at Byron Bay’s renowned Splendour in the Grass festival, Matthew Gray has stepped off the stage and onto TAFE Queensland’s Coomera campus.

“I decided it was time to strengthen my existing knowledge and expand into other aspects of music with higher education,” said Matthew.

“It seemed like a natural step in my progression and career as an artist and producer.”

Matt moved to the Gold Coast from Canberra four years ago, mostly to be near our music and dance community, particularly the underground hip-hop dance and music scene. That’s not the only area he dabbles in, however.

“I make a lot of different kinds of music with different genres, but I’m particularly inspired by jazz and soul and funk and hip-hop and that’s what I’ve grown up listening to,” he explained.

“It always seems to fall into those categories, but I also play in punk bands and make rock music, classical is probably one of the only things I don’t really jam in.”

While a career in music was “all I’ve ever wanted to do,” the 26-year-old Bachelor of Contemporary Music student said his passion for learning was reignited when he became aware of TAFE Queensland’s partnership with Southern Cross University (SCU).

“The collaboration with TAFE Queensland and SCU meant I could study on the Gold Coast and wouldn’t have to drive to Lismore or Brisbane to complete a music degree,” he said.

“The mix of hands-on learning fused with university level theory is such a great combination and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who is thinking about studying music.”

The Coomera campus student said the learning facilities are exceptional and exactly what he came across working in the industry for many years, and having been doing music since he was a small child, Matt certainly knows what he’s talking about.

“I would happily bring the bands I work with into the Coomera campus studios to rehearse and record as they are of industry standard, if not better.”

Matt hopes to one day own his own studio or record label, but for now has some local projects on the boil, although he’s playing his cards pretty close to the chest.

“[I] wouldn’t be saying too much at the moment, probably more looking at doing a lot of production for different artists, so probably keep an ear out for my productions on other people’s stuff.

You can check out Matt’s stuff on Bandcamp and follow him on Insta @matt_gray_music. For more information about TAFE Queensland’s Music programs call 1300 308 233 or visit tafeqld.edu.au.

IMAGE (C) Corey Fisher

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