Matthew Parada, born and raised in Echo Park found a connection with the arts at a young age. “Ever since I was a little kid, I can distinctly remember hosting events being the main actor, I just wanted to be in a play. My mom said I would have monologues when I was six and I remembered them. I just always had an inclination to be part of the arts. It all felt very natural,” said Matthew.
It was in high school that Matthew was first drawn to the acoustic guitar. “When I was in catholic school I saw this kid playing the guitar with an amplifier. He was playing KORN and I thought, this is so cool,” said Matthew. He then went on to enroll in guitar classes for about a year and continued learning by watching YouTube videos, and self-teaching. Matthew is also a multi-instrumentalist; he knows how to play the saxophone and percussion. He also shared that although he is not a rapper he can spit a few lines.
As an artist and performer there are performances that are unforgettable, for Matthew it was performing with the band Negro Galacticus. “About a few days before I went on a trip to Europe we played at a garage, I played the maracas and tambourine. After the performance people came up to me and told me they had never seen anyone play like that. It was such a good feeling, I want that feeling more,” said Matthew.
With that desire Matthew took a break from college and ventured on a trip to Europe where he says he found much inspiration. He visited open mic venues and played on the streets, where he says, “People would stop and sit there next to me and listen. When I stopped playing they would talk to me and I would have conversations. After that, the potential to meet anyone through just playing anywhere is a great benefit to me.”
Along with great experiences come hardships. “The hardest thing would be when I speak to my family, and they tell me, ‘You know you’re not going to be Jimmy Hendrix’” says Matthew. For Matthew, people accepting the sincerity of his desire to be a musician is what it’s all about. “We don’t have enough musicians that make you feel something,” he continued. But, with support from friends he’s found inspiration to keep pursuing his passion. “I saw them do something I wanted to do, they are really the ones that supported me. Watching them perform made me realize, ‘hey I really want to do that’.”
Matthews’ future goals include releasing an album, “I want to have something that people can play in their cars,” he said. His goals also include touring with a band like Negro Galacitcus, “Someone who would agree with the sound I play,” said Matthew. Last but not least, Matthew plans to create and own his label outside of the country. “It’s so difficult in the music industry because there is so much money, so many different agendas. In America you only make money if you write what they want you to write. I want to have a location to host bands and have an audience that actually cares. I want to have a label outside of the country for people that are good musicians and just need a good audience,” said Matthew.
“It’s literally all about the mind set that you have, if you are scared or fearful, it’s not going to work. There has to be a compromise within your self. Art is not about trying to make a living, this is how I live, I say have your job, be your hobby,” is some advice Matthew has for anyone pursuing his or her passion.
By: Chriss Ramos