A Sunderland singer has caught the ear of a Grammy Award-winning producer who flew him to Nashville to make music.
Matt Belmont, 29, from Roker, has been working on his Belle Mt project for the past three years, which has seen him write and produce a number of tracks.
One of his self-penned tracks captured the imagination of Nashville-based Femke Weidema, who invited Matt to America for a writing session.
The collaboration produced eight songs which were written and demoed in the initial 10-day trip, resulting in lead track, Hollow, which is released on Friday.
Former Monkwearmouth School pupil Matt, who moved to London in 2012 to pursue his music career, said: “Femke heard this one track and asked to be put in contact with me, we had a few Skype calls and ended up planning some trips. The first one was really nerve-wracking as you never know if you’re going to hit it off with someone creatively, but we really did and ended up writing eight songs in 10 days, working crazy, long days.
“The first of those, Hollow, is released this week with plans to release a track every six weeks.”
During the trip, Matt, whose music is influenced by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay and Bon Iver, also played to a packed industry showcase at the Basement venue in front of big names in the music business.
Matt, who performs on vocals, guitar and piano, alongside Ben Worsley (electric guitar/bass/synth/vocal harmonies) and Chris Burgess (drums/SPD trigger pads/vocal harmonies) in the Belle Mt live trio, said: “It’s definitely a step up in my career and it’s amazing to work with people who are successful.
“Femke’s production background includes being a collaborator of prolific film music composer Hans Zimmer, which means she has a great knowledge of dramatic soundscapes.
“With the release of the first track momentum is really gathering and I’m already planning for the release of the second one.
“There’s such a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in terms of writing and producing a track and it’s great for people to be able to finally hear it.”
Hollow will be released across all major digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music.
It was premiered yesterday with a live session by Mahogany Sessions, an online music discovery platform with more than 100million views and 500,000 regular subscribers.