Blackbear backstage at a show. Photo Source: Tumblr

I always find myself frantically searching for new material when I come across an artist whose music has struck me. I haven’t personally met Mat Musto but I am intrigued by his talent and vocal ability. A friend introduced me to his music via Soundcloud and I just couldn’t get enough.

I decided to look a bit deeper into the life of Mat Musto and I’m extremely pleased with what I’ve found. Eccentric tattoos running from his shoulders down to his knuckles, a switch up of hairstyles and hair colours every few months and an odd – yet likeable – fashion style is what one would notice when you take a first glance at Mat Musto, known by his alter-persona ‘Blackbear’ by all his ‘cubs’. I urge you to take a closer look, past the slight boyish grin and alluring eyes, look a little closer until you find Blackbear’s talent. Blackbear’s key talent is song writing which never fails to make girls swoon.

Mat Musto comes across as a smooth talker and it’s evident in his lyrics. The themes of his songs vary from knowing what to do in the bedroom to showing a more sensitive side such as in the heartache-filled song ‘NYLA’ where he mentions how difficult it is maintaining a long distance relationship when he’s in Los Angeles and the love of his life lives in New York. He writes about how he would do anything to be with his lover even though she is kilometres away.

Blackbear released a few mixtapes which drew a lot of attention, though not well recognised in South Africa yet, these mixtapes helped him gain recognition overseas and made him quite the popular Bear in the pack of upcoming artists. He branched out as a solo artist and released many EP’s (Extended Play – recordings that usually consist of five songs) such as: Brightness, Contrast, Exposure, Year of the Blackbear, Foreplay and 2013’s craze: Sex the Mixtape. His new EP, The Afterglow dropped on 20 April 2014, just a few days before my birthday. I must say, buying this EP was the best birthday present I could give myself.

‘I’ve never heard of Blackbear’ you might say. I bet you have, you just didn’t know it until now. His talents include singing, song writing and producing. He’s put his talents to work by writing Justin Bieber’s hit Boyfriend along with the American singer, song writer and producer, Mike Posner. He’s worked alongside well-known artists such as Ne-Yo and Pharrell Williams.

Many people describe Blackbear’s sound as something similar to Mike Posner’s. I’d describe Bear’s music as mellow, soothing and laid back. His beats as well as daring lyrics are captivating and you find yourself relating to his music as if you were in the exact situation. Bear manages to showcase raw emotion and sensitivity in his lyrics and adds a few salacious or bawdy touches. He stated in an interview, “I hope to send a message musically that fans of all genres can relate to by discussing relevant, yet provocative subjects”. Bear’s lyrical flair and vocal ability has turned me into a devoted bear cub and there’s no going back.

Blackbear’s music is distinctive and is slowly on the rise to making him one of the next big artists. Some articles even refer to him as the music industry’s ‘secret weapon’. Bear has created a name for himself over the past few years and I’m eager to see what the future holds for him as an artist. With amazing vocal capability and good looks, this young man is ready to conquer the music industry.

Take a moment to listen to his music on Soundcloud (you’ll thank me later), become one of his loyal bear cub followers on Twitter and find his adorable boyish grin on Instagram: @iamblackbear.

Listen to a few of my Blackbear favourites:

– ‘Bodybetter’
– ‘Califormula’
– ‘NYLA’
– ‘Running 4ever’
– ‘Grey LA’

Check out Blackbear’s video for The Afterglow:

Tattoos, good looks and an amazing vocal ability. What more could a girl want? Photo Source: Tumblr

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