How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?

I’ve been brought up around a wide and rich variety of modern music. You could say that my music draws from a number of places and comparisons, and that it would flatter me to say that aspects of my music remind people of artists like Jeff Buckley, Patrick Watson and Ben Howard. On an older tip some of my harmonies are compared to the way Daryl Hall (blue eyed soul) sings and because my voice is distinctive. Older audiences associate what I do with people like Nick Drake. These people are legends and I’m happy if anyone associates what I do with artists like that.

Your single ‘Wildfire’ is to be released today. How does it feel to have a release date?

It’s incredibly exciting and I’m absolutely thrilled. After today I won’t ever be able to say that I have my first single coming out ever again so if you think of it like that, it’s a very special time.

How was the recording process for Wildfire?

In a way, it was like many stories you’ll hear from artists. Andy Maclure and Martin Wright, from BIMM organised the session. We sat together and worked out how to make the song really hot and the idea of having backing singers gelled into what might now be called the BIMM choir. Some of my friends from the course provided the additional vocals. The BIMM house band provided the instrumentation and the recording all came together in one day. The process was a really special moment for all of us and an amazing experience for me personally.

Tell us a bit about the writing behind Wildfire?

My songs are all written from a personal perspective and they reflect the journey I’m on and the process I’m going through in life. Sometimes my plaintive style gets me labelled as a white modern day blues man, but I write from my experiences and Wildfire is a story about the need to be able to express myself and keep going in hard times.

How did you first get into music? Was it always something you had an interest in?

It wasn’t a conventional route. I didn’t do music at school, I haven’t done grades and I went through GCSEs and A levels at school heading in a different direction. I’ve always been very creative, I could have taken the route into art to be sculptor, but my heart really wasn’t in it and I wasn’t enjoying the way life was working at that time. So at 18 I started again, I’d been in pick-up bands and was the voice at the front and I knew from that experience it was something I had to pursue. I went back to college and then came to Brighton and BIMM.

You recently played the Great Escape festival. How was that?

I did one of two nights and I really enjoyed it. Getting up in front of people is always an incredible experience. I’m not a natural extrovert, but I get into a zone and everything comes together and there’s an incredible rush.I just go to ‘my own place’ and perform from there. Playing on the street is always a raw experience, but so far I’ve had good times and this was more of the same.

With so many talented performers in Brighton has it helped propel your sense of creativity with your music?

I love Brighton and taking in the sea air. The town has a unique buzz and the arts and music scene is prolific. Being part of the BIMM family makes a huge difference and pushes everyone forward. It’s been a great way to experience the town and it’s been a door opener. Having lived in places that have different energies I can say that Brighton is unique – and yes the energy here propels you forward. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to get into the music scene.

How have the skills you’ve learnt at BIMM helped you in your own personal music journey?

BIMM provides a nurturing environment on a pastoral level and also with the experience of the tutors I’ve worked with. Each one has a different style and it’s really up to students to make something of that. It’s about the contrasts between styles that creates a useful level of critique. The tutors are incredibly knowledgeable and they’ve all done a bit of life.

As the year continues, what can we expect from you?

I hope to be able to collaborate with some of the people I’ve met and worked with at BIMM on a few more songs. I also have a batch of songs ready that could be developed into something that is close to an album. I’ve been talking to some label people and I hope that the interest in Wildfire will led to more recording. I will be living in Brighton and through the Summer and Autumn I want to be able to keep playing here and keeping it real.

Matt’s single Wildfire is out today