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At first glance, Matt MacFarlane may seem like your typical 19-year-old, sophomore finance major. However, MacFarlane, also known as Matty Mac, is actually a rising star in the hip-hop music scene.
Similar to artists like Mac Miller or Sammy Adams in both personal and musical style, MacFarlane got involved with music at a young age. He started learning to play the drums in fifth grade and later learned the guitar. His break into hip-hop, however, happened during his senior year of high school.
“I started making beats on a program called Mixcraft,” said MacFarlane. “And then me and a buddy were like, why don’t we just rap over them? So senior year we made a mix tape, and played in front of the school at a school assembly.”
MacFarlane started attending CU in the Fall of 2011, still looking to pursue a career in music in addition to a degree from the business school. This led him to attend an open mic night at Quixote’s, a bar in Denver with a strong music scene. After this performance, MacFarlane met Mike Phillips, a man ready to help his career take the next step.
Phillips began the momentum that has brought MacFarlane to his current place in the music industry. A year after the couple first met, MacFarlane now has connections to Elm and Oak, a music and design company in Boulder, a mixtape called “Kid Vision” that was released on May 1 this year, and was brought on board with CandyGrind, a snowboarding apparel company who now supplies his DJ and engineering crew.
When asked why he thinks Matty Mac will be successful, MacFarlane’s current manager, Walker Hill replied, “The music industry is littered with failed artists. For one reason or another they didn’t make it, but Matty isn’t willing to quit. It’s tough and those who don’t think so are living in a dream. A ton of hard work and dedication gets you somewhere, and Matty has some to spare.”
With his rising status and fame, one is struck by MacFarlane’s humble nature and desire to stay connected to CU. MacFarlane has performed for the fraternities Sigma Nu, Sigma Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the latter of which he is a member. He also plans to start a Music Industry Club at CU, to work with others interested in entering the industry.
“Music and talent aside, he’s just a really nice guy inside and out,” said Jackie Lefkovitz, a sophomore integrative physiology major.
MacFarlane has a strong fan base in the Boulder community. Friday night, when he opened for Aer in Fort Collins, 100-plus people took the hour-long bus ride to see him perform. The show itself was energetic and fun. Notable songs included the polished “Skinny Love” and the upbeat “One in a Million,” and the majority of the crowd was there to see MacFarlane.
So what’s next for this up-and-comer? The Matty Mac team plans on getting more shows in the Colorado area, with hopes of joining Asher Roth at The Fox Theatre. They also intend to create new songs and help develop the “Matty Mac style.”
Click here to see Matty Mac’s video from December 2011.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kelly Katz at Kelly.email@example.com.