A blind musician from the remote community of Garden Hill First Nation in northern Manitoba has released his first career album.
Matthew Monias, or “Mattmac”, dropped an eight-song collection titled 20/20 on Friday.
“It paints a really good picture of where I’m at with my life, with my career as a developing artist and as someone who’s just growing as a person,” he said to Global News in a video interview from his home in Garden Hill First Nation.
The 20-year-old musician has been blind since the day he was born.
He’s a self-taught Oji-Cree artist and producer who’s been writing songs about battling adversity for the entirety of his short career.
In his new project, Mattmac takes aim on a very particular aspect of his trying life.
“My struggles with isolation, because I grew up in an isolated community. That kind of developed a bit of an isolation problem for me,” he says.
His album’s top song “Paradise” debuted at number one on the Indigenous Music Countdown.
“I was at a loss for words because I’ve known about this countdown for the longest time ever, so being number one on this countdown is absolutely amazing to me.”
Paradise, along with the rest of the album, aims to relate with listeners facing unique challenges in life.
“Simple stuff like that really makes the album worthwhile. If you can relate to a lyric, even if it’s just one line!”
Monias says work on his next album has already begun.
The project is called “Blurred Visions”, and Mattmac says it’ll ready for release sometime next summer.