He has named his unique sound Acoustic Rhythm and Gospel, creating a new music genre and inspiring his audiences to follow the man and his music. Widely respected by his peers and well known to the gig-going audiences in the Midlands, he is now travelling the length and breadth of the UK looking to broaden his appeal, continue the journey that has taken him this far, make his mark on the national music scene, and see where the ride takes him. His recent decision to perform as a solo artist, stripping back his unique sound to just an acoustic guitar and his superbly mellifluous voice, has already generated much interest and he can be found most evenings on a stage doing what he was born to do, guitar in hand, working his particular brand of magic; his beautiful soulful voice and ethereal guitar weaving a spell over a gathering with self-penned songs so resonant with emotion and meaning they would cause an angel to weep, leaving his audience spellbound and wanting more. This rapidly growing interest has strengthened his resolve to make himself prominent on the UK music scene, and his web-based activities on popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter growing his following to promote himself and his music are now paying dividends, with fans across the globe wanting more. His superlative voice and stage presence has already won him critical acclaim from respected publications such as the NME and The Guardian; he has been featured on BBC Introducing numerous times, appears regularly on independent radio stations throughout the Midlands, and opened the main stage for Dizzy Rascal at Lovebox Festival in London after winning the NME Breakthrough Act in 2010. He was previously a founder member of Censored, a band who garnered much critical acclaim and fame throughout the Midlands, and who supported Snow Patrol, Ocean Colour Scene and We Are Scientists, also playing the Isle Of Wight & Reading and Leeds Festivals.
More recently, he has collaborated with numerous artists in and around his home patch to create a unique sound with the Derby-based MC Reggiimental, which has been dubbed B-Boy Soul and which generated the widely-acclaimed album ‘Coming Around’- the most under-rated album release of 2013. He has also teamed up with a former bandmate, under the name of Satsuma Elephants, to generate psychedelic rock with soulful undertones; an eclectic mix which demonstrates how successfully he can slip from genre to genre, and even create new ones, without losing integrity and which showcases his appeal to his many appreciative fans. He was a founding member of the midlands indie/blues band Censored as lead singer, songwriter and guitarist. The band split in 2008 and he would re-emerge in 2010 as a solo artist collaborating with numerous artists and musicians, namely Birmingham-born hip-hop MC ReggiiMental. Matt Henshaw also performs as frontman of Satsuma Elephants December 2008. Following the final show by indie/blues band Censored for a packed-to-the-rafters Nottingham crowd whose rallying cries for encores went unanswered, front man Matt Henshaw retreats into hibernation, away from the music business.
Over the space of a few months, Matt saw his life’s dream implode in an alcohol-fuelled, cliché-ridden mess of affairs. In short, it all went a bit Spinal Tap. And he wanted out. So, exasperated by a year of alcohol dependency, band in-fighting, struggles against the confines of unimaginative industry labelling, and the bitter dissolution of several personal relationships, Matt decided to go away, not bothered about ever again picking up another guitar nor singing another note.
And for over a year, he didn’t. Easter 2010. Having switched his more rock’n’roll vices for the, decidedly not so, habits of drinking copious amounts of tea and garden-tending, a long-sober Matt falls in with UK hip-hop stalwart ReggiiMental. And, after sufficient prodding, ego stroking and jerk-chicken laced bribery, Matt resignedly agrees to do some vocals on a track for the Birmingham rapper’s upcoming album release. The two instantly bond over a love of Michael Keaton’s Batman and a passion for old-school soul, reggae and hip-hop.
Then, within a shockingly short space of time, a burst dam let flow a wave of neglected creativity and the two emerge from the basement studio with a bundle of songs combining Reggii’s rapping with Matt’s blue-eyed soul and they dubbed it, The Deepest Cellar. With both artists being names of some repute in their respective music scenes, the album quickly circulated amongst friends and peers and was picked up in the underground UK hip hop press within weeks and bigger publications shortly thereafter. In fact, NME selected Matt and four other bands over thousands of artists to compete in a public vote via their NME Breakthrough community. And thus, within two months of beginning to sing again, Matt was voted by NME readers to open the main stage at London’s Lovebox festival. With artists such as Plan B and Janelle Monae adopting a similar aesthetic of mixing modern hip hop with classic soul stylings, Matt Henshaw’s sound has found itself on the forefront of a possible new genre, one he and Reggiimental have christened with the moniker B-Boy Soul.
The Deepest Cellar is a prime example of such deft genre mixing and goes even further to incorporate reggae, northern soul, dub and dance influence and sampling into the tracks. The lyrics jump from the politically charged to the moral and uplifting, all supported by a myriad of guest rappers with Matt’s blue-eyed rock/soul timbres being the only constant. Matt’s musical biography is already so fascinating, convoluted and beyond his years that, at only 22, his song-writing belies a depth and maturity that could only have come with experience and the completion of the full-circle journey that brings every artist into their own. And with a stockpile of material waiting to be plucked from the shelf, plus another album near completion already, Matt’s pop-potential still lays virtually untapped. Official Websites ... http://www.matthenshaw.com http://www.satsumaelephants.com http://censoredonline.co.uk Social Networks ... http://www.facebook.com/matthenshaw http://www.twitter.com/matthenshaw11 http://www.youtube.com/user/ilsonowl http://www.matthenshaw.tumblr.com http://www.reverbnation.com/matthenshaw http://www.matthenshaw11.blogspot.com http://uk.linkedin.com/in/matthenshaw11 http://www.flickr.com/photos/60187216@N02/ http://new.myspace.com/matthenshawmusic http://www.soundcloud.com/matthenshaw Read more on Last.fm.
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