Ringlight Sessions: The Neighborhood puts up-and-coming or in-the-moment local artists and musicians in the spotlight—or more accurately, ringlight—to show us what they’ve got. Next up: Matthew Chang.
The sounds you hear when stuck in traffic, contemporary OPM, anime theme songs, classical tunes… all of it is fair game to Matthew Chang, a theater actor and singer who’s releasing an EP next year. “Before, I’d go out of the metro for inspiration because it’s too noisy, it’s too busy. But a friend of mine made me realize, why don’t you get inspiration from the things that people usually don’t get inspiration from? EDSA traffic is such a stressful environment, but if you listen to it nang matagal, you’ll get something out of it,” he says. Spoken like someone who has music in his blood—Matthew is, after all, a descendant of National Artist Antonio Molina, credited with over 500 compositions and often described as the Claude Debussy of the Philippines. “I come from a family of musicians and all of us are classically trained,” he says, including himself. His mom is a cellist, his sister plays the violin, while Matthew began taking violin lessons at St. Scholastica at nine and was a member of the DLSU Pops Orchestra. Now, he’s blending all of those diverse influences to create his own sound. Here’s a preview.
Describe yourself as an artist.
My music is intimate, but at the same time, it’s a mix of the old and the new. I was classically trained but I apply new elements to it, like looping, synth, and production. My EP has a world music influence to it, but I’m trying not to put it in a certain genre because it sounds so eclectic. It has violin and electronic elements as well, so it’s more of like fusion.
Top 3 songs on repeat?
“Kathang Isip” by Ben&Ben, “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen, and “Red” by Sara Bareilles.
One song you would recommend to anyone.
“Ride Home” by Ben&Ben. I love them! I’m currently obsessed with Ben&Ben. Or “Rain Song” by Aia de Leon.
Is OPM dead or thriving?
OPM is thriving. There are so many new artists coming out na sobrang galeng, they just lack the skills to promote their craft.
This Australian artist named Fatai or Kimbra.
Photography by Renzo Navarro
Art Direction by Mags Ocampo
Makeup by Chyla of NYX Cosmetics