EXCLUSIVE: Conor Matthews Talks EP “Heartbreak In The Hills” and More

While everything is still slowly getting back to normal life, we’re here to give you new music to listen to. Conor Matthews is the perfect new artist to listen to right now with is brand new EP Heartbreak In The Hills, full of feel good, summer songs that will help with your feeling down mood. We chatted with Matthews about his brand new EP and much more.

Let’s talk your new EP, Heartbreak in the Hills, that just came out a few days ago. Talk about the creative process of this EP.

Actually it’s funny, this EP was created right before the pandemic happened. We did it last like November, and then we did the actual title track happened probably like a week before everything shut down. So the creative process was awesome, dude. I brought a bunch of my homeys to Chicago and then to New York a week after Chicago and we just camped up for a couple of weeks and created two EPs. Actually, this is the first one of the two, obviously. And yeah, we had a blast making it. We laughed a lot, stayed up real late, drank a lot. It was just a great time, man.

Do you have a favorite memory of creating the EP? 

Yes. One of them was one in Chicago, but the more memorable one was when we were in New York and we had been working from since like 10:00 AM and we were supposed to end at like midnight or something, but like, we weren’t done with the song. So we basically like locked the studio out, bought more time and stayed up until like 4:00 AM working on it. And then we slept on the studio floor, like five of us. And then we woke up again at like 9:00 AM and kept going. And that was probably my favorite memory from the whole process, just cause it was just absurd. You know, we were exhausted. We didn’t get any sleep. We were sleeping on this hardwood floor. And then we woke up, got some bagels in the morning and hit it again.

What about the title Heartbreak Hills? What about that song made you want to like name it after that song?

I felt like it just summed up, you know, my whole season of life that I was in when I was making the EP and I summed up the whole record and it’s definitely like a breakup record and but it’s like a party breakup record, you know. It kind of explores the lighter sides of a breakup, the more fun, exciting times that happened, post relationships. So for me it was like, you know, my move to LA was right after the EP was like started. And it was a crazy season, I ended up signing my first record deal and meeting new people, hanging out, like just doing all this really fun stuff. And I felt like Heartbreaking in the Hills is a title that just really encapsulated the whole project. And so it was a no brainer for me.

Do you have a favorite song, not favorite song, but like a song that like kind of connects with you the most off of the EP?

Probably, Hit me Back; the main single and I would say it connects to me the most probably. It was first of all, that’s the one outlier of the EP. I wrote that song two years ago. Started it in my Nashville apartment with one of my best friends. And it was one of the most natural songs I’ve ever written because I was actually just like messing around on the guitar and we were laughing about how exes never hit you back, like you even if it’s about something simple. So I just started strumming that guitar pattern and I started singing, “she don’t hit me back no more, she don’t hit me back no more, she don’t have me back no more.” And then my buddy was like, “just want to hit it like before.” And I was like, “but she don’t hit me back no more.” And we just started laughing. And then I finished it in Chicago a day later. And that song is probably, you know, I connect with it the most because of how natural it was and just how much I didn’t expect it to be a good song. It was kind of like a joke at first. And then it turned into like the main single of this project two years later. And that’s just pretty cool to me.

And then you said you just signed with the record label recently, Warner Records, what’s it like been working with them through this whole process? What’s it like working with like a record label that is, you know, like Warner Records ?

Yes, it’s definitely been different, man. It’s been a great experience. But partnering with a label called Altadena as well. And you know, it’s been cool having like a support system and people to bounce ideas off of and you know, they’re really chill. They’re a label that’s really chill about like what music I want to put out and when I want to put it out and they’ve never, ever vetoed anything or like, you know, a lot of artists go through, and especially like beginning artists, a lot of them go through like, you know, they’re barely allowed to put music out and Warner Records has not been that for me at all. We’re going to be on my third EP in the fall, probably in a year. And so it’s been great, just being able to create without limits and drop music when we want. And yes, it’s been cool.

And then I loved the artwork for the EP too. Because it’s kind of, I don’t want to say like, I mean, it’s kind of vintage, but it’s also kind of not. Talk about the artwork for the EP. 

Yes, so actually every song that we put out as a single, including the EP art work, it was based on a movie poster and the EP, art work is based on Scarface and you know, I’m lucky to have to work with a really visually creative team. And one of my best friend does all of my content and he helps me brainstorm ideas. And when he brought me that idea, I just thought it was so cool because it kind of like, it fit the mood of the entire project to me, the same way the name of the project did. And just kind of like dark vibes, but with like a cool to it. And that’s really what made us do that and choose that movie in particular, is because of the actual movie itself and obviously the way that the cover of the movie looked. And everything kind of feels cinematic, so it just made sense.

So you said every single have its own movie poster. I’m just looking on your Instagram and looking back at Hit me Back. What is the poster for Hit me Back then?

Hit me Back, let me check. I forget what we use. ‘m going to text my director and ask him real quick. He’s going to get back to me about that, but way out was based on that, I think it was like a Ryan Reynolds movie called Drive. Like a very futuristic movie that he starred in. And that one was really, really cool to do because that one fit the tone of the song perfectly too. We really chose movies that like, tonally, not just visually, but like tonally like what’s in the actual movie, kind of coincided with how the songs felt. And so that was a really cool part of the process as well, like going through different movies and like deciding which ones fit best for the music.

What movie would you love your music be featured in?

Hit me Back was kind of based on the Graduate and with a little touch of Californication. What would I like my music to be in movie wise? That’s a good one, man. I’ve always kind of wanted to be in like an animation. I think that would be super tight to be in an animated movie and write for something like that. And maybe, you know, maybe even do like a little bit of voice acting or something. I’ve always been interested in that.

How have you been these last few months? kind of you know, trying to stay creatively busy, finding new hobbies, what have you been up to these last few months?

I had to move my studio into my bedroom because obviously, like, you know, a lot of studios are shut down and so I’ve just been working on music, just like the old days. Like as if I was in high school again, it’s hilarious actually. And I bought some new equipment to be able to do it myself completely. Like I’ve always engineered myself and, you know, helped produce my own records and, you know I always track my own vocals. But I took quarantine as kind of a time to like really step up the game and like grow in that area so that I’m even more proficient at it when this whole thing is over. And so I’ve been primarily doing that, you know, working with audio and writing new music.

What are you most excited for about, you know, I mean, I know life is kind of starting to get back to normal right now, but like when there’s a vaccine when everything is okay.

Honestly, I’m so excited to just get back out, you know, and have some fun at a bar with some friends and be able to stand at the bar and like, meet new people. The thing is you can go to restaurants, but it’s very like sit at your table, each food leave and like, that’s cool. It’s cool to get out with your friends. But like I miss running into people, I don’t know and like starting up conversation with them. So that’s what I’m definitely most excited for.

Now if you could set up a fan of your music, in a setting for them to listen, what setting would that be?

I definitely like it on a speaker while they’re having a good time, maybe having a couple of drinks, I feel like that’s the perfect time to listen to it. Like I created it with the intention of it being like a fun summer record and, you know, it’s definitely like making people feel like that, but, you know, I can only imagine if like the world was how it was last year. The enjoyment some people might find it, you know, just out trying to have a good time on a Friday night.

What’s one quote you heard in life that you want to echo out to the world?

One quote that I’ve heard in life, I’ve heard a lot of really great quotes. Probably the quickest one that comes to mind is don’t take yourself too serious.

Watch the music video for his song “Hit Me Back” now!