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Let Nothing Hold You Back: Emerging Indigenous Artist Achieving His Dreams

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An emerging Indigenous artist who independently produces, writes, records, and releases all of his music has found major success. Another intriguing aspect of his musical journey is that he has been blind since birth.

Music is critical to Matthew Monias, “Mattmac,” pushes through whatever challenges are ahead of him and puts everything he has into his projects. In his recent album, Blurred Visions, this passion is set to the forefront, showcasing his influences of RNB, rap, and hip-hop, and he hopes to inspire others through music.

“I’d like to think my work not only inspires Indigenous people and Canadians but blind people especially.”

Monias encourages others that even if one has a disability doesn’t mean they can’t succeed. If you have a dream, you can achieve it.

Starting to sing when he was four, Monias found music a crucial coping mechanism he had utilized in his community of Garden Hill First Nation, joining the community’s gospel choir. He started to create music at 13, but his first step into the industry was when N’we Jinan visited Garden Hill First Nation and asked him to collaborate on a project. Monias continued his growth in the industry when he performed alongside Nelly Furtado at Indigenous day Live and We Day Canada Day in 2017. His debut music project, “20/20,” provided massive opportunities with interviews on CTV National News and major media outlets. His single “Paradise” reached enormous acclaim.

“Life got kind of crazy after 20/20 dropped. Not only did it receive rap album of the year from Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards, it got a lot of recognition from people. That motivated me to keep going,” says Monias. “I was navigating the music industry – it was a new experience and a lot to learn, and I felt I would get lost. Throughout the process of the album coming together, I did manage to get lost. I had to manage all these new responsibilities, getting into new things and opportunities. Moving out to the city was another big thing.”

 Although the journey has been demanding, knowing there are individuals resonating with his music provides tremendous motivation. For budding artists, Monias says to be patient, learn what you want, and understand what you’re getting into. He adds that although it may be difficult, achieving your dreams is all worth it.

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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