Matthew Long


The Long And Short Of It...

For as long as I can remember I've had a passion for music. I fondly recall spending many a summer's holiday preparing audio cassette compilations for trips out in the car, or on foot with my walkman in hand.

I was born and raised in Shirley, a suburb of Solihull, here in the UK; and I've been very thankful for a good grounding and start in life - we've always been a close family. Here in Shirley, we have a nice mix combining the hustle and bustle of city life with little gestures that nod to the countryside. It's changed quite a lot since my childhood, but not too much.

When asked where I'm from, I usually refer to myself as from "Birmingham, UK" - this, more so to my friends across the Atlantic; for two reasons... first and foremost, I consider myself a proud "Brummie" and secondly... we have several places called Shirley here in the UK... apart from our own, we have one's in both Derbyshire and Southampton. Nevertheless, my reference to Birmingham is certainly true; we're well connected to the city centre by train, bus or even a good walk.

My earliest passion for popular music almost certainly dates back to my love for cartoons - particularly those of the Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers variety - all with vibrant colours, slapstick comedy and of course, wonderful underscores; many of which were associated with movie musicals of the era. Tom & Jerry scores for example would very often overlap or "tease" a few bars of a popular song of the era. On several occasions, they were cleverly synchronized to classical music... another passion of mine.

Instruments wise, I've had flirtations with piano, guitar, double bass and even tuba for a short while... I was always tall for my age, so just imagine me walking around with a tuba! A beautiful instrument though... but then what instrument isn't?

Singing was my biggest passion. I enjoyed singing at any and every opportunity (some things never change!). I feel it lifts the soul and clears the mind... a great stress release too. I was in the school choir as a junior and did get the chance to perform a solo once at a Harvest Festival (our similar equivalent to Thanksgiving in the USA and Canada). The voice was a lot higher up the register back then, as one might imagine for a 10 or 11 year old! My singing voice now is very much a baritone... but I can still get "up there" so to speak.

Stylistically, my vocal approach is inspired by the Perry Como school of music; but I aim to develop my own style as best I can. After all, as Perry himself once said "...there's no such a thing as a second somebody... you want to be a first whoever you are..." Personally and professionally, I couldn't have asked for a better teacher than Mr. Como.

Acting is another area I enjoyed exploring as a junior. I belonged to a Saturday morning drama class for a number of years, during which we did numerous themed plays. I also played several bit roles in a musical stage production of "The Card" which began life as a short comedic novel written by Arnold Bennett and was later adapted for film.

My professional background is within the media industry. I've been working as a freelance media producer for the past several years; specializing in radio production and digital media as a whole. Now, as a newly established singer, I am recording on a regular basis and have plans to make in-person appearances in the near future. Whatever may become of my singing, I've no doubt that an exciting road lies ahead and I hope you'll join me on the journey!

Matthew Long
November 9, 2012