Matthew Sydney Talks Fort Lauderdale Love, Metallica, and GLBT

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Matthew Sydney describes his music as romantic, funny, and inspirational, and he isn't wrong. The composer, actor, and visual artist performs not just songs but puts on a whole show for the audience.  

His life, it seems, is devoted to music. He is host of a weekly internet radio program during which he interviews other artists and plays music. When asked if he has a day job, Sydney responds with candor: "My day job quit me. Do you know anyone who's hiring?"

His quirky personality comes through when talking about growing up. A local since he was in elementary school, he says, "I consider Fort Lauderdale my hometown."
He adds, "Props to Piper High School in Sunrise and to the Metropolitan Community Church and Compass of Fort Lauderdale for doing right by me! If it weren't for them, I might have been another teenage suicide statistic." Openly gay always and active in the GLBT community, he found the area diverse and accepting. "I was shocked when I was in college and started meeting people who grew up in other parts of the country where people are still way behind the times." He believes that the whole community, gay or straight, should support its youngsters and give them respect, gay or straight. 

"The only way being gay has influenced my music is that when I wrote my first love song, I had to decide if I was going to be honest and refer to my love interest as he or lie and sell out and use the pronoun she." Since then, he's found that people of all sexual orientations appreciate his talents -- oftentimes, the straight dudes more than the gay. "Maybe because I was listening to Metallica and Nirvana when the other kids were listening to Madonna and Mariah," he muses. "I'd rather watch kickboxing than RuPaul's Drag Race. I'm just that kind of guy." 

Even so, he never thought of compromising himself in terms of putting up a straight front. "It's my duty to the next generation to be honest as an artist. It would be hypocritical of me to write songs about women and ask a girl to be my date at public functions only to come out after I've achieved mainstream success." No offense, Ricky, but Sydney's keeping it real. 

A "variety show" format at his shows allows Sydney to showcase other artists' talents, his own music, and put on a special event for the crowd. He incorporates storytelling and banter, wears costumes, and plays with props. 

"Every show is different," he says. "Props might vary from beach balls and sparklers in July to red candles and black tablecloths in October. I always create an atmosphere for my guests." He wants everyone to have a good time and feel involved. Apparently, there was even a debacle with an electric hula skirt he was given by Lady Gaga's designers.

At his upcoming album-release party at Mara in Lake Worth, he'll be performing both an acoustic and electric set, demonstrating all the sounds on the new album, The Game. The busy man also hosts an open mic at the venue each Wednesday from 8 to 11 p.m. All music all the time, Matthew Sydney is the host of his own show. 

The CD-release party takes place 8 to 11 p.m Saturday, February 25, at Mara, 1132 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth. Admission is $10 and includes a complimentary copy of my new album. He'll also be performing with Felicia Rose, Sophie Sputnik, and J.J. Crowne, winner of
indiemusicdigest.com's 2011 best album of the year.


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