Matt SimonsView In iTunes
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A native of Palo Alto, California, singer/songwriter Matt Simons' first taste of success came, ironically, in Europe. Trained in classical and jazz and proficient on a number of instruments, Simons had moved to New York to ply his trade as a pop craftsman. His passionate, piano-led songs were at the heart of his self-released 2012 debut, Pieces, which he marketed online using social media. To Simons' surprise, he'd suddenly gained a small but dedicated following in the Netherlands and, after traveling overseas to play a handful of shows, his music was championed by a prominent television writer. Soon he was a minor celebrity in Holland with an album that had reached number 23 on the Dutch charts. On the strength of his single "With You," he struck a deal with Sony in Europe, focusing his efforts overseas while remaining relatively obscure back in the U.S. With a larger budget than before, Simons wrote and recorded his follow-up album working with various producers in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Holland. Released in 2014, Catch & Release fared even better than his debut, climbing high into several European charts thanks in part to a Dutch house remix of the title track that became a number one hit in Belgium the following year. ~ Timothy Monger