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Matthew John Corby (born 7 November 1990) is an Australian singer-songwriter. He achieved his commercial breakthrough with his fourth EP, Into the Flame (2011), which peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA Singles Chart, and by April 2012, was certified 6× Platinum by ARIA. His 2011 single "Brother" and his 2013 single "Resolution" both won ARIA Music Awards for Song of the Year. He is the 26th Australian male singer and the 100th Australian act to reach the number one position on the ARIA albums chart with his debut album Telluric (2016).
Corby performing in Oslo in 2016
|Birth name||Matthew John Corby|
|Born||7 November 1990|
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Tour
- 5 Discography
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Corby was born on 7 November 1990 and raised in Oyster Bay, New South Wales. Corby attended Inaburra School in Bangor, New South Wales where he grew up steeped in gospel; his passion for music fed first by renditions of 'His Eye is on the Sparrow' and later by a love for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Along the way his talents were shaped by experiences both mundane and quite remarkable: touring with a church band called Iron and Clay, a stint working in Subway, music scholarships, support slots and talent shows; until by his late teens he found himself burned out, bewildered and unsure just where to take his music next. It took a trip to London, shortly after his 18th birthday, to begin his path back to creative contentment. Playing low-key shows and falling in love with music again, it was there that he would meet with label Communion (home to the likes of Ben Howard, Marcus Foster and The Staves) and find himself encouraged to learn the craft of songwriting, to understand the marriage between the force of his voice and the words it carries.
2007: Australian IdolEdit
At age 16, Corby auditioned for the fifth season of Australian Idol, where he finished as runner-up. He described participating in the competition as being a "big fucking mistake," describing how the struggle to forge his own identity post-idol was bigger than most could have seen from the outside. "I took all the negatives out of that (Idol) and thought ‘Bugger, I’ve ruined everything'".
2009–early 2011: Song For... EPEdit
On 5 June 2009, Corby independently released his debut extended play, Song For..., with Scorpio Music. He then relocated to London and was signed with the indie label Communion by the label's owner, Ben Lovett, of Mumford & Sons fame. On 28 May 2010, Corby's second EP, My False, was issued by Communion. On 20 October, after recording with Ian Grimble (The Libertines, Seasick Steve) and released his third EP, Transition to Colour. From late 2010 to early 2011, Corby played numerous live shows in London and in February, he performed at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. He returned to Australia to play Secret Garden shows in fans' backyards throughout the country. In July, he supported UK band Elbow on their tour of Splendour sideshows.
Corby's track "Made of Stone" was featured on an episode of Underbelly: Razor in 2011 and on ABC's Brothers and Sisters. "Lighthome" was in an episode of Home and Away in 2011, and "Song For..." in 2012 on the same TV series. Corby recorded a cover version of INXS's "By My Side" for the band's album, Original Sin, as a bonus track for the iTunes edition. He was featured on a track on Julia Stone's debut solo album, The Memory Machine, and on UK singer-songwriter Passenger's track "Golden Thread," from the 2010 album Flight of the Crow. The EP also featured in The Blacklist starring James Spader.
Late 2011–2012: Into the Flame EP and "Brother"Edit
After a few months of writing, Corby spent September 2011 recording his fourth EP, Into the Flame, with producer Tim Carr. The EP showcased a new direction for Corby, including soul-influenced, growling vocals along with a bluesy melody, in conjunction with Corby's signature folk style. The title song has been described as "lyrically raw and endearingly honest." The EP also features a duet with keyboardist Bree Tranter, previously a part of Australian band, The Middle East. The EP provided Corby's first entry on the ARIA Charts, where it reached No. 46 on the ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart on 4 December 2011. It subsequently peaked at No. 3. Upon its release, Corby posted a message on his website and Facebook page:
After 12 months of lots of ups and downs, I'm so excited to share this EP with you. I honestly felt like giving up music back in April but all of you inspired me again. It's been an incredible few months re-connecting with all of you in gardens around Australia. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. It's been said by others before... but you guys really are the best fans ever. Let's stay close on this journey.
By December 2012, Into the Flame achieved 6× platinum certification by ARIA, making it Corby's most successful release to date. Corby supported the release of his EP and its single "Brother" with a national Into the Flame Tour. It included a mini Secret Garden Summer Tour around New South Wales. In January 2012, Corby was named the 'Next Big Thing' and won 'Song of the Year' for "Brother" at FBi Radio's annual SMAC Awards in Darlinghurst, New South Wales. He premiered his rendition of The Black Keys' song, "Lonely Boy," for radio station Triple J's segment, "Like a Version", with hosts Tom and Alex, along with an acoustic rendition of his own song, "Brother." Both have since received significant attention online. Corby secured a support slot with Feist in Adelaide on her 2012 Australian tour. Early in 2012, he toured throughout the US and UK. Corby's song "Brother" was voted into the No. 3 position for the Triple J Hottest 100, 2011, and his cover of "Lonely Boy" was voted at No. 69 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2012. Corby released a Digital iTunes Session EP on 7 December 2012, playing five of his songs from his previous EP's acoustically on guitar and one on piano, as well as a rendition of "Amazing Grace." Corby spent the first half of 2013 in Los Angeles, working on his upcoming record, due for release later that year. Corby was nominated for three 2012 ARIA Music Awards, including two nominations in industry voted categories, Breakthrough Artist and Best Male Artist. He won the publicly voted Song of the Year category. The newly recorded version of 'Made of Stone' can be heard on the NCIS television promo in the USA.
2013–2014: "Resolution" and the Resolution EPEdit
On 21 May 2013, Corby released another single titled "Resolution." It became his first charting single, reaching third on the ARIA Charts under the category of the top 50 Australian artist singles of 2013. The song also charted in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, becoming his first charting material in those countries. On 12 July 2013, the Resolution EP was released, containing the single and three new original songs. One of which, "Lay You Down," entered the ARIA Charts at number 75 despite receiving no independent promotion.
In December 2013, "Resolution" won the ARIA Award for Song of the Year. On 13 December, Corby released the Live on the Resolution Tour EP. Its five original songs were recorded live at the Australian and New Zealand shows, including a cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Almost Cut My Hair."
Resolution was voted in eighth place in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2013.
Corby toured Europe playing shows and festivals including Latitude and Glastonbury.
Corby got involved with a Brisbane-based arts collective called "Museum Collective," described on their Facebook page as an "Audio Visual Sensory Experience." The band also features Rohin Jones (who is Museum Collective's musical director), Bree Tranter & Michael Haydon, formerly of The Middle East, as well as Lyndon de la Cruz, Kahl Wallis (of The Medics), Bud Rokesky and Tom Wearne. Museum Collective ran free performances at Brisbane's Old Museum building in September & December and also at Woodford Folk Festival on 28 December 2013.
In January 2014, Corby released the song "What the Devil Has Made," arranged specifically for the Spirit of Akasha soundtrack. The surf documentary was inspired by the 1971 film, Morning of the Earth. He recorded all parts of the track – including harmonies, flute and guitar – on his own in his home studio. The soundtrack also features Corby's version of Tamam Shud's "First Things First" (originally used in the 1971 film).
In February 2014, Corby joined his friend Matthew Heggarty from Matthew and the Atlas to record backing vocals on the track "Another Way." Both vocal parts on the song were recorded separately.
Also in February 2014, Corby's song "Breathe", from his 2010 EP Transition To Colour, was featured in the closing scenes of the 21st episode of the fourth season of the popular US teen drama / mystery thriller TV series Pretty Little Liars, entitled She's Come Undone.
2015–2016: "Monday" and TelluricEdit
On 1 October 2015, Corby released his first song in two years, "Monday," from his debut album, Telluric. The song was described as containing "lush, transcendent harmonies, wailing falsetto, folky boom-claps and heartbreaking lyrics." The song reportedly took 10 minutes to record, and was laid down in a cottage in the NSW coastal town of Berry where he wrote and recorded most of the album. Corby said to Matt and Alex of Triple J: "It's stomping on the ground and clapping. It feels good to have that as a composition in a weird way, it's just your voice and everyone who would maybe want to do a cover of that if they so wish, it'll always sound different because they'll have to harmonise with their own [voice]."
On 3 February 2016, Corby released another track from Telluric, titled "Knife Edge."
Corby finished touring for Telluric in September, playing over 100 shows in ten months throughout the world.
2018-present: "Miracle Love", "No Ordinary Life", "All Fired Up" and Rainbow ValleyEdit
Corby released his first song in 2 years titled, "No Ordinary Life" on 3 August 2018.
On 7 September 2018, Corby announced his 2nd studio album Rainbow Valley, released 2 November 2018. The album was the highest local debut of the week in Australia, charting at #4 on the ARIA Album Charts beaten only by the A Star Is Born soundtrack at #1 and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Greatest Hits at #2 and #3. He also subsequently released the second, third and fourth singles from the album, titled "All Fired Up", "All That I See", and "Miracle Love".
In February 2019, Matt released a mini-documentary 'Behind Rainbow Valley' documenting the recording and creative process of the Rainbow Valley album. Speaking of the influence of his newborn son Hugh on the creation of the album, Corby states "I wanted to create something that was almost instructional for my little boy... A reference for him of the way I see reality and the simple truths that I’ve come across. The lyrics are simple truths. I’m not trying to be too clever or poetic. If anything it was, ‘This is the way I see the world and this is the way I feel about it’."
Matt will also be embarking on the 2019 Rainbow Valley Tour in Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, starting in Glasgow on 24 January.
Corby stated that he enjoys surfing and reading.
By the time he was 20 he was reading books on philosophy and neuroscience, the latter because he wanted to know how the brain functions, partly because of his experiences with depression and anxiety. "People have said I have depression before, especially when I was younger," he offers. "People were like, you should really go see someone. But I just thought, no, I'm pretty sure the human brain is capable of so much more than what I'm being told I'm capable of. When people say you need help it's like, do I? With what? And if you could just tell me what I need help with, couldn't I just go and work on it myself?" His search for self led him to spiritual authors such as Eckhart Tolle, and to experimenting with magic mushrooms: "You take mushrooms and then you go, I have no problems," he explains. "I am an ant walking around this planet in a speck in the middle of nowhere. And that's the truth, it's all we are."
Corby's musical influences include artists such as Jeff Buckley, Lauryn Hill, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Sufjan Stevens, Patrick Watson, Scott Mathews, Nick Drake, Nina Simone, Otis Redding, Bon Iver, Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, Charles Bradley and Sam Cooke. Corby is good friends with Australian musician Jarryd James, whom Corby credits with having helped with his musical development.
Corby has an older sister Grace, whose name is tattooed on his left side.
Corby is not religious, having said: "I'm a stoner and I don't really have much sympathy for religion any more [...] I basically believe that human beings are pure entities when they're born, and they have the ability to do whatever they want in order to change the Earth in a positive way. And it's just... they get lied to, and in the process of becoming an adult that ends up fucking up the world."
In early 2018, Corby became a father with his first child, Hugh. Speaking to Beat Magazine regarding the way fatherhood has changed Matt's perspective, he states "Most of my life, music has been the number one focus. And now it sort of doesn’t fit in that category anymore – it’s really important, but, it’s not as important as my child...When I come back to music, I’m then a lot happier and it’s not like I’m constantly exposing myself to only music, and then getting really annoyed about it, or getting hard on myself."
The current live touring band consists of:
- Matt Corby – vocals, guitar, flute
- Michael Haydon – drums
- Tristan "T-Bone" Thorne – bass guitar
- Bree Tranter – keyboard, backing vocals, flute, tambourine, egg shaker (ganzá)
- Joel Dowling – guitar
- Jack Standen – keyboard, backing vocals
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Transition to Colour||
|Into the Flame||
|Live on the Resolution Tour||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"My False"||2010||—||—||—||—||My False|
|"Made of Stone"||—||—||—||—||Transition to Colour|
|"Brother"||2011||—[B]||32||—||—||Into the Flame|
|"No Ordinary Life"||2018||—||—||—[C]||—||Rainbow Valley|
|"All Fired Up"||—||—||—||—|
|"All That I See"||—||—||—||—|
|"Talk It Out"
(with Tash Sultana)
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
Other charted songsEdit
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Lay You Down"||2013||73||—||Resolution – EP|
|"Sooth Lady Wine"||2015||93||—||Telluric|
|"Light My Dart Up"||2018||—||40||Rainbow Valley|
|2010||"Lighthome" (Live at Studio 301)||—|
|"Made of Stone"||Alex Roberts|
|2016||"Empires Attraction"||Alex Katzki|
|2018||"No Ordinary Life"||VJ Ego|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2012||Matt Corby||Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year||Nominated|
|"Brother" – Matt Corby||Song of the Year||Nominated|
ARIA Music AwardsEdit
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2012||"Brother"||Song of the Year||Won|
|Matt Corby||Breakthrough Artist||Nominated|
|Matt Corby||Best Male Artist||Nominated|
|2013||"Resolution"||Song of the Year||Won|
|"Resolution" directed by Bryce Jepson||Best Video||Nominated|
|Matt Corby||Best Male Artist||Nominated|
|Matt Corby||Best Live Act||Nominated|
|2019||Rainbow Valley||Best Male Artist||Pending|
|Rainbow Valley||Best Soul/R&B Release||Pending|
|Dann Hume for Rainbow Valley||Producer of the Year||Won|
|2009||Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition||Final 12||Nominated|
|2011||FBi Radio SMAC Awards||Next Big Thing||Won|
|Song of the Year ("Brother")||Won|
- Sales of the Resolution EP were later counted towards sales of the single, as it was released in that format first.
- In Australia, the Into the Flame EP appeared on the Australian Singles Chart. Sales of songs on the EP, including "Brother" went toward the sales tallies of Into the Flame EP and therefore could not chart individually.
- "No Ordinary Life" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 27 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.
- "Talk It Out" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 13 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.
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- Matt Corby – Song For... (iTunes) iTunes – Retrieved 14 January 2012
- Matt Corby – My False (iTunes) iTunes – Retrieved 14 January 2012
- Matt Corby – Transition to Colour (iTunes) iTunes – Retrieved 14 January 2012
- Matt Corby – Into the Flame (iTunes) iTunes – Retrieved 14 January 2012
- Matt Corby – iTunes Session (EP) (iTunes) iTunes – Retrieved 14 January 2016
- Matt Corby – Resolution EP (iTunes) iTunes – Retrieved 22 September 2013
- Matt Corby – Live On the Resolution Tour (iTunes) iTunes – Retrieved 21 March 2016
-  United Kingdom charts portal. Chartsplus. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
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- "Talk It Out by Matt Corby & Tash Sultana on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- Other charted songs in Australia:
- "Lay You Down": http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/23790/20130819-0001/Issue1221.pdf
- "Sooth Lady Wine": Ryan, Gavin (19 December 2015). "ARIA Singles: Justin Bieber 'Love Yourself' Racks Up Second Week at No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
- Matt Corby – Letters video YouTube – Retrieved 14 January 2012
- Matt Corby – Lighthome: Live at Studio 301 video YouTube – Retrieved 14 January 2012
- Matt Corby – Made of Stone video notes – Retrieved 3 August 2010
- Matt Corby – Resolution video notes – retrieved 23 May 2013
- MattCorbyau (20 October 2015), Matt Corby - Monday, retrieved 26 September 2016
- MattCorbyau (23 September 2016), Matt Corby - Empires Attraction, retrieved 26 September 2016
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- "ARIA Awards: 2019 ARIA Awards Nominated Artists Revealed". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 10 October 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- APRA/AMCOS Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition – 2009 Final 12 Archived 17 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition – 2009 Final 12. Retrieved 14 January 2012
- FBi SMAC Awards 2012. smacawards.com. Retrieved 14 January 2012