Career Capsule: I was a worship pastor for 15 years at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, and I have had the privilege to write, record, and produce songs over the years with some very talented people. Worship has been my passion, and I’ve seen people’s lives be impacted by songs I’ve been a part of, and that motivates me to keep creating. As a pastor, I’ve always had a heart for people, specifically the artists, which led us to start Awkng Records. Awkng Records is all about the artists, and our goal is to come alongside them to put out their content while also being a family to them. Many of the issues out there today with artists are that they don’t have someone in their corner encouraging and pushing them along. At AWKNG Records, we want to really pastor our artists and be there for them.
Matt, Tell us about what’s new with you, your latest adventures, happenings at AWKNG Records?
Personally, I have been writing a lot with different artists and local worship pastors. I just released a new single with Simple Hymns that I co-wrote with Jesse Reeves and Steve Fee titled, How Great You Are. As far as AWKNG Records goes, we have 2 new artists that we are getting ready to release music for. We are a one stop shop as a label and we also work with independent artists for distribution, Publishing, etc….
Since you have a such a busy schedule, how do you best manage your responsibilities and priorities?
Get a great team around you to support the vision and get everything scheduled out and assign owners to projects.
Complete this sentence: The best way to get a new artist recognized is to____________?
Get them in front of as many people as possible that can help promote/push their music. (Radio, Publicist, ect)
Generally speaking, how do you see the state of Christian radio?
Unfortunately, radio, in general, is all about what is popular and already charting. We need small and large format stations to give good songs and smaller startup artists a chance with some airtime to have some exposure.
Regarding record sales, how has it changed ….please explain?
People don’t buy records anymore; it is a 100% streaming business now, in my opinion. So, you have to have an incredible marketing team behind you to get streams.
What promotions with radio have you been involved with personally that are most memorable?
I personally have only been involved in a few radio promos, but they were all memorable. I remember the excitement of hearing a song I wrote on the radio for the first time, and everyone had tuned in to listen to the song and interview and posted and commented about it.
Do you feel the record/radio relationship is still as important as it has been in the past………..explain how its same/different?
I feel that the Record/Radio relationship is VERY crucial! We need the radio to help with spins for our artists and get them out there. It is also crucial to the money side as radio spins are worth more than streams, resulting in payouts for everyone.
What people in the Record business do you look up to, or admire for their accomplishments?
Marketing people for sure as this is an ART within itself to get the word out and target the right audience in the ever changing digital world.