Life Beyond Walls

Imagine the best summer camp you can think of… now make it for adults, with expert instructors, breathtaking surroundings, legendary sponsors/exhibitors, and all the inspiration you need to unleash your sense of adventure. Through my partnership with the awesome team at Icebreaker merino apparel, I was blessed with the opportunity to provide the music for both the Utah and California events; and I can tell you that there is nothing like hiking up a ridgeline to 9500ft overlooking Salt Lake, and then climbing down to play a show under an endless canopy of stars to a crowd nestled around firepits, that’s a surefire way to renew the soul and feel inspired.

Although I’d heard of Smith sunglasses and ski goggles before (how could you not living in the Pacific Northwest), my first real experience with Smith was at the absolutely incredible Pursuit series of events this past summer.I am someone who is constantly reading and writing music, so something that’s not so cool is the fact that my eyes aren’t so great, and it can cause a bit of an issue due to fatigue and interferes with productivity, so the crystal-clear vision that my Smith lenses provide is a huge step up in my everyday process of creating. When I’m out in the sun looking at the mountains over Vancouver, my Chromapop lenses let me see the world differently. By taking a step back from my music and recharging my mind, my Smith sunglasses help by protecting the windows to my soul.

I was beyond stoked to be able to play at the Pursuit Series. I’m a soul blues musician with a modern twist, and beyond anything else, my music is driven by passion. So it only makes sense for me to share my music with people who are driven in their fields of employment, and passionate about the great outdoors like me. I’ve been passionate about music since I can remember, that song in my head that I just had to get out, the story that had to be told, in a language that we all feel deep in our souls. 

For some it’s the whistle of the wind against the rock face, the hum of your tires as you fly down the mountainside, or the rhythm of your feet on the track, but for me it’s the beautiful chaos that is the blues. I grew up playing classical guitar, but listening to all the greats that inspire any blues player, and of course I progressed through all the classic rock that guitarists are always drawn to, but when I write, it’s always a conversation between the soul and brain; between the side of me that could listen to B.B. King play one note for hours, and the side of me that relishes the haunting complexity of Radiohead or Jeff Buckley. Ever since I moved from my home in New Zealand, to Canada, I’ve been performing as a one-man band; drumming with my feet, playing and singing. That fight for a balance between complexity and simplicity might just be between my hands and feet, but I strive to make you truly feel the music like I did when the song came to me.

Sometimes the biggest trap I fall into when it comes to songwriting is shutting myself away and inevitably becoming a very frustrated musical hermit, and although that occasionally works, there’s nothing as effective as getting out of my comfort zone. Whether it’s a few weeks on the road, driving down from my home in Vancouver, Canada to California to camp in the redwoods. Or living simply and having fun by long-boarding or skim-boarding. It could be living life beyond walls playing among the mountains of Utah. Or chasing adrenaline, breaking free of convention and habit never ceases to reignite the musical flame. I feel like all musicians are secret adrenaline junkies in one way or another, the rush of performing and being on the stage is pretty intense, and I guess it carries through the other aspects of our lives. If I’m not playing music, I’m always trying to push the boundaries of what I can achieve, to live life without regret. So whether it’s getting tattoos, eating super spicy food, or extreme sports, I’m there.

As a modern musician, you have to stand out from the crowd image-wise too, and being a bald guy, I can’t exactly change my hairstyle, so I love the bold look of my Smith Cashout, and Dagger for helping me make feel confident and in control on stage.

At the moment I’m working on releasing my debut album, which should hopefully be coming out in the first half of 2018, so keep a check on or for updates. I’ve never been more excited to share my work with the world so I absolutely can’t wait for you to hear it! In the meantime, you can check out my demo EP on Bandcamp and iTunes or check out some videos on Youtube.



Instagram: @matthoylesmusic

Twitter: @matthoylesmusic




-Matt Hoyles

Be on the look out for Matt's New Album set to release April 21st 2018