Brayton Matthews, known as 44phantom, is a Seattle-based emerging artist who walks the line of pop and rock with deep storytelling, helping him increase recognition in the grunge pop genre. He created the name 44phantom in honor of a late second cousin and his family’s connection to the number 44.
Since his debut single “Break Your Heart” released in 2019, he has individually racked up over 600K Spotify plays.
Though he didn’t release his debut single until 2019, 44phantom has been making music for a few years.
He shared with Beyond the Stage (BTS) what sparked his passion for music creation.
“I started making music around 3 years ago,” Matthews said. “I’ve always been around it growing up. One day I realized I needed to make music because there wasn’t anything else out there that felt like what I was going through.”
While he started creating music in a more professional way around 2017, he wrote his first song at eight-years-old. A lot of his writing and recording stemmed from his move from Oklahoma to Seattle during sophomore year of high school. He experienced a culture shock, jumping from a school of 60 to 3,000 people. He then turned to writing and recording music to ease the transition.
However, his passion for creating music was something he realized when he was younger.
“I wanted to do this since I was a little kid,” he said. “For the longest time, I didn’t think it was realistic.”
Growing up, Matthews listened to everything from Kurt Cobain, Carrie Underwood, and Bob Dylan to Lil Wayne and Drake. Some of them even acted as an inspiration for him when creating his own music. Bob Dylan’s songwriting and Drake’s hooks stand out among them.
Speaking further on his musical influences, he shared that a Fleetwood Mac Fan favorite inspired one of his songs. “Landslide” served as an inspiration for his November single “all figured out.”
The icy guitar melody along with his soft vocal delivery explores an unrequited infatuation before eventually giving up. 44phantom penned the track and co-produced it with Jon Kilmer.
Watch the music video below.
“All figured out” follows his single “let’s be friends,” which landed on Spotify’s New Music Friday and Fresh Finds playlists upon its August 2020 release.
Earlier in the year, his EP Bittersweet came out in March. When asked about if much of it is based on personal experiences, he reflected back on his previous points about what inspired him to start making music.
“Yeah it is, like I said, I really like to write about what I’m going through.”
44phantom shared with BTS that “Poison” is his personal favorite from the EP.
It is also the most successful song on it. In his interview with us he shared why he thinks this song did so well compared to the others.
“I think it’s because the hook is dope!”
The song has over 408 thousand streams on Spotify, making it his second most played on the music service. The music video has also accumulated over 18 thousand views on YouTube.
Watch the music video below.
44phantom shared that he has some new songs and an EP in the works.
At the time of this interview, 44phantom had not released his latest single that came out yesterday on January 11. Issued with Sauce Only on streaming services, his song “holly” is the first of two being released in January 2021. They precede an upcoming project that will be announced in the near future.
Talking about what his new single means to him and what inspired it, Matthews shared.
“’Holly’ is about how fake this whole industry is. Just a bunch of people killing themselves while trying to keep it together.”
Before its release, 44phantom had shared that his favorite song he’s created wasn’t out yet. After the release of “holly,” we reached back out and asked if it was the song he referred to, and it was not. This means that even more great music is coming, especially if it beats “Poison” for that winning title!
While there aren’t any teasers he can share at this moment, make sure to keep up with him, especially towards the end of the month!
As we drew closer to the end of the interview, we talked more about 44phantom’s goals for his music and his . He shared his ultimate goal as an artist with us.
“I want to be the biggest entertainer of all time. PERIOD.”
He also spoke on some of his entertainers who he would choose to see live if he could only go to one concert for the rest of his life.
“Nirvana. I never got to see them perform.”
Matthews included that Nirvana affects and stimulates his music by adding a sense of “not giving a f**k” to his music.
44phantom shared the exciting things 2021 hopefully has in store for his music career.
“Yeah we have a lot of releases planned and some cool stuff we’re excited to share soon!”
He also talked about his excitement for planning and performing at live shows in the future in a safer world. A full-on tour is even being considered and is possibly in the works for this year. In speaking on it, he said.
“I’m very excited about it!…We’re definitely going to try and get on the road this year.”
To best keep up with 44phantom in 2021, follow him on Instagram @44phantom. Make sure to stay tuned this month to hear more about his projects and possible shows!
Listen to “holly” here.
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