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always knew that music would someday consume his
life, even from a very young age.
One of Mason's earliest musical memories was the time his
family took him the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.
It was then that the young boy informed his
would someday step foot on that very stage to perform.
Fast forward years later, Mason did in fact perform on the stage of the Mother Church of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, as a finalist on the 2012 reality singing competition, CMT's Next Superstar.
roamed the halls backstage that night, seeing all who have come before him, Mason's vision of his
dream was clearer than ever.
was crowned the show's winner, Mason
made it his
mission to deliver traditional music straight from his
Born in Indianapolis, IN, Mason would always jump at any opportunity to sing.
At age 16, while vacationing in South Florida, Mason
father into letting him enter a local talent show.
performance of his
favorite country songs, Mason's fire only grew for that lifestyle.
continued to hone his
craft even further by playing regionally in his
home state, opening for acts like Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, Vern Gosdin, Brian McComas and Mel McDaniel.
graduated from high school in 2005, Mason
belongings and finally made the move to Nashville to pursue his
beat the streets of Music City until he
finally landed himself gigs playing down on the famed Lower Broadway in popular bars such as Tootsies
and the Stage.
While it was fulfilling, Mason
still wanted more.
When the opportunity presented itself for Mason
to audition for USA Network's
country music singing competition, Nashville Star, he
gave it a shot, placing in the 10 finalists selected to be showcased on the program.
placed fourth in the show's 2006 season, coming in close behind winner Chris Young.
didn't let the outcome of the show dampen his
It only taught him to keep fighting for his
"The Nashville Star experience was a great foundation," notes Mason
"It gave me insight to how the TV world works and it also taught me things to watch out for or stand up for when cameras are around.
I learned what to be careful about."
went back to playing Lower Broadway, as he
continued to network around town.
The pressure to succeed got the most of Mason
during that time; he
entered into a dark phase, surrounding himself with drugs and alcohol.
But with the help and support of his
friends and family, Mason
got through to the other side with plenty of life experiences to turn into music.
Soon after getting back on his
long-time girlfriend, and together they started a family - daughter Ella and son Waylon.
entered into 2011, Mason
received a phone call from the William Morris Agency
in Nashville about a new singing competition they felt was right up his
alley: CMT's Next Superstar.
felt the opportunity could be the push he
needed to break through into the world of country music, but he
"At first, I didn't really want to do it because it was another reality TV show, and I didn't want to be the reality TV show guy," Mason
"That's not the persona I want people to see me as ... the guy who goes from one reality show to the next.
But at that point I had nothing else going on.
I was playing Broadway four nights a week, and I had a family that I had to support, so I needed to make something happen."
The decision was a wise one for Mason
, as he
was named the winner of the show in June of that same year.
"It was a fun experience," Mason
says of his
time on the show.
"It was a different experience than Nashville Star was because they were showing people what artists have to go through to get ready to be in the music business.
It was a good show."
Part of the prize package for Mason
winning the show included the privilege of opening up the 2011 CMT Tour, featuring headliner Luke Bryan, as well as Josh Thompson and Lee Brice.
Since the show's end, Mason has been hard at work in the studio putting together his debut album with legendary record producer, James Stroud, but hasn't forgotten about the ones who helped put him in that position ... his loyal fans.
As a special thank you his
has released multiple six-song EPs - Chasing Stardust and America's Favorite Pastime, both of which are available online.
"I didn't want to make my fans wait any longer to get their hands on some new music," says Mason
"They were so good to me during the show and have continued to support me to this day.
The plan is to continue to give them these side project EPs while the full album is being put together."
It's just a matter of finding time to get the project done.
Since winning CMT's Next Superstar, Mason has been touring coast-to-coast bringing his music to his fans in many of the nation's largest markets which has continued to expand his fan base.
"I never want to stop dreaming big," Mason
says of his
future in country music.
Matt Mason - Eye on the ...
Matt Mason - Eye on the Prize EP - production, bass, percussion, keyboards, lap steel, vocals
Studio / Producing | Ted Russell Kamp
Matt Mason - Eye on the Prize (2011)
Matt Mason is a great singer/songwriter and guitarist from Claremore OK.
The basic tracks for the record were recorded at a few different studios in North Texas and Oklahoma and it was finished at Modern Sound Recorders in Denton.
had been in a great hard rock band called Hurricane mason for many years.
We wanted to feature his
growth as a writer, singer and player by having moments of his
classic rock background as well as his
love of country (the Gram parsons cover 'She') and wonderfully fluid and soulful acoustic playing too.