Music, like a human heartbeat, is never static. It is a living, breathing form of communication -- a spiritual means of expression that often awakens something deep within our subconscious, speaking to us in a way that can only be defined as transcendent. Matt Stewart, the singer-songwriter known as Waking Saints, lives to keep his finger on that pulse. "We think we have our eyes open," Matt says, "but then we have these moments in our lives when we truly come awake. Music can make that happen." A storyteller, lyricist and self-taught guitarist, Matt Stewart has been making his way through San Francisco's independent music scene since 2009.
The son of a mother who is a classically-trained concert pianist, Matt could not escape the presence of music in his life. "There were always instruments and sheet music lying around my mother's house," recalls Matt. Both Matt and his twin brother, Benjamin, studied piano while Matt also played the french horn, guitar and drums. Matt's love for music translated to other art forms and he soon realized that he had a passion for theater and an aptitude for dance. As an adolescent, Matt's natural talent for dance led him to pursue a career in ballet and the performing arts.
A native of Minnesota, Matt attended a local high school near Minneapolis before transferring to the exclusive Harid Conservatory, a ballet training school in Boca Raton, Florida. After completing Harid, Matt entered the Julliard School in New York City to study ballet, contemporary and modern dance. When he graduated from Julliard in 2003, Matt joined the corps in the San Francisco Ballet. His dance career has led him all over the United States and the world, giving him the opportunity to perform in China and throughout Europe. As a dancer, Matt is known for his ability to engage and captivate his audience so that the viewers feel like they are a part of the performance. He brings that same level of connection to his fans when he performs songs on stage.
Waking Saints fans love the catchy choruses and absorbing hooks of his songs, which include “Rocked,” “Losing Altitude,” and “Listen.” Yet, it is the storytelling power of Matt's lyrics that develops a personal bond with his audience. "I see the songwriter as a truth teller," defines Matt, who believes that music is his most authentic and emotive means of expression.
Matt Stewart's music is influenced by such diverse artists as Damien Rice, Bob Dylan, and Aaron Copland. With a "cinematic pop/rock" sound, Waking Saints is a catalytic collision of contemporary and classical music. He is lauded for the emotional depth of his lyrics and Matt inspires his audience to feel a sense of emotion - a glimmer of hope, even - in his songs.
Waking Saints began recording on a small-scale, creating music in his garage or in the home of his producer, Stuart Quan. As he gained momentum, Matt started recording in bigger venues, such as Firehouse Recording Studio in Los Angeles, Studio 1225 in Pacifica and Broken Radio Studio in San Francisco.
"I am excited about where this is going," says Matt. Waking Saints' EP will be debuting sometime in 2012.