matt stell – Golic & Wingo Interview

Raised mostly in Center Ridge, Arkansas, with some time spent in Central Florida, Matt Stell grew up listening to a mix of classic country, country-rock, blues-rock, and rap while making a name for himself in basketball.

Matt Stell – Watch The Full Performance Of Matt Stell’s Prayed For You

Matt StellMatt Stell’s star is on the rise, with an EP due out in the spring of 2019, his April 27 Grand Ole Opry debut rapidly approaching and plenty of attention being given to his current single, “Prayed for You.” The song resonates with a diverse fanbase in part because each of its three co-writers – including the artist himself – brought their own perspective to the subject matter. Matt Stell, our Swag Spotlight for the week was born in Central Arkansas and now lives in Nashville. His passion is writing and performing, but it wasn’t always the obvious choice for his career path. After moving to Nashville and trying his hand at being a professional songwriter and artist, he had taken a medical missions trip to Haiti and saw how the doctors and nurses were able to change people’s lives drastically. After returning home, Stell decided to turn down a pre-medical program acceptance at Harvard Law to stay in Nashville and change people’s lives with his music. We discussed how that trip changed his life in so many ways. Well, you can’t go there without having that place have a profound effect on your life,” Stell says. It took only a few hours to get there and it may as well have been on a different planet.” He came home with a serious gratitude for the way we are able to live and for the ability to make a living doing what he loves.

This evening, one of our recent Swag Sessions, Matt Stell performed at Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 for Nash FM 94.7 and some very lucky NYCountry Swag winners. After a warm welcome from Nash FM 94.7 DJs Jesse Addy and Katie Neal Stell took the stage to give the listeners at home and in the studio audience a sneak peek at some new music and play his current single.

The last time an artist topped the Country Airplay chart with a debut single was nearly a year ago, when Jimmie Allen made it to number one with Best Shot” on November 24.

Reason Why” is a song that sonically and vibe-wise, if left to my own devices, I like big, dark sounding songs that almost sound like arena rock but with country instrumentation: Arenacana I like to call it. Those are the types of bands I want to go see. It’s actually a positive song, but it comes from this heavy, dark place sonically that I really, really love.

The song has already had more than 40 million streams and it’s the lead single from his EP Everywhere But On, which is released on Friday. Stell almost pursued a career in basketball but the call to make music proved too strong.

Matt hails from a small town in Arkansas. One which he is grateful to have grown up in, and makes a point to get back to see him family as often as he can. The Arkansas native’s first love, was not music however, but basketball. It was basketball that took him to Drew University in Springfield, Missouri. It was there, Stell’s love for music kicked in as he found himself hiding his developing songwriting career from his college basketball coach much of his senior season.

After years of chasing what was starting to seem like a pipe dream in Nashville, Stell and his future fiancée took a medical mission trip which again changed his course. Working with doctors and nurses to help disadvantaged patients in dire circumstances, he felt inspired to make a difference, applied for and was accepted to the post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Harvard extension school.

The new record is a compilation of seven songs, all co-written by Stell. One of the tracks is of course, the singer’s lead single, Prayed for You.” The coveted love song is currently climbing the charts, and we suspect that it will be Stell’s first top ten song, sometime in the near future. Co-written with Allison Veltz and Ash Bowers, Stell pours his heart out on the lyrics, singing a love letter to the girl of his dreams, whom he dreamt about and prayed for before he found her. Stell played this song for us, during our live Swag Session back in September.

Justin Moore, the PLATINUM-selling entertainer, will hit the stage in Reading with rising star, Granger Smith, and Arkansas native, Matt Stell at Santander Arena on Friday, November 1st, 2019.

As a kid who split his time between his home turf of Arkansas with his dad and Florida with his mom, music was never much in the picture. So much so that the guitar his mother gifted to him at age 12 stayed tucked away until college when the 6’7” athlete became bored on his holiday breaks at Drury University, where he had a scholarship to play basketball. Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees eventually followed and so did local music tours in the South and Midwest once Matt taught himself how to play, write, and sing.


The Arkansas native performs his top fifteen single, Prayed for You,” next Tuesday during the wedding of Paradise alums Krystal Neilson and Chris Randone in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Country newcomer Matt Stell has received continued praise for his breakout single, Prayed For You”. The love song was not only picked up on all three of Spotify’s leading country music playlists including Hot Country, Wild Country & New Boots, but was also included in NYCountry Swag’s What We’re Listening To: September Picks” playlist.

While his fan base in country music is growing, he’s not too new to the spotlight. Standing at 6’7″, Stell played college basketball after graduating high school.

Matt Stell has burst onto the country scene with his single Prayed For You The track written by Stell, Allison Veltz and Ash Bowers has already racked up over 13 million (with an m”) streams on Spotify, is featured on listener favorite playlists like Hot Country and New Boots and has just gone to radio.

Matt Stell is an artist on the rise with his breakout single Prayed For You shooting up the charts. A musician from Arkansas will be featured in an episode of the reality TV show “Bachelor in Paradise” that’s set to debut next week.

The Arkansas native performs his top fifteen single, Prayed for You,” next Tuesday during the wedding of Paradise alums Krystal Neilson and Chris Randone in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Stell’s schedule for the next few months is booked with shows from California to Georgia. “It’s hard to stay too far from home and family. I always love coming home,” said Stell.

Though inspired by time he spent as a student on a medical mission to Haiti, Stell realized when he reached that crossroads that music was the path he was destined to follow. He made the move to Music City around 2014, rented a room from a friend for a while, started playing writer rounds and eventually was signed with Wide Open Music. Headed by songwriters Ash Bowers and Steve Williams, the management firm guided and supported Stell as he stepped decisively down the road — the right road — toward what he now knows he always really wanted.

In this first video Matt shares where he calls home” and his childhood. He reveals some of his early influences and talks about going to college to play basketball. Matt reveals when he was bitten by the music big, how he taught himself to play guitar and what his what his Plan B” might have been if music didn’t work out.

I’m so excited about the Opry debut, I can’t wait. I have so many fond memories. My dad passed away a little over a year ago but before that he and my stepmom along with two of their friends came to Nashville to visit me. We went to the Opry and watched Will Hoge and Luke Combs that night. It was really great. It’s a memory I cherish from that time. I remember thinking that night what it might be like to step on that Opry stage and step in circle, and I get a chance to do it. I’m just beyond excited. I got a bunch of friends and family coming to town for it as well so it’s going to be really special.

We recently welcomed a team of writers to the NYCountry Swag Squad. With that, we’re excited to share a new monthly feature with our What We’re Listening To” playlist, where we’re highlighting the wide range of our team’s favorite songs and artists when it comes to the country music genre. At the end of the day, we are all fans first with a passion for country music and are eager to share with you all what we’ve got on repeat each month.

The second video features Matt explaining when he knew music was his dream. He also shares that he wanted to write and perform both from the very beginning and why. Matt tells the story of how his publishing deal came about and how one of his songs led to getting signed to a record deal.


After teaching himself to play guitar and sing in college – moonlighting at local venues under a fake name after basketball practice – Stell finished up grad school and began writing with Red Dirt stars like Casey Donahew, who he met on the regional tour circuit. Tapping a diverse love of artists whose songs read like stories – Randy Travis, Bonnie Raitt and the Drive-By Truckers, to name a few – Stell’s own words began making waves, with songs like Whiskey Baby” and Small Town Love” hitting Number One on the Texas Radio chart for Donahew, and raucous live shows pulling him to Nashville in 2014.Matt Stell


On Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, Stell was also named to Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart, clocking it at #4. Grab Stell’s EP by clicking on the album artwork below and watch our full interview above.

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