6-foot-7-inch Arkansas native Matt Stell played college basketball for Drury University for four years on an athletic scholarship. I was playing basketball in college. I graduated and my eligibility was up, and my chances of playing professional basketball were slim especially since I was just really tired of it. The being done with basketball part was really just me graduating. I started playing music in college over Christmas break. There’s a winter break here and basketball’s a winter sport and the whole school was on winter break but for five weeks I had to stay on campus and I was bored. Video games were starting to be boring too. My mom had gotten me this guitar when I was 12 and I asked her to bring it up. I just sat in front of my computer learning old Country songs, bluegrass songs, Southern Rock songs and things like that. I started writing songs just about as soon as I could rope four chords together. I knew right then that the bug had bit me and that’s what I want to do even though I wasn’t ready to fully commit to it.
Pictured during the on-stage presentation (above, left to right): Liz Cost, Sr. Director Marketing, SMN, Keith Gale, Good Company Entertainment, Ash Bowers, Wide Open Music, Barry Weiss, RECORDS, David Enriquez, RECORDS, Brendan Rich, Wide Open Music, Matt Stell, Josh Easler, VP Promotion Arista Nashville; Jamice Jennings, GCE Promotion, and Laurent Thomas, Director National Promotion, SMN.
I took a medical missions trip to Haiti, and it was the first time I ever got to see how the doctors, pharmacists, and medical professionals could improve people’s lives immediately and materially. That really struck me as something that was pretty special. I had been in Nashville and had some opportunities, but when stuff fell through, I was just trying to contemplate if I wasn’t playing music as a career, what would I do? I applied to this program and got in, so then I had a decision to make. I was pretty much going, and then about six weeks before I had to fully commit, I had an opportunity come up with my publisher and management now. That turned into an EP, which turned into a record deal, which turned into a single, so it was all pretty crazy, pretty interesting.
Prayed For You” along with Home In A Hometown,” a collaboration with Jimmie Allen, can be found on Everywhere But On. Catch Matt at a number of major country music festivals this summer including CMA Fest (Nashville, TN), LakeShake (Chicago, IL), and Watershed (George, WA) and learn more at , Twitter , Facebook, Instagram, YouTube @MattStellMusic.
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. (His high school AAU team once claimed victory over LeBron James) He went on to play college basketball at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, where he started playing guitar between school and team obligations. As soon as he could play Barre chords, he began writing songs and performing at a local bar. Music quickly became a passion, though he finished a master’s degree in communications at the University of Arkansas, did mission trips to Haiti, and considered medical school before deciding to pursue it as a vocation.
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.
Allison (one of the co-writers) had met what turned out to be her husband maybe a week before, so she was riding pretty high from that. So that was our point of departure, and then Ash other co- writer, and I tried to inject our own experiences into the song. We came out with a guy that’s a lot like me, who’s way luckier than he deserves in most aspects of his life.
In the early 2010s he released three albums independently: The Sound and the Story, Vestibule Blues, and in March 2013, A River Through It. 4 on 124 Records. He continued playing gigs, and opened for major artists including Luke Bryan and Eric Church He also wrote for other artists, including Bart Crow, Casey Donahew , and the John D. Hale Band. 5 He moved to Nashville in 2014.
Still, he was slow to try writing or playing himself. Stell was around 12 when his mother gave him his first guitar, which he promptly stowed in a closet and forgot about for eight years or so. Instead, he threw himself into basketball, getting good enough to earn an athletic scholarship and pave the way toward earning his bachelor’s degree at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri and his masters in communication at the University of Arkansas.
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.
Matt Stell’s debut single, ” Prayed for You ,” is already in the Top 15, and still climbing. Stell knew the song, which he co-wrote with Ash Bowers and Allison Veltz, was special, although he had no idea how quickly fans would latch on to the emotional tune.
In our most recent Swag Session, Stell joined NYCountry Swag in The Boogie Woogie Room at Mondrian Park Avenue Hotel to perform two songs Prayed For You” and an unreleased song Everywhere But On”, as well as chat with Founder Stephanie Wagner about new music, upcoming shows and what’s next for the rising artist.
Prayed for You” is also the Arkansas native’s first top ten hit, and has been streamed more than 90 million times so far. You’ll find it on his EP Everywhere But On.
Walker hit the top of the charts with country hits She Won’t Be Lonely Long,” Live Until I Die,” What’s It to You,” and If I Could Make a Living.” Yet Walker is convinced that his best music is yet to come, and that belief is showcased in his new album Long Live The Cowboy. This show is a rare opportunity to see an accomplished artist like Walker, with his innate sense of how to please an audience, in an intimate venue like The Bowl.
The first single from Matt Stell rises to number one on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart this week, making Prayed for You” the first debut release to top the chart this year.
Katie Neal and Jesse Addy came back to the stage to chat about Stell’s decision to forgo heading to Harvard Medical School to pursue his dream of writing and playing music in Nashville. Honestly, I haven’t regretted it once,…that’s how I knew I need to be playing music”.
The official Music Video for “Prayed For You” by Matt Stell featuring Savannah Chrisley. I love playing songs that matter to people because that’s the strongest connection you can make between artists and listeners.
Watch the full Swag Session above and take a listen to Stell’s music below. He then had to decide between medicine and music when he met Wide Open Music’s Ash Bowers, and was offered a conveted publishing deal.
Walker has been a Nashville icon for more than two decades and has made his mark on country music with over 5 million albums sold and six #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Country list.
Prayed For You” is really about preserving long enough in life to allow good things to happen to you, whether that’s a relationship, work, school, family, etc. The song just kind of emerged as the front runner when we put the EP out. For whatever reason the song just resonated with people. It’s been a really fun ride.
104-7 WZZK brings you another Downtown After Sundown, Tuesday August 20th with Matt Stell. You’ve heard his hit song Prayed for You” on ZZK, now come check him out for FREE at Zydeco. Doors Open at 6pm and as always we’ll take donations at the door to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Don’t Miss Matt Stell live at Zydeco, August 20th with 104-7 WZZK and 65-South.
Prayed was written by Stell, his manager Ash Bowers and Allison Veltz from the EP Everywhere But On. Arkansas musician Matt Stell to perform on ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ episode by Nyssa Kruse August 23, 2019 at 10:11 a.m.
I was playing basketball in college. I graduated and my eligibility was up, and my chances of playing professional basketball were slim especially since I was just really tired of it. The being done with basketball part was really just me graduating. I started playing music in college over Christmas break. There’s a winter break here and basketball’s a winter sport and the whole school was on winter break but for five weeks I had to stay on campus and I was bored. Video games were starting to be boring too. My mom had gotten me this guitar when I was 12 and I asked her to bring it up. I just sat in front of my computer learning old Country songs, bluegrass songs, Southern Rock songs and things like that. I started writing songs just about as soon as I could rope four chords together. I knew right then that the bug had bit me and that’s what I want to do even though I wasn’t ready to fully commit to it.
You could say 2019 has treated Matt Stell pretty stellar so far. Not bad for a guy who didn’t even pick up a guitar until he was 20 and who almost convinced himself music was just meant to be a hobby. Because Matt thought he had other plans. First there was sports. and then there was medicine. But it was the offer of his dream publishing deal that lead this former basketball player turned pre med student down the path that would eventually take him to the revered Opry circle”.
Matt: I would say it’s a tie between Bonnie Raitt and Alanis Morissette as my mother. I love alternative 90’s music. Even in the studio now, when I’m co-producing, I find myself making choices off things I heard in Jagged Little Pill. I I would flatter myself to say Waylon Jennings would be my father. I love his balance of sweet love songs but also this outlaw side. I just want to approach music in a similar way.