Matisse

Matisse

BandR&BSinger/Songwriter

Smooth, snyth heavy r&b, soul with electronic sonic soundscapes. Drum beat heavy.

Biography

Just hit the play button and it's not hard to see why Much Music and music critics have already labelled this musical prodigy as an artist to watch. And if you haven’t heard of him yet, you haven’t really been listening.

The 26-year-old singer/songwriter Matisse debuting in 2003 and has already shared the stage with Talib Kweli, The Black Eyed Peas and R&B heavy-hitters John Legend and 112.

His new single “Round N Round,” debuted in Fall 2007 and has already garnered huge popularity on Facebook.com and MySpace. New York hailing songsmith and producer Mark McKay of Dangerous LLC created the single’s signature mixed-genre sound. To follow Matisse’s smooth vocals, the single EP is backed up by an edgy music video directed by television and commercial up-and-comer Matt Mitchell. Popular FLOW 93.5 FM radio show, OTA Live has Matisse’s new single inching its way to the top of the chart with the help of local fan votes. But behind the glossy new music video, radio requests and MySpace and Facebook friend adds, Matisse says he’s still just an artsy kid from a small town.

When he’s not writing and rehearsing, Matisse books shows for corporate events and bar mitzvahs, he also bartends for Bay Street types at local restaurants in between gigs. “Sometimes I look at my career so far and I feel like I’m standing outside of myself,” says Matisse. “A lot of my childhood friends are still in my life and they knew me when I was trying to do something with my music. To me, we’re just these crazy guys from London, Ontario who believed we could do something, we didn’t know if we could, but we’re making things happen.” And Matisse is in very good company. He’s backed by scensters like party promo moguls Bryan Brock and T-RexXx (creators of Shuffle, a monthly party held at College St. nightclub, Revival) who help Matisse promote his music and book live monthly performances. During the event, he recorded a live EP entitled Matisse & The Playground, with Matisse backed up with a full instrumental band and Montreal-based deejays, Team Canada.

The artist started his career sneaking into bars and night lounges at the tender age of 15. Swiping his older brother’s ID he entered local break dancing and singing competitions held in local London watering holes like defunct Hillbilly Willie’s and Phoenix nightclub. His big win – a $100 prize – came after he impressed judges did with an effortless one-handed back hand-spring and finished his solo performance with a finishing vocal riff and not a hair out of place. Friends dubbed a young David Maurice Francois, Matisse (after French painter, Henri Matisse) at his art-focused high school and the moniker stuck. High-schoolers named Matisse “most likely to become a performer.” He saw the well-wishing as a good omen. “People could always see the artist in me,” he said. “So I decided to really pursue it. Music has been my passion for as long as I can remember. It’s always been something I’ve been passionate about.”

Not surprisingly, the young musician flourished in art-focused high school Sir Wilfred Laurier and while his classmates where he spent countless hours composing music, pounding his piano keys and scribbling music lyrics. He’d choreograph school talent shows and help other aspiring young artists with their lyrics. “For a while I helped my friends produce their music and just stayed in the background. I was really into the creative process and composing the music. I always loved the artistic side of it.” Matisse entered countless local talent shows dancing to Kris Kross in front of a school assembly and even started his own boy-band, singing R&B covers from 112, Blackstreet and Boyz II Men.

As a boy Matisse would entertain family members and sometimes he’d even hop on display pianos in department stores and malls, serenading shoppers and anyone who would listen. “I always loved to perform, it was always something that felt natural to me. I feel very comfortable on stage.” He and friends would get their kicks performing in downtown London’s Victoria Park and trendy clothing and entertainment strip Richmond Row for passersby.
A classically trained musician (he plays piano, more impressively he tickles the keytar and sings a mean love song) Matisse says he stands out from many R&B crooners because he actually has a hand in his music. No dream team writers help Matisse with lyrics, the artist executively produces all of his work. And his love of performing and creating his own original sound is what landed Matisse successful high-profile gigs. In 2006, his rousing vocals wafted over the ears of an event coordinator for the Toronto Raptors basketball team, who immediately felt Matisse would be a great fit for the team's season games. Matisse became one of several performing acts for the 2006/2007 season and playoff games. “When most artists try to focus on celebrity and flash, I focus on live music and performance,” he sa

Discography

5 frame interlude EP
Matisse & the Playground Live CD
Love, Life N Lust EP

Radio tunes
Weekends Here from 5 frame interlude
Better Dayz
Round & round from Love Life N Lust EP

Set List

set length 20 - 30 mins

featured originals from Matisse's

5 frame interlude EP
Love, Life N lust EP

typical covers range from alicia keys, John Legend, to
Al greene and Marvin Gaye,