rhymes with orange
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rhymes with orange

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The best kept secret in music


"Musician makes mtvU contest semi-finals"

Many people dream of becoming a famous musician, but most will never be able to attain anything close to a record deal. Brent Mathews, A&S '05, is making that dream closer to reality after being chosen as one of the top 10 semi-finalists of mtvU's Best Music on Campus contest.

An online voting process starting today will narrow the group to five, and contestants will proceed to a final round in which mtvU viewers will vote for their favorite artist. Executives from Universal Records and celebrity judges Akon and G. Love will also vote on contestants. The grand prize winner receives a record contract with Universal Records and will be able to produce a music video for MTV.

Mathews's interest in music began at an early age. As a young boy, Mathews began writing his own songs for fun. During high school, he played in a band at parties and local events and in his sophomore year at Boston College, he played with the band "The Crowding Out Effect."

His biggest source of inspiration for his songs stems from personal problems and events. "Being able to write down your feelings is definitely a purging experience," he said. "It's a way for me to get my feelings out. To put them on a page means it's not in my head anymore.

"It's [songwriting] something that I love to do. When I sit down, whether it's to listen to or write my own music, it's never hard for me because it's something I enjoy so much," he continued.

Currently, Mathews is a solo artist who goes by "Rhymes with Orange," a name that transpired from a conversation with a friend. Mathews described the name as one that possesses a distinct quality. "It has its own unique connotations," he said.

He decided to take a chance and enter the contest with his song "On the Inside." Mathews said that inspiration for the song came from "a breakup that I really didn't see coming."

"I had no idea that it was going to be happening," he said. "It's about one day waking up and realizing that the person you're used to being there for you isn't there anymore."

This North Carolina native plays acoustic rock with country and folk influences, using the piano and guitar to accompany his singing. Mathews's musical inspirations include artists such as James Taylor, Guster, The Eagles, and The Beach Boys. "James Taylor's writing ability is amazing," Mathews said. "The Eagles have also been a big influence. They have a lot of harmony and I try to make that a main focus in my music."

Reflecting on the current status of his music career, Mathews said, "It's all happened so quickly. It's just nice having some recognition for something that's so personal to me.

"The fact that some people in the music industry sat down and listened to the song makes me feel appreciated for my music. I think the fact that I got this far will hopefully open doors to other things.

Mathews said he has aspirations of being a performer, but would not limit himself to that career alone.

"My absolute dream is to be a performer, but I'd love to be involved with it [music industry] for the rest of my life," he said.

Starting today until April 17, voters can log onto www.mtvu.com to view short bios of the semi-finalists and download and listen to songs each artist has produced. In addition, mtvU, the channel from MTV Networks that is only available on college campuses, will be broadcasting segments in which they introduce each artist.

Mathews is currently working on a CD that is expected to be released in August.
- BC Heights

"Mathews reaches final five of contest"

Brent Mathews, A&S '05, is one step away from his dream come true. Mathews found out last night that he is one of five finalists for mtvU's Best Music on Campus contest, which awards its winner a record contract with Universal Records and a music video with MTV. The winner will be determined from a combination of the voting and input from G Love, Akon, and Universal Records executives.

"I'm ecstatic and shocked," said Mathews. "It's just amazing that I've gone this far. I never thought I would have even been considered in the top 10, let alone the top five." The other finalists will be announced publicly tomorrow on the Web site mtvu.com. "The funny thing is that they're all very well established musicians, with Web sites and a fan base. I've very rarely played out. This is just something I just recorded on my computer and sent in."

Mathews will find out the results on May 2. "This has given me more self-confidence in my music," he said. "Before, it was a side project and I had no reason to believe that I might be able to do something with it. This is something people grow up thinking about and most people don't have a chance to come this close to it. I'm almost there, but I just need some other people to help me out."
- BC Heights



--"On the Inside" (2003) *mtvU/ Universal Records Best Music on Campus Finalist*
--"While Walkin'" (2005) *Featured on 'Uptown Sound Vol. 1'*
--"In Moderation"
--"Ten Again"
--"From Her Point of View"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Personal experience seems to be the best writing influence. At least thats what Brent Mathews, a.k.a. 'rhymes with orange', draws from when he sits down to write a song. "Genuiness can't be faked. If I sit there and try to write about something that I've never touched or experienced, its obvious. Music is my voice, a window into my world, and my outlet". Recently selected as one of the nations best unsigned college acts, 'rhymes with orange' finished as a top 5 finalist for mtvU and Universal Records "2005 Best Music on Campus Contest".

"It all started as kind of a joke", says Mathews. Now the joke has turned into a full-fledged dream come true. Building a solid fan following in the Boston area, Mathews now lives in Charlotte, NC where he is currently working on the first full length album.

Many have compared the music to Guster meets Gin Blossoms, with Dashboard Confessional in between. Irregardless, 'rhymes with orange' is here to stay.