Music has been a top priority for Matt Hunter as long as he could remember. This year, the 21-year-old New Jersey native has already opened up for his buddies CNCO, released a track with Lele Pons and, most importantly, has made thousands of fans scream. Prior to his musical success, the DM singer was the voice of Diego on Nickelodeon’s Go, Diego Go and a Broadway star. Matt (AKA the Latino Justin Bieber) is just getting started with the music, but he’s already thinking about paving the way for the younger generation. “It’s a great career. Now, for me to actually be doing it, it feels like I’m living the dream,” he tells HOLA! USA.
“There’s millions of kids out there who would love to be in my position. I’m really grateful to God for having given me the opportunity to influence the younger generation because they need to have people to be able to look up to.” In this edition of New Now Latinx, Matt shares how Justin Bieber influenced his career, and why it’s not so bad being compared to the pop star, what he’s learned from CNCO and lets us in on what he has coming next.
HOLA!: You went from Broadway to Go, Diego Go, to a solo career in a short time. How has your evolution been?
"It's funny that you said evolution because that’s what I want to call my album. I’ve been through so many ups and downs, it’s really been like a roller coaster through so many chapters of my life. With Broadway and then going to TV, and then not having anything because they took me off. So, I was like ‘how do I get into music?’ I used to call labels and ask them if they could sign me, I used to call lawyers, everybody, and no one gave me the time of day."
You took it into your own hands and went to NYC and performed on the streets ala Justin Bieber. How much influence has he had on your career?
"Justin is the reason why I wanted to become a singer. I saw him performing on Good Morning America and thought ‘this kid is killing it,’ and I told my mom one day I’m going to be there. So then I just went on the streets of New York, I had an amp and my brother would play on the guitar. I did that because I saw that Justin did that. He did it because of his passion for music, and that’s what music is for me. I don’t do it for anything other than the love I have for music."
You mentioned being friends with Christopher from CNCO? Has he offered any advice?
"Chris hasn’t given me any advice, but I've definitely learned a lot from him. He's a really good songwriter and an amazing vocalist. We have similar work ethics, when I say that I mean that we’ll stay up until 10 am making music. I remember seeing these kids on La Banda and I was like ‘Damn, these kids are really good singers.’ I’ve been following them for a long time and seeing their trajectory and it’s been really impressive seeing them do tours all around the world. That's really what my dream is to one day do."
What’s next for Matt Hunter?
"What’s next? A world tour, you have to dream big. I'm never going to be comfortable with just being where I am now. I want to perform in countries where they don't even speak Spanish or English. I feel like music is a universal language and it connects people, to me as an artist and making music, seeing people happy singing my songs is what gives me the energy to do this."