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Costa's dedication is second to none

Costa’s Passion for Music Sets Him Apart From the Crowd


By Patrick Hickey Jr.

Armed with a passion and vigor that is rarely found in musicians today, people the likes of Matt Costa don’t come around often. Surrounded by a music industry flooded by commercial interests and mediocre talent, Costa has been a breath of fresh air in the Indy Rock/ Folk scene ever since he released his first major label album, “The Songs We Sing,” earlier this year.


An aspiring pro skateboarder before he became a full-time musician, Costa broke his leg in an accident that cost him any chance of attaining his life-long dream. However, during the year and a half the eclectic, Huntington Beach, California-native had to recuperate, he not only strengthened an already strong love for music, he mastered a style completely his own. Nevertheless, Costa still can’t believe he’s a full-fledged musician.


“I started playing the guitar when I was 12. I also played trumpet in the school band and before that a little piano, but it wasn’t until a few months before I broke my leg that I really got into folk music,” said Costa. “That sort of put me in a situation where I could dedicate more time to it, but it was never to the point where I was thinking that I wanted to become a singer or songwriter. I already considered myself a music lover and to this day, I still think that way and think of myself as a lover of music before I consider myself a musician, a songwriter or anything else like that. I believe the greatest music lovers and appreciators are the ones that want to pick up an instrument and want to do it themselves. I play music because I can’t help but be drawn to it.


 “I never thought that this was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life, even though I’ve always been drawn to music. My whole life, I’ve always been around it; I easily get lost in music.”


By the time Costa was completely healed from his injury, he was ready to start sharing his music with his family and friends. Combining his love for the music of Bob Dylan, the Carter family, Johnny Cash and various styles of progressive rock, Costa was immediately sequestered to perform live by them, but was originally hesitant.


“I would never play live at first because I felt like my music didn’t come off the same way. When I first started writing songs, I’d sit in my room and work on a song for a week and make it perfect. When I’d try and play live, I’d always feel that my songs were missing something. Eventually, my friends convinced me to play live more and I understood the difference between that and recording. The live recording captures a certain moment in time and sounds different because you’re soaking up all energy in the room. That’s what makes it special. It took me a while to realize that. By playing for my friends, I feel that that’s how I came into my own as a performer.”


It was only a matter of time before Costa’s music reached the hands of Brush Fire Records President and musician Jack Johnson, who immediately fell in love with his sound. Soon after, Costa’s first album on the label was released and he was on tour. Despite the moderate success of “The Songs We Sing,” Costa feels that the success still hasn’t sunk in yet. Instead of waiting to put his recent success into perspective, Costa is starting to begin work on his second album.



“Right now, I’m just trying and focus on the next thing; the next song and the next record. I just want to put more of myself into this album. I feel it’s my gift and my duty to make people excited for the new music. I’m getting so excited myself playing new songs.”


Playing at the Bowery Ballroom on December 9, Costa’s musical mastery will be available for everyone to enjoy. Always happy to come to the Big Apple, Costa feels that the New York City crowd brings something special to each show that can’t be found anywhere else. Even though he’s never been in the City or the five boroughs long enough to bask in its beauty or eat a hot dog at Nathan’s, it’s still a special place for him to play.


“This will be the third time I’ve played at the Bowery and every time I’ve been in New York, there’s been a great vibe. Being in the city, you feel that vibe already. What makes New York City special is the fact that people see great shows all the time, so they really know what they like. I always feel like I have to put on a better show for everyone there.”


Exemplifying the idea of a passionate musician, Costa’s dedication alone is sure to make him more than a few new fans before his career is over.


To comment on this article, e-mail Mr. Hickey @