Video Feature:  “Girl You Think You Know

My Silent Bravery’s lead singer/writer Matthew Wade Confronts Social Media Pressures Facing Young Women
In recent song “Girl You Think You Know” and new single “18,” Wade focuses on being comfortable with your true self—letting go of the perception of others, being happy with your own identity and not being afraid to own who you are.

Indie rock band My Silent Bravery shines a light on the pressures young women face to project a perfect life online. Their poignant video for “Girl You Think You Know,” has already earned over 197,000 views worldwide, and the track hit #3 on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales Chart.

Wade put his current music in the context of the #MeToo movement, and expressed hope that these songs can help show that there are men out there who are sensitive to this subject matter. With that in mind, Wade has also recently partnered with The Good Men Project ( He comments, “Our goal is to be socially conscious through spirituality, perseverance, not giving up and continuing to spread a positive message of helping others overcome their obstacles. In my partnership with The Good Men Project, the difference is that opposed to through the music, I am doing it through a weekly written article or blog. My column is called #MyNotSoSilentBravery.”

We talked with Matthew Wade about his songwriting, the challenges that this new generation is facing with social media, the personal challenges he’s overcome, his spiritual compass, and how he continues to remain positive.

with M Music & Musicians magazine publisher, Merlin David

How did the idea of “Girl You Think You Know” come to you?
A couple years back, I wrote “Girl You Think You Know’ with my good friend and producer Jim McGorman. We were talking one morning about the different ways people project themselves on social media and how often times it comes off as inauthentic. I had mentioned an article I read on how this teenage girl from New Zealand had a massive social media following on Instagram from posting instant pictures. It turned out all of the pictures were pre-planned. It made us think about some of the pressures people encounter with social media and how they feel the need to post things in order to get the most amount of fanfare. In particular, how difficult it must be for the younger generation, and women in particular, to grow up in this day and age with the pressures that come with being on social media. This is something that Jim and I didn’t have to deal with when we were growing up.

What are some of the challenges of social media?
People get popular without really doing anything—just posting pictures—nothing that has taken much effort. It begs the question: Are we all striving to be something we’re not? In the bigger picture, the song is very timely—with Harvey Weinstein and the “Me Too” movement—we hope positive change can come from bringing attention to certain topics. I hope there is more empathy for women. But men should be able to relate to this as well.

How does your spiritual compass and your positivity come through in the music you make?
Positivity didn’t always come easy to me. I had to have a lot taken away from me in order for me to realize how blessed I actually was. When I was 21, I had a sports injury—which changed my life. I was traveling in Australia and working out in the gym, and ended up herniating a couple of discs in my neck. The injury led me to do a lot of soul searching for pain relief—which led me to spirituality, more specifically Kabbalah. As a result of my studies in Kabbalah, and working on myself, I realized I wanted to give back to the world at large—and music was the vehicle I wanted to use to help spread a positive message.

How were you able to be positive during a difficult time?
I honestly think everything happens for a reason. My injury was the biggest challenge of my life so far. But from the biggest challenges rise the greatest blessings. The injury helped me recognize it’s important to pay it forward and help others. I want to create music that inspires, helps and motivates others to overcome their challenges. When I write songs or go out and play shows, I learned that it’s not about me—it’s about the audience. My hope is that they’ll feel more uplifted after the show—than before they came. I want fans to walk away feeling inspired—knowing they can achieve what they set their heart and mind to do.

Is there a new album coming soon?
Yes. The new album is called Willing to Try, which I co-wrote with Jim McGorman. The album features twelve tracks and it will be released in three separate EPs over the next year or so. Sonically, the new songs blend modern synths and keyboards along with acoustic guitars and atmospheric electrics.

Who inspired you to write songs?
I would say my biggest musical influence is Bob Marley. I love how he promoted a message of peace and unity with his music. It’s something I try to adhere to with my music. There is a philosophical and spiritual vibe to a lot of his music and lyrics. I have some of that in mine, but built with my own way and beliefs. He’s definitely my favorite though. I am a big fan of Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Pearl Jam, The Police, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, and countless others.

Tell us a little about your creative process—for writing songs.
I write a majority of my songs on the guitar. I usually come up with a chord progression that feels good and inspires me. Then, I’ll come up with a melody for the lyrics over that. Usually, the lyrics are the last thing to come, and it’s a lot of refining from there. It’s like putting puzzle pieces together, but it’s an unbelievable feeling when the puzzle is completed.

What inspires you?
Most of my inspiration comes from life experience. I feel I really have to be emotionally connected to a song in order to go out, perform and promote it for an extended period of time. Every song has its own story and inspiration. I find I need the songs to resonate internally if I want others to be moved by them. For me, each song is a story, and I try to tell the story to the best of my ability. I hope listeners connect with the stories, get drawn into them, and relate emotionally to how it applies to their own lives.

What songwriting tip would you like to offer?
The best tip I could give at this point is to be open to collaboration and other writers’ ideas. My first several albums, I wrote a majority of the material on my own because I felt I needed to have complete ownership of the material. The last couple of years, I have been co-writing nearly all my material, and it has opened me, and my music, up to so many different possibilities and ideas. I feel the music has benefitted significantly.

How did Jim McGorman shape or inform the music?
We met two years ago, through manager Evan Stein. Jim was Avril Lavigne’s band leader. He has worked with Cassadee Pope, Poison, New Radicals, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and is now playing with Gwen Stefani. He brings a wide range of knowledge. Working with him feels organic.

Tell us one experience where something unique inspired you to write a song.
I often wonder this same thing—as a listener of music. There are quite a few songs that were inspired in this manner, but the one that comes to mind first is a song called “Destiny.” It is the first track from my first album, Uncharted Territory, so it’s a special song to me—and a personal favorite. I was watching The Last Samurai directed by Edward Zwick (I am a fan). I was inspired to write about the idea of destiny. In the movie, they mention the idea of destiny quite often and how one’s destiny finds them. I remember thinking the idea of destiny seemed so abstract, since it will be different for each individual. I liked the idea that you had to go through the process and come out the other side—to know the meaning behind it. I focused on that concept. That song and idea also sparked the title of the album. The chorus goes: “This is all uncharted territory; destiny is our destination; every day is a second chance at something; if you knew then, what you know right now.”

Which instruments/equipment can you not live without?
My instrument of choice is the acoustic guitar. Over the years, having played many brands of acoustic guitars, I ultimately fell in love with Gibson’s acoustic guitar. I have a couple of different models, the Hummingbird Pro and the SJ-200, which I am in love with. I am extremely humbled and honored to be endorsed by Gibson. It’s easy to be a brand ambassador for them.

Any accessories?
I’m not a huge gear guy, but I have a couple of Boss pedals (Delay, Tuner, Chorus Pedal) that are amazing. I like the BBE Acoustimax preamp—I use it in my live rig and enjoy it because it levels off my high trebles and low bass, and puts the sound in a mid-range, which I personally like. I’m a fan of the Kyser capo. And for strings, I like Elixirs and D’Addarios, depending on the guitar and the set-up. I’m happy with both of those.

Who are the Top 5 Musicians who inspired you to become a Musician?
I was always a big fan of the front man: Bob Marley, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder, Anthony Kiedis, and Beastie Boys.

Top 5 favorite albums of all time?
Music (1993) – 311
Legend (1984) – Bob Marley & the Wailers
Crash (1996) – Dave Matthews Band
Sublime (1996) – Sublime
Ten (1991) – Pearl Jam

Was there a specific moment when you realized you were meant to be a musician?
I remember the moment I chose to be a musician. I wrote my first song when I was 18. We had a senior project in high school where you could learn about anything you wanted to. For me, that project was liberating and an epiphany of sorts. Up until then, in school, I was always told what I had to learn, and since I was always playing sports, I didn’t have free time to learn about subjects that interested me. It was refreshing because it gave me that ability to pursue a personal interest. Up to that point, aside from sports, I hadn’t had many interests. Music gave me that opportunity to explore something I was genuinely interested in. So I wrote my first song, and it got national attention. It was a song called “Side of the Road,” and was featured on the TV show One Tree Hill.

What Performing Rights Organization (PRO) are you with?
ASCAP is my PRO. Over the years, they have been especially useful for licensing—helping to track my songwriting royalties for song placements.

Tell us a moment you found yourself saying, “Wow, this is really happening to me!
In 2003, I was driving home from a recording session in NH back to MA. It was the early stages of my music career. I was working on my demo record and we recorded some parts for a song coincidentally called “These are the Moments.” While I was driving home, I played the song to listen to the new parts we had just worked on in the session. Tears started streaming down my face. I couldn’t believe I was really getting to play music.

Do you remember the first time you heard or saw one of your songs?
It’s always exciting when I hear a song on the radio or see a song on the screen. One of the more memorable ones was that song placement on TV’s One Tree Hill. A recent one was hearing my last single, “Got It Going On” on satellite radio—Sirius XM’s The Pulse. The single went on to be featured on five Billboard charts, so that was extremely exciting. It made me feel like I was definitely onto something with my new material.

Have House Concerts allowed you a better opportunity to reach your audience?
House Concerts, and especially Online Concerts, have allowed me to reach a ton of new fans—as well as provide a very intimate and authentic experience. It’s an important part of being an artist, and it gives the fans a unique experience to become engaged and develop a friendship with the artist. I think it goes a long way, and they appreciate it and respect it.

Best advice someone has given you.
To follow my heart and surround myself with a good team of people who believe in me.

Best advice you’d like to give upcoming musicians or your teenage self.
Follow your dreams. Stay humble and hungry. Surround yourself with positive people. Be willing to try new collaborations and experiences.

What’s next?
“18” will be released today. “Girl You Think You Know” was released at the end of last year. I will release Willing to Try—Chapter 1 EP. I also have some tour dates coming up. I’m truly looking forward to the year ahead.

Where can your new fans get more info and stay updated?

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