Matt Holubowski

Born to a Polish father and a Quebecer mother, Matt Holubowski grew up in Hudson, a bucolic village west of Montreal. It wasn’t until he was 17 that he decided to pick up the guitar, in part out of admiration for his cousin, also a musician. His first influences were much heavier (Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Disturbed), which led to him joining a punk band in CEGEP as a guitarist. At that point, he still didn’t have much of an interest in singing. In 2008, he discovers Elliott Smith, an artist that would become a revelation for Matt, who days later quits his band, sheds the electric and picks up his first acoustic guitar. So begins a transition into the soothing world of folk that would also ultimately lead to finding his voice. An avid traveller and lover of the world and its diverse cultures, he signs up for a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Concordia University, and also finds himself abroad for a semester at Sciences Po, Paris. Until then, music had been more than a passion project than a serious career ambition, but he still made the rounds in various bars and restaurants around Montreal. He further pursues his travels and writing throughout Uganda and South East Asia, regions that would leave an important mark on his future compositions. At the start of 2014, he who had intended at this point on becoming a teacher, finally takes the decision to give music a real chance. He returns to Canada and begins putting his songs together into a record. 15 months later, in July 2014 he quietly puts out an album called Dzold mandz under the pen name DzOgendz to a small crowd of about a hundred friends and family. Partly inspired by a painting that a friend and coworker, Lydia Marier, created of him as an old man, the album is a contemplation on the art of getting old with grace, and according to one’s own rules. It’s a diary of sorts that relates how throughout the adventures of the previous five years, he regained a lost feeling of youthfulness. 100% homemade alongside his main collaborator, Connor Seidel, Matt Holubowski writes all lyrics and music, and accompanies himself with the guitar, ukulele, mandolin and harmonica. His greatest inspirations – Bob Dylan, Ben Howard, Alt-J, Patrick Watson, Dallas Green, Radiohead, among endless others - contribute to transporting the listener into his musical universe. A month later, Matt receives an invitation to audition for the popular television show DzLa Voixdz. After being unanimously chosen, he embarks on an adventure that would change his life. While the show was airing in January 2015, Matt was off and away again, meandering Egypt with some friends. His song of choice, Burn, By Ray Lamontagne, creates a gigantic

impact, and he quickly understands the impact of the performance as he becomes buried in a sea of love through social media. Upon his return home, he is submerged in album sales, and decides to quit his job as a bartender to focus on fulfilling the orders for his new and very numerous fans. Hardly expecting this amount of success with the album, Matt had not set himself up very well to mass produce a sleeve that was literally hand-stamped, party handwritten and assembled by hand. Having imagined selling maybe a few hundred copies at most in a lifetime, he avoided a standardized product that would be factory-made. Still, in spite of the overwhelming task at hand, he managed with the help of his friends and family to create and sell almost 10,000 copies. As a finalist of La Voix, under the tutelage of Pierre Lapointe, Matt managed to accrue not only a large following from the public, but also from within the industry. As a result, once the show ended, the record deals piled up fast. Moreover, he is also offered a spot in the illustrious Montreal International Jazz Festival, where he sells out all 450 tickets of his show in 30 minutes, and is consequently offered a second show at the mythical montreal venue, the Metropolis, which also ends up nearly selling out. A series of shows throughout the province ensues, where the public is inevitably seduced by his voice and captivated by his songs. On September 9, 2015, Matt Holubowski finally chooses to ally himself with Audiogram, beloved local label and producers of reknown names, such as Isabelle Boulay, Pierre Lapointe, and Daniel Belanger. By November’s end, the first – and very spontaneous – tour will end, and Matt will head out once more into the wild with his backpack, as he journeys through Central America to begin penning his next album, scheduled to be released some time in the fall of 2016.

Regina Folk Festival 2018. Be there.