Film & Stage Interviews Music

The Many Faces of Andrew  Matarazzo

You’ve seen him on screen, but have you heard him on Spotify? Martyna Rozenbajgier in an exclusive interview with this rising star.

There is a lot on the horizon for this multi-talented, up and coming musician and actor from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Andrew Matarazzo had his big breakthrough in the acting industry on one of MTV’s most popular shows: Teen Wolf. Matarazzo’s credits also include the upcoming film He’s All That, All Rise, animated series Solar Opposites and more. Beyond acting the 24-year-old artist is trying to make his mark on the music industry. Andrew started off by posting covers on streaming platforms and, at the end of last year, he had his breakthrough in the industry when his first single Omerta came out. Additionally, Andrew started writing his first novel BEDLAM and at the beginning of 2020 he published the book on Wattpad.

  Acting has always been a part of Andrew’s life, but at first, it was just a hobby for him. He used to put on shows around the house for his parents and in the middle school he joined drama class. Although Andrew only started taking acting seriously when he saw River Phoenix’s performance in Stand by Me. “I watched the movie Stand by Me when I was 13 and River Phoenix’s performance made me realize that even at that age (he was close to my age in the film) I could take acting seriously. I started treating my drama classes more like training than just a fun side class.” After seeing the movie, the young artist realized that he doesn’t need to be an adult to become an actor and started focusing and putting a lot of hard work into school plays. Andrew put memorizing lines over hangouts with his friends. He studied Shakespeare in London and he then continued with a course in performing arts at CalArts in Los Angeles. However, Andrew only had his big breakthrough as an actor when he joined the Teen Wolf cast where he played Gabe in the final season. His role was supposed to guest star in only two episodes. But the show’s creator Jeff Davis was so fascinated by Andrew’s performance he decided to extend his contract and make Gabe one of the pivotal villains. Andrew has been a part of quite a few projects and played different types of characters, nevertheless, he would love to be a part of a historical movie. “I would love to play historic characters or period pieces, but ultimately I just love roles that make me think outside myself and explore opinions and ways of life that are different than my own.”

  Andrew loves being an artist and bouncing in between his two passions. “I think it just makes living through life a lot more full and colourful. I see things a lot differently than a lot of my non artist friends and I find intrigue and beauty in a lot of things. Acting is my true passion and music is the love of my life. I didn’t know that you are meant to choose between the two but luckily I don’t have to!” However, an artist’s life is not always full of great projects and glory. Behind closed doors there is a lot of hard work they put in into their performances and many challenges such as rejection. Being declined for a role might be the most difficult thing to deal with in an actors’ career. It can easily put them down and make them doubt their talent. Andrew’s way to deal with rejection is to stay busy and get involved with other projects. “Keeping inspiring, motivating people around me and putting my energy into other things so I always feel like I am staying busy and creative between jobs – writing, music, etc.”

“Acting is my true passion and music is the love of my life. I didn’t know that you are meant to choose between the two but luckily I don’t have to!”

  Apart from acting, Andrew has always been enthusiastic about music. In school, he was one of the few boys who could sing which led him to get bigger roles in all the school musicals. Over the past few years, he has gained more confidence in his voice and started publishing covers before starting to work on his own original music. “I started in musical theatre then started gaining confidence in singing beyond that through my musician friends. We’d play casually together and I’d sing along. Eventually, I filmed a cover for YouTube with a friend and when it got positive feedback I had more confidence to keep going and finding my own style of music.”

© Gerson Lopes

  Andrew was able to find his style and voice through covers he was doing, at first, it was just for fun. After receiving a lot of positive comments he started taking it more seriously and considered it more of a potential avenue. When it comes to covering a song, he focuses on music that rings true to him instead of something that is popular at the moment and would garner a lot of views. “I don’t like to force myself to cover songs or sing if I don’t FEEL the lyrics or vibe of a song. I like to sing when the words mean something to me, even if the song isn’t mine, I like to make it my own. When I hear a song I want to cover or have an idea for a track, I know immediately. It hits me in a different way.” His covers brought the attention of several people that work in the music industry, especially after he covered Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, which passed over 1 million views on YouTube. Andrew then started working on some original music and the first song that he’s featured in called Right Right came out last fall. “I think it was the perfect intro into my own music. The track was written with me in mind to be featured, so it was already my sound and style and I was able to write my own verse to fit my persona for that particular song. I think it gave me a great push to start my own single with confidence.”

  After planting a seed of his original work in the industry, Andrew released his first single Omerta on Christmas day. He tries to find something to tell before working on lyrics, to stay authentic and tries to find a persona behind every song he works on. “I love songs that have a story and a persona behind it. I imagine my body of work will be many different sides of me like different characters but there will be a common style that ties them all together. I love infusing Latin flavours into my music but I always want my music to focus on the vocals and energy of the song rather than focusing on just making a good beat. My first song is definitely a combo of everything I want to emulate for future songs. It’s a tough persona/character but I try to showcase my voice along with the heavy beat.”

  In between acting and music, Andrew loves to write stories. And when the lockdown happened he found some time to publish his first book BEDLAM on Wattpad. It was available to read on the online reading platform until now due to the preparation for the long publishing process. The novel tells the story of a group of teenagers who have to find a safe place for themselves after a mysterious virus changes into a full pandemic. They have to get through the city which is full of infected beings. “The idea was in my head for a while, but lockdown gave me time to put in the work. I wanted a story about characters from all different types of backgrounds and with different personalities being stuck together to get through hard times. I chose a post-apocalyptic backdrop to the story, but it’s more about the characters and their relationships to one another.” Andrew received a lot of great feedback, which actually motivated him to start writing a sequel of BEDLAM. “It was wild! Obviously, a great feeling and very motivating. I had no plans for a sequel but now I’m working on it because I was inspired. I will definitely have more writing projects in the future.”

You can follow Andrew’s journey here:

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