Canadian singer and songwriter Matt Holubowski from Hudson is popular with French Canadian audiences in Québec and is an emerging voice in the indie-folk genre.
Holubowski spoke with Imprint on a busy day from Los Angeles, where he is currently on tour, fresh off his release, Wild Ones.
But to get as far as he is now, Holubowski highly credits his 2014 release Old Man for really kick-starting his career.
“Old Man was basically like a collection of songs that I’d written since forever and new ones that I wrote when I came back,” Holubowski said.
Holubowski finished university in 2012. At the time, he did not feel ready to commit himself to a “real job.” He instead travelled the world with money he had saved up working as a server, collecting memories and experiences that would eventually contribute to the creation of his album Old Man.
One of these memorable experiences, Holubowski recounts, is that of his trip to Uganda.
“Just before [my trip to Asia], I went out to Uganda for a couple of months, and I was helping film this documentary in the north of Uganda, and a couple of the songs came from there,” Holubowski said.
“Mango Tree” is one of the songs from Old Man that came from this trip, written while sitting under a mango tree in northern Uganda.
Soon after the release of Old Man, Holubowski got to work on his second record, Solitudes.
“I had started to play a lot more music, so I began taking it a bit more seriously and started to sort of live off of music. I had more time to practice and to hone my songwriting,” Holubowski said.
Solitudes marked a change in Holubowski’s music career.
As he puts it, it allowed him to bring together a band, turning songs into more than just raw acoustic tunes.
“I’d just signed with this label in Montréal, and I got them to help me out, and I just went like ‘Oh here at bands that I really like, local bands that I really appreciate in Montréal,’ and I was wondering if they might be interested, so my label helped me reach out, and it kinda started out that way,” Holubowski said.
He found the vibe between the band and himself so strong, personally and musically, that it evolved into them recording music and touring together.
“Twenty days turned into 50 turned into 75 into 200 until we performed a lot. We spent a lot of time on the road together, and we became like a great little family and the music really evolved.
When we recorded the record, we didn’t know each other. As we got to know each other better, we kinda took [up] space in the band a little more comfortably, and the sound really evolved kinda into where this new one is,” he added.
Solitudes opened up Holubowski’s music to a broader audience and earned him two nominations at the 39th ADISQ Gala for Album of the Year and Concert of the Year, Anglophone categories.
From there, Holubowski found himself crisscrossing Canada, the United States, and Europe, performing nearly 200 concerts.
Holubowski describes his music sound like a cross-genre one, saying that fans characterize his music as alternative folk.
“In my case, I think people are just describing it as alternative folk maybe because it’s still kind of folksy cause it has the rootsy elements, piano guitars and such but a lot more modern sounding stuff as well,” Holubowski said.