Matty Dass otherwise known as Cunabear isn’t just offering an album release show tonight. This is an experience. We are at the QuoLab, a house venue, found in the Starland District of historic Savannah, Georgia. It’s intimate and authentic. The perfect platform for independent artists to showcase their projects in a welcoming setting.
It’s impossible to confine his sound to one or three genre’s, but in his own words, it’s jazzy, psychedelic, lascivious art-rap. He’s very lyrical, the type of stuff that makes you do a double take. The type of stuff that makes you look up the lyrics to catch the double entendres. The content is so vast you cannot confine his message either. Somehow the chill melodies coupled with some random sound bites, it works. One can wonder just how it will actually translate into a live show. But that’s what we came for tonight.
Matty is so genuine, with the occasional nervous laugh. This is new territory for Cunabear, with just a handful of live shows under his belt. In the past he focused on producing a curated collection of tracks. With an impressive amount of recordings (10 albums in total), it’s been a long time coming. Nowadays, he’s picking up speed after collaborating with a well known female MC in Savannah, Valore.
A: So what can we expect from your show tonight?
M: “Me and my Sp404 doing our thing.”
That’s exactly what we got. From first glance, Cunabear is probably the coolest lookin cat in here. Clad with an awesome vintage shirt he no doubt picked up from Candice at Ziggy Nicks, he gives a humble introduction and kicks it off. The set takes place in the living room of QuoLab. On one side there’s Matty and his SP404 , as promised. The other side there’s Mana Machine running the light show, which is essentially two of those overhead projectors your teacher used in middle school to teach you multiplication on. Combine that with his stage presence and perfect execution of flows and beats, he is undeniably a born entertainer. The ambiance of the room is incredible and at one point you get the feeling that this is more like a private listening party. There is a lot of pride and love coming from the room. He closed with Dem Bones, which has an intro that is very reminiscent of early 2000’s Atmosphere. We were given everything and more. There will be footage to come! In the meantime everyone here at TealCheese implores you to check out Cunabear’s latest album (with B side) available on BandCamp. >
We were able to catch up with Matty prior to the show to get a little insight into his influences and artistry.
A: You’re also an incredible visual artist, if you had to choose one medium what would it be?
M: “Nothing has ever come close to the fun and freedom of a sketchbook and a pen or pencil for me. I’ve been drawing since I was 2 and don’t want to stop.”
A: People would be very surprised to know that you just recently got into writing and producing rap music, tell me a little bit about the bands/projects you’ve been involved with in the past.
M: “I was in a handful of punk, jazz, and death metal bands throughout middle and high school, and I have a math-rock project on the side that I’d like to revive one day. That was all I long before I started rapping.”
A: What are your writing influences outside of hip hop? Poets? Authors? Singers?
M: “As far as influences my main lyrical influence comes from Jon Mess of Dance Gavin Dance. His mastery of the English language is underrated. I read a lot of fantasy books, Cindy Williams Chima and her current Heir series is awesome for people who dig a fresh take on a Harry Potter-esque collection.”
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