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Outside Lands 2023: Matt Hansen Is Living The Dream

Outside Lands 2023: Matt Hansen Is Living The Dream

We sit down with Matt Hansen after his Outside Lands 2023 set to talk about his influences and growth as an artist. Team


2 min read

August 22, 2023

Hero Image Courtesy of Alive Coverage

Matt Hansen was a star at Outside Lands, bringing his brand of heartfelt balladry to the annual music festival. What made his efforts even more impressive was that Outside Lands was his first time playing at a festival. This provided a great opportunity to introduce himself to both familiar and unfamiliar faces in Golden Gate Park.

Hansen’s music is reminiscent of some of the popular modern singer-songwriters like Hozier, boasting a booming voice and a knack for relatable, heartbreaking lyricism. These songs fit well in his two sets at Twin Peaks and The Music Den; each with a unique energy. Twin Peaks is the traditional large festival main stage. The Music Den was an intimate setting that gave fans a different look at Hansen’s performance. caught up with Hansen in the midst of his day at Outside Lands to talk about his music, growing up in the area, and what influences him.

How has your festival experience been?

It’s amazing. It’s my first festival ever. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. I grew up 20 minutes away from here. I’ve come to this festival my whole life. I’ve been in the crowd and to be on that stage…it’s a crazy feeling. When I got the call from my manager he was like there might be 20 people there or 1000, but you play like there’s 20,000 there. That’s the mentality going into anything like that. You put on the best show you can. I gave it everything I had and the reception has been great.

You mentioned you grew up around here, can you tell me a little bit about coming up as a musician?

This festival is a big part of why I love music so much. I remember I saw Odesza play here. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I think these kinds of festivals ignited my love for music even more so. I grew up doing little gigs when I was in high school and middle school. Then I went to college and that’s when my  music career started to take off. I came back here and now I’m playing shows. I think the California music crowd is a great one.

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How did you find your sound?

It’s interesting because the sound was born out of a new awakening. I’ve always been a shy person and finally one day I posted a video on TikTok and it went viral. I was like, people like when I put my everything into what I do. That’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since. The voice and lyrics are all intentional. I’m super inspired by Coldplay. I think they’re the greatest band of all time. There’s a feeling that they can make you have that’s special. That’s what I’m trying to do.

Do you find yourself experimenting more with your music as you grow as an artist?

Definitely. I’ve been starting to experiment more with the platform and fan base growing. I have a little more artistic leeway. It’s cool to explore that side, because I never had the opportunity to do that. There’s some cool stuff in the new music.

Do you ever get to take time and look back at how far you’ve come as an artist?

Yeah. It’s a weird feeling. It’s actually funny, I was talking to my mom yesterday and she was telling me about my song Break My Bones. She was like, if you listen to that and the first song I ever put out, it blows it out the water. It’s cool to listen to that progression, slowly getting better and better.

What are some of your favorite venues to catch a show or play?

If you’re in L.A. my favorite venue is called the Troubadour. It’s unbelievable. It’s historic. I hope to be playing it soon. Here? The Fillmore is a great venue.

You can check out Matt Hansen’s music and keep up with new releases by following him on social media.

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