Clipped From Chicago Tribune
MUSIC YouTube superstar MattyB raps at North Shore Center By Bruce Ingram Pioneer Press Twelve-year-old Twelve-year-old Twelve-year-old Twelve-year-old Twelve-year-old rapper MattyB (aka Matthew David Morris) became an overnight sensation five years ago when his debut video, a cover of Justin Bieber's "Eenie Meenie ," racked up 500,000 YouTube YouTube views within 24 hours. Since then, the clean-cut, clean-cut, clean-cut, tween-friendly tween-friendly tween-friendly Georgia Georgia native has continued to achieve phenomenal success success on YouTube, with five million subscribers and more than two billion cumulative views. He has also embarked on a successful successful concert career, including an upcoming Aug. 9 performance at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts in Skokie. We caught up with him on the road for a few quick questions about his music, his goals and how he feels about being compared to Bieber. Q: How long have you been performing? A: About five years. I've been making videos for five years and performing live shows for two years. Q: What made you realize you wanted to do this? A: My cousin Marshall (Manning) was a rapper and I was always asking him to help me make a video. So, finally, he put me on YouTube and it went viral overnight with half a million views. So, we just kept doing it. Q: Half a million views overnight? A: Yes sir, it was just crazy. Because he was a rapper and he'd put me on there just for fun. And it just blew up. I was really excited because I thought only my family would see my videos videos and it ended up being more like the whole world jjH Rapper MattyB, 12, performs at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. MattyB When: 3 p.m. Aug. 9 Where: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie Tickets: $18, $25, $75 and $95. Contact: (847) 673-6300; 673-6300; 673-6300; www.northshorecenter.org did. That was really great. Q: Do you enjoy recording recording and performing? A: Yes, but performing, mainly. That's the best part. I love doing live shows. I love seeing all my fans. They're amazing. I love the energy level when I walk on stage and everyone's everyone's screaming. It's just great. Q: Speaking of that, who do you see as your main audience? Who are you trying to reach? A: Mainly, it's young girls, but we have all different different ages. Q: What are you trying to achieve with your music? Is it true that one of your goals is presenting presenting a more wholesome image for rap? A: Yes sir. I've always loved rap music, but a lot of the rap nowadays is really dirty. So a lot of kids my age can't listen to it. I like the idea of keeping it clean so kids my age can listen to good rap. Q: Do people ever compare you with Justin Bieber, since he also started out very young on YouTube? A: Yeah, they do a lot. But I think that's good because he started out the same way and now he's really big. Q: Can you see yourself yourself in the future being in that sort of position, with that sort of fame and all that goes with it? How do you think you'd feel about that? A: I like the idea of being very well known for the music part. But not the bad part... Q: You mean with all the trouble he's had and the paparazzi and all that other stuff? A: Yes. But the music part would be cool.