Chart-topping country artist Matt Stell went from playing college basketball to making a career for himself in the music industry. He made a lot of things happen for himself, but in his latest release, “Man Made,” Stell focuses on the fact that men wouldn’t be able to take these steps in life if it weren’t for the woman who made them.
During an interview with Country Now, Stell revealed that when he first heard this song penned by Brett Sheroky & Ian Christian, it “checked all the boxes” for him.
“It has a lyric that makes an interesting turn,” he explained. “To me, that’s a lot of what country music is, with a lyric that hooks that way, and it has a melody that makes you want to sing it over and over again. That’s a pretty tough combination to beat. On top of that, this song is positive, which to me is harder to do in an interesting way. So all those things together when I went in to track the song, it was a no-brainer. I knew I wanted to sing this song and put it out to the world because I think it’s special.”
He even had a hand in producing “Man Made” alongside Ash Bowers. This experience allowed Stell to put his creative skills to work and make the song his own.
“My favorite thing is cutting new music and being creative in the studio, I love it.”
“All us boys wanna grow up and make our mammas proud/find that girl that lifts us up when life gets us down/Behind any guy doing anything right is woman’s work at hand/If a man made anything it’s cause a woman made that man,” he sings in the chorus.
Not only will it impact country radio on May 23rd, but “Man Made” is also set to be the leading single off a bigger upcoming project.
“This song hits really hard in a fun way and it’s something that we’re excited to get to radio. We just thought it was a great way to kick off another project,” he explained. “In the same way, ‘Prayed For You’ kicked off our initial batch of songs. This is the thing that it leads the way like the bell cow, as we like to say.”
The upcoming collection of songs follows Stell’s previous EPs, Better Than That and Everywhere But On
“I’m really excited,” he shared. “There are a bunch of songs that I’ve written that I’m really really proud of. Some of the songs are just so special and remind me why I’m in Nashville – I get to be around such great writers and get the opportunity to cut amazing songs.”
He has selected tracks that “cover a lot of bases” including romance and breakup anthems and everything in between.
“The kind of music I like and the kind of records I like aren’t any one thing,” Stell told Country Now. “We’ll have songs like ‘Man Made’ on there that are a little bit more positive like a love song and then we’ll have stuff like ‘Boyfriend Season’ on there that’s not. That’s where I like to live, I like to do all those sorts of things and just make music.”
“To me, it’s not so much what a song’s about,” he continued. “A great song can be about lots of different things because life is about lots of different things. So when I’m going in and writing…the idea is to let the song be king.”
His song may reign as king now, but music wasn’t always the highest priority in Stell’s life. Spending many years training as an athlete for Drury University didn’t leave much time to think about music as a career. Once the Arkansas native realized that path was open though, he began the journey. When he wasn’t in practice, his downtime was quickly filled as he played in front of his computer and taught himself the songs typically heard at a frat house.
“I always loved music. I didn’t realize I had a special passion for it…I just kept loving it and loving it, but I started playing music when I was in college.”
Stell moved to Nashville in 2014 as a self-taught vocalist and guitar player, with the drive and the passion to pursue his love for music. When things took a slow turn for him in the industry, he began to look into other career options.
In between songwriting, Stell went on a medical mission trip to Haiti and was “blown away” by the work being done there.
“I thought, if I was ever going to do anything else this is what I’d do.”
After this experience, he applied and was accepted into Harvard University’s Extension School Pre-Med program. Although this was a great achievement in his life, Stell continued on this “crazy ride” of being an artist. His publishing and management deal with Wide Open Music eventually turned into the makings of his EP, followed by a record deal with Barry Weiss’ RECORDS Nashville.
Now, he can proudly say he is one of the few artists to have back-to-back No. 1’s in just the past six years. Stell earned this honor with his songs “Prayed For You” and “Everywhere But On.”
According to Stell, the tracks on his upcoming project, which include “Man Made” and the fan-favorite, “Boyfriend Season,” are cut and almost finalized. This collection of songs will be released later in 2022.