MEET MATT BAILIE
Matt Bailie stands out from the crowd with a voice that is uniquely his own; rough, edgy, and immediately identifiable. It's little wonder that the Jacksonville, Florida native's vocals have been compared to famous Southern Rock stylists. He grew up under the musical influence of Donnie and Johnny Van Zant of the legendary groups Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special. The brothers, who Bailie refer to as "my uncles," first introduced him to Nashville and helped to guide and manage his early career.
That's not to say that Bailie's current music is Southern Rock. By contrast it is contemporary country with all the feel-good vibe and swagger but delivered with a soulful conviction that would make his "uncles" proud. Not afraid to be vulnerable, Bailie's music showcases a down-to-Earth, respectful, well-grounded talent, as highlighted in his singles, "Whiskey Away" "Naked," and “Drink’n and Drunk” from his new Album “Naked”. His music speaks to the everyman, and it speaks truth and wisdom gained through disappointment, heartbreak, and tragic loss.
Two weeks before Bailie’s first birthday, his father David, a musician himself, died when a plane he was piloting crashed. This tragic event left the young man’s mother and grandmother to raise him on their own. By the time he was a young boy he had already decided what he wanted to do. “I watched ‘Garth Brooks Live’ on HBO and got to hang out backstage at 38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts,” he explains. I fell in love with the energy and excitement and the music affected the crowed.” Later, the young Bailie’s mother, Catherine, remarried a man named Richard, the man Bailie calls “Dad.” Richard introduced him to his second passion, football, and while he excelled at the sport, his dreams for a professional career were short-lived. While attending Nease High School his goals for a college football scholarship were shattered when future Heisman Trophy winner, and fellow classmate, Tim Tebow, began receiving the glare of spotlight and ultimately pushed young Bailie out of his desired position. This only helped him see clearly that his true path in life was with music.
At age 16, his mother began accompanying him to bars so he could perform karaoke. Not long after this time, Bailie joined his first band and started performing in clubs around Florida. Family friend Donnie Van Zant began showing him the ropes by writing and recording with him. The pair soon joined with Donnie’s brother, Johnny, and the legendary siblings teamed up to manage Bailie and help get him off the ground when he made the move to Nashville in 2007. But with their own demanding career schedules, the Van Zant’s introduced him to Tim McGraw's former manager, Diana Henderson, who guided his career for six years. After being turned away by over half dozen labels, he finally got his break when he signed a deal with a new indie label in town and his well-received debut album was released in 2010. As recording for his second album was wrapping up, the label filed for bankruptcy and he was released from his contract, ironically just as his video "Dress Down" was number one on CMT.com. Dejected and disillusioned, he made the move back to Florida where he focused on his personal life and well-being. He started two home remodeling companies and became a certified personal trainer. He didn't sing or pick up a guitar for about five years until he met the love of his life, Taylor, and joined an amazing church where he once again found his voice playing and singing for their worship band. The couple married and had a son in 2020. Soon afterward, they made the move back to Nashville, where he signed a songwriting deal in 2020 and began working with friend and producer, Michael Wilkes where they began working on new music with a new vibe. In May of 2022 Matt signed an artist deal with a label where Matt has already begun working on a new album following Matt’s newest critically acclaimed album “Naked”.
When Bailie finally picked up a guitar and began writing and singing again, a brand-new authentic voice came out. "I don't know where it came from,” he says. "This is the most real I've ever been in my music. I can only thank God.” Back with a brand-new life, a brand-new look and a brand-new sound, Matt Bailie is once again knocking on the door to his destiny. "This is going to be the most exciting chapter yet."