Norristown singer-songwriter inspires fans to ‘Reach for the Stars’

Matthew John has recently been featured in “The Times Herald Newspaper” describing his passion for music and where this journey has taken him. ~ Source


NORRISTOWN >> When most folks hear a song by an unknown artist who appeals to them, they don’t automatically consider or even care about any challenges the singer may have overcome while creating their music.

That’s not necessarily the case with Matthew John’s fans.

The 24-year-old — who describes himself as “an easy listening up and coming singer/songwriter” in the country and soft-pop veins of Keith Urban and Philip Philips — hasn’t been shy about sharing the physical dilemmas and triumphs he’s overcome to get as far as he has.

And those for whom his uplifting “never give up” message on Facebook, iTunes, CD Baby and Spotify has resonated deeply have been more than willing to reciprocate with encouraging words that keep John toiling away at songwriting for seven or eight hours a day.

“I’m getting all kinds of people of all ages responding to my music,” said John. “A 10-year-old kid who may be having trouble in school can relate to me by seeing that I am working hard, and he sees a guy who had struggles of his own but he’s overcoming it. There is an 87-year-old woman on Facebook who said my music gave her inspiration. I have received countless messages from people telling me how my songs have given them hope … or inspired them to go back to school, leave a bad relationship, enter rehab, change paths and pursue a different dream. I think it’s global and tons of people seem to be enjoying it and that makes me want to write even more songs.”

John recently released his first CD singles, “You Are There” and “Reach for the Stars,” on Rotation Records of Norristown and began promoting his music via Facebook ads, he said.

He now has nearly 1,000 “likes” on Facebook.

“As an unknown singer-songwriter I didn’t know what to expect from the ad that explained I was an inspirational, motivational type of artist, but then I started hearing from people all over the world, California to Alaska, these people started liking my music and asking if I had more songs. The ads cost $5 each time, and though they don’t elevate you to an unbelievable status, they do get people from others states interested in your music.”

John is donating $1 from the sale of each “Reach for the Stars” CD to the Alzheimer’s Association of Philadelphia in memory of his grandfather, Warren Paul Faust Sr.

“I have always had a passion for music, songwriting and performing, but I rediscovered it again in 2013 as my grandfather, who had Alzheimer’s for 18 years, battled the final months of the disease. He fought and sometimes he won, but eventually the disease took him. But he never gave up and he never lost his sense of hope until the very end of his life. At this point, I wanted to share my music and my own message with the world because I am just a regular person going after my dream, living my passion, experiencing success and failure but never losing my sense of hope or giving up. Maybe I didn’t think I was good enough before, but finally I learned to believe in me and my music.”

“Reach for the Stars” is about “defying limits and taking a leap of faith,” said John, who began defying limits from the time he was born.

“”I spent the first two weeks of my life in the NICU unit at Bryn Mawr Hospital. I was determined from the beginning and a fighter from the start. The ‘never give up’ attitude was born in me.”

During the first year and a half of his life, John endured two eye surgeries.

“I have struggled with hand/eye coordination all my life, but I learned to play golf at the age of 5 and became an avid golfer. My attitude from the start has always been never give up, stay true to who you are and keep moving forward.”

Moving forward for John included studying voice under Laura Muscelli-Hoy, enrolling in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, winning several golf tournaments in the area and seriously setting out on his musical journey with the help of Rotation Records.

John, whose real name is Matthew Rocchino — “I took my first name and middle name as my stage name” — maintains his uniqueness in a crowded and sometimes jaded field of “up and coming” singer/songwriters because of his “beautiful and positive message about life and the struggles of living,” he allowed.

“Sometimes we live in such a negative world of murder, rape, robberies, drive-by shootings, unemployment, drugs, homelessness, cancer, and we all need some positive energy and hope for tomorrow. My music is inspirational and the lyrics are heartfelt, emotional and upbeat. My songs tell everyone to go after what you want, to never give up and continue on. My songs inspire people to go on and believe in themselves when others don’t, and all music doesn’t do that. Today, all music doesn’t appeal to all generations … my music is universal.”


– Written By Gary Puleo

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