A former student on our Foundation Degree programme, Matt has carved out a successful and highly varied career in the industry. His work as a sound assistant and boom operator has seen involvement in TV shows including Peaky Blinders and films such as Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

As a multi-instrumentalist and producer, Matt crafts dense, honest and often heart wrenching musical worlds under the pseudonym re:tract. His debut album charted in the iTunes Electronic Top 10 and over the past year he has received support from BBC Introducing, performing on their stage at Bluedot Festival and featuring on Huw Stephen’s Show on BBC Radio 1.

Matt also acts as the Front of House Engineer and Production Manager for Boyce Avenue, a position which has seen him travel internationally. 

What was your earliest musical experience?

I think making mixtapes for myself and my friends... The classic stop/start record on a radio tape deck.

What attracted you to studying in Leeds and what do you think of the musical community here?

I loved the city, lots of parties and a great music scene. It was also really far from Milton Keynes which was my home at the time. I wanted something completely new and in a different world.

Could you briefly tell us a little bit about your career to date?

I work as a boom operator for film & TV. I started in my third year at Leeds Conservatoire as a runner and over the past decade I’ve ended up working on shows like Peaky Blinders, Little Boy Blue, Cold Feet and more recently, Des.

I'm also the production manager for Boyce Avenue's live shows. I travel all over the world with them and look after the FOH sound and live stages for all their gigs.

I also have my own music project, re:tract, which is heavily supported by BBC Introducing and has received radio play by Huw Stephens (Radio 1) and Mary-Anne Hobbs (6 Music Recommends)

How did studying for a degree at Leeds Conservatoire?

My last year of studying at Leeds Conservatoire really gave me time to try and make contacts in the industry. I still had my student loan so I was able to afford to work for free to get my name about. It also gave me confidence to do my own thing and create my own career.

Tell us about your most memorable experience during your time at Leeds Conservatoire

I was introduced to a wealth of new music and communities which really opened my eyes to how amazing and deep the music/sound industry is. There were also a lot of parties!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their 'foot in the door' in the industry you're in?

Say YES to stuff... don't be afraid to work for peanuts in the beginning if it gets your foot in the door.

What's coming up next for you in terms of projects, releases or tours?

I'm just starting prep to shoot COBRA Series 2. Unfortunately due to COVID all live music shows have been cancelled but I am shooting a music promo for my re:tract project in the next couple of weeks.

Who encouraged you to study music?


Follow Matt on Twitter.

Visit the re:tract website.

View Matt's profile on IMDB here.

Find out more about what our successful graduates have been up to in our Alumni Profiles

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