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  • Writer's pictureMatt Skoda

Beats of My Heart: The Evolution of a Drummer in the Dynamic World of Music

Growing up in a home where the air was often filled with the classic rock sounds of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith, thanks to my dad's Cleveland roots, I developed a deep appreciation for this genre early on. The raw energy and timeless melodies of classic rock became the soundtrack of my childhood and deeply influenced my musical tastes and aspirations.

My journey as a musician has been marked by memorable milestones. One such moment was my first major gig, which coincidentally fell on my 9th birthday. The venue was the iconic Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street in Memphis. I remember the exhilaration of performing in front of a live audience, the beat of the drums resonating through my body, and the crowd's energy fueling my passion. That performance wasn't just a celebration of my birthday; it was a celebration of my budding love for music and performing.

Another significant moment in my musical journey occurred when I played at the Mellow Mushroom in Nashville. Sitting 'in the window' on that stage, looking out at the bustling Broadway below, I felt a mix of nerves and excitement. It was my first gig on Broadway, a rite of passage for any musician in Nashville. The experience of connecting with the audience, sharing my music, and feeling the vibrancy of the city's music scene was exhilarating. It was a defining moment that solidified my continued commitment to pursuing music as my profession.

Creating and being part of SKODA, my current band, has been an extension of these early experiences. It allows me to explore new musical horizons, connect with audiences, and share the rock music that has always been close to my heart.

But being a musician today isn't just about mastering your instrument. It's about understanding the evolving landscape of the music industry. That's why I've delved into music production and audio engineering. My education at Vol State and soon at Dark Horse Institute is shaping me into a well-rounded musician who not only creates but also understands the technicalities and nuances of sound production.

The digital age has transformed how we produce, share, and consume music. Social media and digital marketing are crucial tools for any artist. They help us build communities, share our art, and stay connected with fans. I've embraced these platforms, using them to not just showcase my music but to tell my story and the story of SKODA.

In this challenging yet fascinating music business, it's essential to be adaptable and continuously learn. My work at Iron Gate Studios and Iron Gate Music Publishing, alongside my formal education, is a testament to my commitment to not just survive but thrive in this industry.

To me, being a musician is about creating something that resonates with others, sharing experiences, and being part of a community that transcends geographical boundaries. It's a journey of discovery, creativity, and connection. And as I look back on these pivotal moments, from my childhood influences to my first gigs, I'm excited to see where this rhythm takes me next.

Thanks for listening!


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