CG grad making noise in New York music scene

<p>The past month has been beyond imagination.</p><p>When Dylan Matracia moved to New York to pursue his dream of being a musician, he knew it would take time, dedication and perseverance.</p><p>Three years later, the Center Grove High School graduate released his first album under his performing name, Matracia. “Summer Cruel” is an atmospheric, tender collection of songs that is garnering buzz in music circles throughout the city. On May 29, he will take the stage at the famed City Winery to perform with legendary crooner Rufus Wainwright.</p>[sc:text-divider text-divider-title="Story continues below gallery" ]<p>It’s been a lot to take in.</p><p>“I’ve looked up to (Wainwright) for a long time; I wrote a paper about him in college. I don’t think it’s totally hit me yet,” he said.</p><p>“Summer Cruel” is currently available on iTunes and through Bandcamp, and is available on streaming platforms such as Spotify. Matracia took some time to talk about his music, his journey to New York and the genesis of “Summer Cruel.”</p><p><strong>» What led you towards music in the first place?</strong></p><p>For me, a lot of it came down to when I was in middle school, early high school, realizing I was gay and I went through a period of shutting myself off from everyone. I joke about it with my parents now, that I used to come home from school, lock myself in my room and listen to music. Music was the first thing I connected to where I felt like I had a link outside of Indy.</p><p><strong>» What were you listening to?</strong></p><p>A lot of early Green Day, like their album “Dookie,” that dealt with feeling bored and stuck with your life. Then I was listening to stuff like Neutral Milk Hotel, which was sensitive and gentle, but really vulnerable and emotional. It made me feel more connected, that the feelings I was feeling were valid. As I got older, I wanted to give that feeling back to other people.</p><p><strong>» How did you decide that this was something you wanted to do for a career?</strong></p><p>From a young age, I always knew I wanted to be some kind of performer. Even though I was a shy kid, but if I was on stage, I let go of all of that. I was in the marching band in high school, and then I picked up a guitar after high school, when I missed having music as an outlet. The more I started writing songs, I fell in love with that process, it clicked as the main artistic outlet that worked for me.</p><p><strong>» You were in Chicago for a while, then you moved to New York. How did that transition impact you?</strong></p><p>It’s a pressure cooker for sure. You have to want to be here. You have to sacrifice a lot to be here. It was really hard, but it forced a lot of personal growth. I had to think really hard at what I wanted, if it was worth it. I decided it was. Part of it was, when I moved to Chicago from Indiana, I felt like I grew so much, met so many people. After eight years of living there, I wanted to experience that again.</p><p><strong>» What was the experience like recording “Summer Cruel”?</strong></p><p>It was very healing in a way. When I first started recording and was interested in putting these songs together, I had just quit drinking a month before. I’m 11 months sober now. In those first 90 days, writing the album was a way for me to think about every day and focus on. I was doing everything I could to keep my mind busy. So putting all of this energy that used to go towards drinking into writing music, trying to be as raw and vocal with my feelings.</p><p><strong>» What kind of sound were you going for with the album?</strong></p><p>When I was writing all of these songs, I was going through a (filmmaker) David Lynch phase. I got really inspired, so when I was working on these songs, I wanted a lot of textural atmosphere, kind of like synth noises. I was envisioning this dark, foggy room with red lights, but still kind of chill.</p><p><strong>» What is your sense of the album now that it’s come out?</strong></p><p>It’s funny now, because it’s been almost a year since we recorded it. At this point, I’ve listened to the songs so many times in so many different ways, I almost have to separate myself a little bit, think about the first time time I heard it, that first feeling of getting excited about each song.</p>