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local teen talks to ABQ-Live about balancing a record deal with his senior year of high school

by Brenda Paiz

 

A local teen is receiving national attention for his unique and clever musical skills. Matthew Chavez, who is from Rio Rancho NM, stopped by ABQ-Live and gave us the scoop on all things Vez! He talked to us about his rise to stardom and how he has managed to balance the beginning of his musical career with his final year of high school. 

If you do a simple online search of Vez - Chavez’ stage name - you will be directed toward his online videos that have been viewed over 95,000 times. The video that put Chavez on the map was “69 Bars.” 

So how exactly did this high school senior from Rio Rancho, NM get a record deal with P4P Entertainment? We can thank an internet-less flight that P4P’s CEO Jonathan Hamm, happened to be on. 

“Usually Jon is always connected to the internet,” Chavez explains, “But for whatever reason, on this particular flight, there was no in-flight wifi. So he had to listen to whatever MP3 files were already on his phone. I happened to be one of those MP3 files…he heard me rapping and he loved it.”

Once the flight landed, Hamm called Vez right away. The rest is history. 

The song Hamm had heard on that flight was “Essential,” which is the latest single from Vez, but P4P decided to go with producing and shooting the “69 Bars” video first. 

And in case you’re wondering, internet fame and a record deal definitely changes what high school life is like for a high school senior. Although modest about it, Chavez says that he has noticed an increase in the amount of people who know of him. His social media following has also increased tremendously with the release of his music video. 

Chavez goes on to discuss balancing schoolwork with his music and how it can be challenging because both require his time and effort. 

“It’s really easy depending on how bad you want it…you just have to sacrifice a little bit of leisure time,” says Chavez.

I think we can all probably benefit from that advice!

Before Chavez got into rapping, he played sports. It wasn’t until about a year ago that he decided he wanted to do something more. He thought about what his idols were doing - most of whom were musicians- and it wasn’t long before he decided that he, too, wanted to be a musician.

When asked who his idols are, Chavez was quick to respond: Drake, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. All of these artist have very distinct sounds and it is evident that Chavez’ unique sound  draws inspiration from these established rappers to form his own kaleidoscope of skill. But it’s far more than just that, he says.

“A lot of it isn’t even just about the music- it’s the way they carry themselves and the way they work and operate their business,” Chavez explains, “Kanye doesn’t care what anybody has to say about him and I admire that. I really admire how Lil Wayne just really works and no one can take that from him. As far as Drake goes, I just love how calculated he is…no false moves. Everything is pristine and I really like that.” 

Well Chavez is taking notes from his idols, there is one thing he is skipping taking notes on: studying for The SAT’s. 

I asked the up and coming rapper if he had plans on attending college after his senior year of high school and his response was perfect: “No. I’m going all in [with my musical career]…I feel like I have no reason not to, at this point.”

So how do his parents feel about their son skipping college to become a rapper?

According to the Rio Rancho High School senior, they are completely supportive of his dream.

“They were just happy that I was happy…I have really supportive parents and I cannot complain at all…they have been one hundred percent on my side” Chavez explains. 

So much for rapping about how “Parents just don’t understand,” am I right? (For those who are too young, that is a ‘90s reference…)

As the interview went on, I asked Chavez who he would collaborate with given these three choices: Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez. Although he thinks all three are talented, he chose Ariana Grande, saying that it would be a “legendary” collaboration. 

Agreed.

Now, the million dollar question: What does the future look like for 17-year-old Vez?

“In the next five years I hope to be touring and have a full length album out…although I’m not sure in what order, but I’m always working and both of those things sound great,” Chavez explained. 

While discussing the future for this Rio Rancho teen, Chavez went on to discuss what separates him from other young artist and rappers. 

“Creatively- I do not have a weakness,” he humbly admitted. “I’m not afraid of experimenting…My versatility and work ethic is what sets me apart from other young artists.” 

No matter what this talented teen ends up doing first, one thing was evident from my interaction with him: he was brilliant. 

Chavez is the perfect combination of boy-next-door meets ambitious teen chasing his dream. 

If you want to hear more about this talented rapper, be sure to follow him on social media @Vez_official or check out his videos on youtube! Also, to see the full interview, check out

Published December 2017, ABQ-Live