Shelton native pursues music career in Nashville

Matt Bednarsky, who graduated from Shelton High in 2005 and now lives in Nashville, has released a new music video.
Matt Bednarsky, who graduated from Shelton High in 2005 and now lives in Nashville, has released a new music video.

For Shelton native Matt Bednarsky, Nashville is the place to be these days in the music business.

“This is where the music scene is today,” said Bednarsky, 26. “It’s a very communal, open environment. It’s where the most doors and opportunities are.”

He moved to Nashville — known as Music City — about a year ago and has been busy writing songs and performing ever since.

This week, Bednarsky released his latest album, A Bigger Picture, on iTunes.

The songs for the current album were written over the past few years.

“This album is a culmination of my music journey,” Bednarsky said. “You’re always progressing as a person and musician.”

There are 10 songs on the album, with multiple performers providing backup. Some of the songs were handled by executive producer Ed Cash, well known in the Nashville music scene.

“I wanted to do something that was hard-hitting and heart-hitting,” said Bednarsky, who sings and plays guitar.

He said the album offers “a spectrum of feelings and emotions. … I wanted people to experience an album — pop it in for a long time.”

He previously has released music EPs (shorter than albums) and CDs, and his 2012 EP, Happy Go Lucky, reached No. 8 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts.

Pop-rock genre

Bednarsky described his music style as being pop-rock with traces of folk, jazz and blues. “Somewhere between James Taylor and John Mayer,” he said.

“I want to put out music that matters and affects people,” he said. “That’s what really counts to me.”

With his Nashville base, Bednarsky performs regularly at clubs in the South. Most are solo shows for logistical reasons.

He previously lived in New York City, having graduated from New York University in 2009.

While studying at NYU, he became fluent in three languages other than English — Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Part of his role as a fledgling musician is to publicize his own work, such as the new album. “I manage myself, I book myself and I promote myself,” Bednarsky said.

He has worked to build a loyal following through YouTube, Facebook and email, and to build relationships with people in the music business.

Building a career

Bednarsky described his life as being pretty simple and focused. “I’m willing to make sacrifices not to have an extravagant life so I can build a long career in music,” he said.

He doesn’t plan to move from Nashville anytime soon, having become part of the community. “You come here and work hard, and they honor and respect that,” he said.

But Bednarsky can’t say for certain what the future will bring. He doesn’t rule out moving back to New York City or perhaps heading west to California.

His goal is make a living exclusively off his music. For now, he does other jobs to supplement his music income — such as language translation.

Comes from a musical family

Bednarsky is a 2005 graduate of Shelton High School, where he was active with the drama club, choir and a cappella music groups.

“It was a great place to nurture my music abilities and learn about performance art,” he said.

He grew up in a musically oriented family, the son of Bruce and Carla Bednarsky, who live in Huntington.

While very young, he learned how to play the violin from his grandmother and the guitar from his father.

“Music was a second language in our family,” he said.

A future concert on the Green?

Bednarsky makes it back to Shelton a few times a year to spend time with his family. He likes being able to hang out with friends and visit familiar places while here.

“I still have tons of friends there,” he said. “It’s like old times.”

One future goal is to be able to put on a concert at the Huntington Green in the summer, performing for a hometown crowd.

“People have been really supportive — give my love to Shelton,” he said.

For more information

Learn more about Matt Bednarsky and his music at these links: