If you think you recognise the name, it’s because you do. Remember the teenage bad-boy, Reece Mastin, who stole hearts across the country back in 2011? Yes, he’s still around, but, ‘Reece’ is no longer – now he’s just ‘Mastin.’ In his place stands a full-grown man – someone contemplative and earnest – a man who has already lived a lifetime of peaks and pitfalls, caused in part by the ruthless nature of a career in the commercial music industry. Now 23-years-old, Mastin is ready to show the world who he really is. What better way to do that than with brand new music that is guaranteed to impress?
Mastin’s new single Not The Man For You is a rock’n’roll belter and is completely unlike anything fans have heard from him before.
The new sound has been a long time coming for Mastin. To some, it might look like he’s already achieved it all – he won X Factor Australia in 2011, released two platinum number one albums with three consecutive chart-topping singles, continues to travel around the world, and performs to thousands of adoring fans every year.
While he is deeply humbled and grateful for his early success in the industry, it came at a great cost.
“Giving a 16-year-old kid the opportunity to travel the country and play to thousands of screaming fans is obviously a dream come true,” he reflected, “But, as I learnt, it’s not the reality of this industry. I was kept at an arms-length from all decisions made in my career at that time, and to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about it in the slightest. I was being a kid and living out my fantasy.”
“When I left behind the big labels and went out by myself, I started to realise the damage that my neglect had done. I felt utterly exhausted by it all…which has made where I am now all that much sweeter. I’ve worked my ass off getting back up. Now I love having the confidence that I know exactly how to run my business. I’m getting to be really comfortable with the man I have become.”
Not The Man For You is a track from his upcoming EP, A Suitcase of Stories. Mastin hopes his existing and new-coming fans can look at his music in a different vein and separate it from his earlier releases.
“I think it’s something I’ve been struggling with… going from things like these shows and being connected to the label that I was. There was a preconceived notion on what my music was. I just wanted to give people the opportunity to look at it with fresh eyes, take away the name, and just assess it for what the music really is,” Mastin said.
“Looking at this record now, it’s 100% what I want to do and it’s definitely the right representation of what I want to put out there in the world.”
He also went on to comment on the pressures that come with the fast-paced nature of the modern music industry.
“These records just get churned out so quickly and you don’t really feel like you have the full grip on it, you know? You’re not really in full force behind it, whereas, this one’s definitely who I want to be.”
Although Mastin hopes his audience looks at the new album from a fresh perspective, he is not ready to part with the Reece Mastin that many fans first fell in love with.
“I’m proud of where I’ve been and what I’ve done. Obviously, it’s never not going to be a part of who I am and where I was,” he said. “I’ll never forget all that stuff, or I’ll never be ungrateful for all of this, because it was a pretty incredible part of my life. You don’t want to live in the past and I think it’s just living forwards and trying to make some new memories. It’s definitely never going to be in the dirt.”
Mastin is thrilled to get the new sound out there. He said A Suitcase of Stories is something he’s wanted to make for a long time.
“There’s been a lot of people out there that haven’t loved the music I’ve been making before this and that have loved Not The Man For You and are hopefully going to love the EP as well,” he said. “I’m happy that it’s out and I feel like I’ve taken my first step to getting to where I want to be musically or seen in the industry… I’m pretty stoked about it.”
Mastin described his new sound as straight up rock’n’roll – loud and proud – with a lot of guitars. He is thrilled that he has the opportunity to play more, which is something he has wanted to do for years.
“The tracks on A Suitcase of Stories are all completely different, as in where the stories came from. They are different places in time and places that I was in my life. He also went on to explain the diversity of emotions on the EP, ranging from happy, to angry, to fun. “It’s from all walks of life.”
“There have been two years of writing this stuff and I have got a lot of stuff that I want to put out, but these five [tracks] just seem to represent where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing… I thought as a collection of music, these would be the best ones to get out there. They’ve definitely got different stories in them.”
The EP also marks Mastin’s first release as an independent artist free from the ‘trap’ of record labels. He has completely removed himself from the association of a record label, but this hasn’t been an easy decision.
“I wanted to release independently because I wanted us to be completely in control. It’s hard – there’s no funding coming from anybody, and the team is a lot smaller. It’s actually just me and my manager, and obviously, I’ve got my PR Emily on board, and I’ve got a great radio plugger that I work with,” he said. “I think being with the big labels, you feel they take the control.”
He also went on to express the inspiring knowledge that the most important thing in the music industry is to never give up, “I just wanted to prove something to myself that I could do it. I did try that, and I failed at the start. There’s a lot of things going on for me personally, as well, that I wanted to figure out, but now it just feels that this record, I’ve got control over and I’m happy with the way everything has rolled out. I’m across all the ins and outs of it.”
Mastin can see himself returning to labels again in the future, but for now, he just wants to ensure everything he does is in his own power and left to himself to succeed, win or fail.
Mastin’s national tour will kick off in April and he wants to ensure it’ll be one to remember. He plans to give his shows a more of an edge, where he can tell the stories that have gone along with the record, which he deems a very important task and wants to open up people’s minds a little more.
“We just want to put something on that’s more of a ‘Wow!’ than just a, ‘Oh, yeah, I know that song,’ if you get what I mean,” he said.
Mastin still has a lot of music that he would love to put out there, so he’ll be going back with Ricky, his producer, to work on more songs. He wants to become more consistent with what he is doing and keep the music rolling out of him.
“I want to keep giving and giving. These are the first run of dates, and there’s going to be a few more dates that we’ll add to the tour. That will lead up until about August, and then I’ll be heading over to the UK.” he said.
Make sure to catch Reece Mastin’s upcoming shows!
13 April, Tasmania Hotel, Launceston
14 April, Waratah Hotel, Hobart
20 April, Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club, Nowra
21 April, Waves Nightclub, Wollongong
29 April, Fowler’s Live, Adelaide
03 May, Lismore Workers Club, Lismore
03 May, Surfers Paradise Live 2018, Surfers Paradise
05 May, The Brightside, Fortitude Valley
06 May, Sol Bar, Maroochydore
10 May, Transit Bar, Canberra