Highgate Hill local Matt Hsu will be doing his first solo performance at BEMAC’s (Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre)World Music Café: New Generation, on Saturday, 22 April.

When Matt isn’t making music, he can be seen riding his bicycle around West End, or hanging around Hanasho Flower and Art and, in his own words, “annoying Eba the owner”. He was recently a finalist for a 2017 Queensland Music Awards with his band, The Mouldy Lovers. He says, he’s recently found himself unable to stop writing music that can be contained in a band format, and has stepped out from the safety of the seven-piece ensemble.

Steeped in world music since childhood by virtue of his immigrant roots, Matt seeks the grey areas between cultures and their sounds. His parents were born in Taiwan; his motheris Taiwanese of Chinese heritage and his father is a mix of that and Hakka, a nomadic tribe. They immigrated a year before he was born in Brisbane.

“I don’t have to dig too deep to realise my immigrant roots have also played into my approach to music. Straddling two cultures with a foot in Asia and the other in the Commonwealth, and exploring the space between those cultures, has always been fascinating because inherently that’s how I’ve developed my sense of self,” he says. This fascination has led to numerous collaborations with culturally diverse musicians, including Kenta Hayashi from Japan, Tenzin Choegyal from Tibet, and soon Ashalegs with Serbian roots and Ravi Singh who is from Fiji with Indian roots.

As a solo artist, Matt is creating multi-layered solo compositions that are kooky, ethnic, organic and playful, with no electronic shortcuts, and no limit to scale. These are similar to soundtracks of a weird, international arthouse film with a heist, Tibetan monks, sentient plants, and animated by Studio Ghibli.

“West End has been so central to my life and specific moments of change — it’s where I found the flyer to join The Mouldy Lovers, where I used to get drum lessons, where I’d busk, and where I get to ride my bicycle everyday to get where I want,” he says.

“Places like West End have such a special cultural place in Brisbane. I’m lucky because I’ve moved from on culturally fascinating place, Sunnybank where I grew up, to West End, where I’ve been able flourish creatively and meet the loves of my life.”

Catch Matt live at Queensland Multicultural Centre in Kangaroo Point on Saturday, 22 April where he will be joined by emerging Brisbane contemporary musicians May Lyn and Norlayn for BEMAC’s first World Music Café of 2017. Tickets are $15 concession or $18 full price and can be purchased at here.