Those familiar with the West End music scene are likely to have heard the name ‘Matt Hsu’.

The Highgate Hill talent and founding member of Brisbane band The Mouldy Lovers dedicates most of his time to music; a commitment which was rewarded when he and The Mouldy Lovers were recognised as finalists for a 2017 Queensland Music Award. Hsu’s spare moments are spent riding his bicycle around the neighbourhood, teaching (about entertainment) at QUT, or hanging around Hanasho Flower and Art and ìannoying Eba, the owner”.

Despite his long-term affiliation with The Mouldy Lovers, he says he has recently found himself unable to stop writing compositions that cannot 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;  they

immigrated a year before he was born in Brisbane”I don’t have to dig too deep to realise these 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.

A musical prodigy of sorts, Matt learns, plays and records all instruments himself, tapping into an inventory of trumpet, accordion, clarinet, kitchen utensils, trombone, flugelhorn, euphonium, mbira, marimba, double bass, shakuhachi, tin whistle, furulya, banjo and other unique-sounding objects. The resulting sounds are ethereal but tactile and homespun … with no electronic shortcuts. As a solo artist in his home of

seven years (which happens to be The Mouldy Lovers bandmate Louis’s childhood house) he is currently creating multi-layered solo compositions that are kooky, organic and lie somewhere between a soundtrack for a foreign arthouse heist film and the works of Studio Ghibli. “West End has been so central to my life and specific moments of change ó 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 every day to get where I want,” he says. ìPlaces like West End have such a special cultural place in Brisbane. I’m lucky because I’ve moved from a culturally fascinating place, Sunnybank where I grew up, to West End, where I’ve been able to flourish creatively and meet the loves of my life.”

Matt Hsu is currently working on a number of collaborative projects with other emerging artists. To find out more about his upcoming events follow his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mattdangerhsu) or
@mattdangerhsu on Instagram.