Matt Santry is a bit of a celebrity around these parts. As he makes his way through the smoky, loud rooms of the Grape Street Pub in Manayunk, he is constantly met with hugs and handshakes by employees, musicians and the locals checking out the evening’s live music. Santry has become something of a staple at the revamped Grape Street and he is just as happy to see his fans as they are to see him.
Santry, a New Jersey native and Penn State University alumnus, has become a breakout Philadelphia star over the past few months. His latest effort Rising Son, a rock album with singer-songwriter sensibility, was released last September.
Jeff Guiliano, who has worked with artists Jason Mraz and John Mayer, mixed Rising Son and Santry couldn’t be happier. “The album came out better than I ever would have hoped it could be,” Santry said.
Though the rock star life may be new to Santry, music certainly isn’t. His life of music began in fourth grade when he started playing the saxophone. “I’ve been playing music for almost 14 years now,” he said while sitting in the upstairs lounge of Grape Street on the night of a performance.
After playing in various bands during college, Santry eventually decided to take the leap into a solo career. And though he’s carried his music career successfully alone, he still runs into trouble spots from time to time. “Writing lyrics is always the toughest part for me as a musician. I’m my own biggest critic,” he said.
Santry has encountered little negativity in the Philadelphia region. After local music guru and WMMR DJ Jaxon got his hands on Santry’s music, the DJ featured him on air and at various WMMR shows. “He’s been great. He has helped me get so much exposure around here,” Santry said of Jaxon. “I feel lucky.”
Aly Semigran can be reached at email@example.com.