Matt Hoggatt Reflects On His Jimmy Buffett Experience

Former Lyric Contest winner Matt Hoggatt onstage with Jimmy Buffett

this photo was used for iTune use of jimmy buffett and Matt Hoggatt.

It all started with an email from American Songwriter magazine about winning the song-lyric contest, which led to an email from Jimmy Buffett who read the magazine, which quickly transformed my life for the next two years from that of a police detective to a traveling troubadour musician at the hands of none other than Jimmy Buffett himself.


Since 1984, the American Songwriter Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters get noticed and have fun.


During my two year journey of nightly gigs, I destroyed a mini-van, bought a bigger van, met Lionel Richie, wrote a song for the Lionel Toy company (no relation to Richie,) slept in Jimmy Buffett’s house, slept in total stranger’s houses, slept in a house boat, slept in my van, and woke up every single day with a smile on my face, grateful that I decided to enter the American Songwriter magazine’s Lyric Contest in 2012.

Did I mention that it was that particular contest that crowned me with a first place win for my song “Dear Jimmy Buffett?” The song itself was a late night bar anthem, based on a letter I wrote to Jimmy when I was 13 years old. In the song, I ask Jimmy for a record deal. After the magazine ran an article about me winning the contest, Jimmy read the article and the rest was history. Just like my lyrics asked, I ended up with a record deal on Jimmy’s label because of the song, because of American Songwriter magazine, and because I dared to dream. Thanks again American Songwriter! – MATT HOGGATT

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