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.
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