Matt Williams
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Matt Williams

Muskegon, MI | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Muskegon, MI | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Country




"Army veteran Matt Williams' song becomes YouTube sensation, inspires album made in Grand Haven"

GRAND HAVEN, MI -- Matt Williams is one who is well versed in the joys and pitfalls of life's journey.

A 28-year-old native of Geneva County, Ala., Williams spent much of his adult life serving in the U.S. Army. Once discharged in 2012, he turned to his lifelong passion for music as a form of therapy; it's something that is poised to take him on his greatest journey yet.

Williams' original song "You'll Make Her Cry" has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube. His follow-up songs have also been well received.

RELATED: Watch Matt Williams perform "You'll Make Her Cry."

The reception prompted Williams to pursue the possibility of a professionally-produced album, so he and his team launched a kick-starter campaign to raise $25,000 to do so. Within the first eight days, he had more than enough money.

"I was surprised," Williams said. "I was really nervous because I was like, if this doesn't work, I don't know what to do. I have a really devoted fan base. I think it's because I'm different and I'm not a cookie-cutter songwriter.

"I cannot write a song that is generic. I write songs that are literally about my life and things I've been through. That way other people can relate to it. I'll tell you I've screwed up in life and I've done things I'm not proud of, but this is what I did and I overcame it."

Williams is recording his 12-song album titled "You'll Make Her Cry," named after the song that started it all, at Bill Chrysler Studios in Grand Haven, a city that Williams now resides. The album is set to be released under Williams' own label Honor Records sometime this summer.

Music has always been a part of Williams' life. His grandfather, a preacher in Alabama, was part of a gospel group that Williams sang with as a youth. He started playing his grandparents' piano, which he said they still have, at the age of 3. Williams also played drums in his middle school and high school bands.

He joined the Army out of high school in 2004, serving as staff sergeant during two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Williams has many fond memories of his eight-plus years in the service, but one of the most significant is a tragic incident that he carries with him today.

The date was Aug. 30, 2010. Williams' back and neck were badly injured by an improvised explosive device (IED). Williams said it took weeks of intense physical therapy to heal from the injury, but the mental and emotional scars were much harder to overcome.

The blast killed two of his best friends, Casey Grochowiak of California and Mark Noziska of Nebraska. As a tribute, Williams wears the dog tags of both men around his neck every day.

"I guess it's more for me to show my appreciation to them," he said. "Every day I see them and I don't forget. I like to keep the good memories of them."

Combined with the inspiration of his grandfather and 4-year-old son Christian, those are the types of memories that shape Williams' music.

"I really just try to paint a picture and send a positive message rather than talking about beer, trucks, dirt roads and bonfires," he said. "Every time you turn on the radio that's what you're going to hear and whatever, it's good music, I listen to it, but I try and send an honest message showing people that everyone has problems, it's how you overcome it that matters."

Chrysler, who has worked with the likes of John Mayer, Christina Aguilera, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bon Jovi, sees potential in the soldier-turned-songwriter's music.

"He's got it and I could see it from the beginning," he said. "It's already developed to the point where it doesn't need polish, it just needs doing... Everything he writes comes from real-life stuff that he's done."

At just 28 years old, Williams has experienced more in his time than many. Williams also has the unique ability to share his experiences with others, and it's done through his songs.

Brandon Champion covers arts and entertainment, business, sports and weather for MLive Muskegon Chronicle. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @BrandonThaChamp. - Brandon Champion

"Update: viral musician reaches Kickstarter goal"

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Matt Williams is celebrating a huge accomplishment!

The eight-year veteran and singer-songwriter first appeared on eightWest in March, performing his original song, “You’ll Make Her Cry.” His video of the song had already gone viral, with millions of views.

Williams launched a kickstarter campaign the day after his eightWest appearance, with a goal of raising $25,000. He met the goal in just eight days. Now with four days left, he has raised more than $33,000. You can donate through the weekend. All proceeds will go toward his effort to record and promote an album.

You can come meet Williams and help his quest by coming out to a karaoke contest on Saturday, April 11. It will be a the American Legion Post #179 in Grandville. It starts at 7 p.m. There is a contest registration fee of $15. - Eight West

"Iraq war vet moves to Michigan to start country music career" - WXYZ channel 7 Detroit

"Mission Grattitude raises 1.2 million for Homebase" - Mary Saladna


Still working on that hot first release.



" American Made, Southern Raised" is the slogan that best describes upcoming country artist Matt Williams.  Matt ventured to Grand Haven, MI in January 2015 to work with well known and established producer, Bill Chrysler. Bill is known for having produced albums for John Mayer, Christina Aguilera, Nelly, Rush, The Who and Paul McCartney to name a few.  Matt launched a Kickstarter campaign in March 2015 with a goal of $25,000 to assist with the funding of his first album; however, that goal was met and surpassed within eight days from the launch.

Matt is a 8.5 year wounded Army veteran, having served three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon discharge from the Army in 2012, Matt turned to his passion of music as therapy and a way to cope with PTSD.  Matt has written all of his songs, as they tell personal life stories of where he has been and life events that he has encountered. September 2014 Matt posted a home video of his song "You'll make her cry," in which has over 17 million hits on Facebook. Matt is currently an active artist for the foundation "Casey's Cross" (, a way in which he is able to give back to veterans who are suffering from PTSD and depression. "Casey's Cross" is dedicated to helping veterans seek out programs and organizations that provide treatment at no cost to them. 

Matt  participated in the nationwide talent competition hosted by Nash Next cumulous radio. Matt remained #1 for over five weeks and finished #6 overall. Matt's song "One Look" remained the #1 song throughout this competition and his video of "You'll Make Her Cry" remained the #1 video competition wide.

Matt married the love of his like in Nashville back in November of 2015 and is now expecting a little girl due in August.  Matt's wife and son are cheering him on daily and continue to be his drive to become successful. 

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