Matt Makovsky has led a varied life.
At Staples High School, the Class of 2001 member captained the football team, and ran track. He played piano, drums and violin, and sang in the choir.
He continued playing football at the University of Pennsylvania, earned a degree from Columbia Business School, then built a career in London and New York working for the National Football League, and launching his own marketing and innovation agency.
He hadn’t picked up an instrument since Staples. But Makovsky was invited to a friend’s studio session as a guest.
He was convinced to hop in the booth. Hearing himself through a recording mic, he was transported back to his long-ago love of music.
He set up a home studio. He wrote songs. But he kept working as CEO with Skylabs, an innovation firm.
“I’d get my teeth kicked in by a client,” he says. “Then I’d go home and write 2, 3 or 4 hours a night. It helped me in business. But I reached a breaking point.”
Calling himself MAK, he released 3 albums. They include influences of pop, R&B, reggaeton and electro.
His new single may mean the most to him.
He wrote “You’re The Reason” as a tribute to his mother. She’s battling cancer.
He gave it to her privately, then released it on YouTube. In just 2 weeks, it’s found an audience. In just 3 weeks, it’s been viewed nearly 300,000 times.
The Comments section is filled with touching praise. Much of it comes from moms — and their children — who had never heard an artist honor his mother this way.
“It’s a universal song,” MAK says.
“Anyone who has that someone in their life who is the reason they are who they are can relate to it.”
He credits his parents with exposing him to “so much at a young age.” His mother nurtured his interests, and supported him as he pursued his many dreams.
“To get the opportunity to pay my love back to my mom through my music is a treasured gift for me, coming full circle,” MAK says.
“I had never written a song dedicated to one person,” the Brooklyn-based artist says. His mother put herself through Harvard University, and had a career as a teacher.
“That challenge was daunting. But I didn’t go looking for this project. It became apparent that the most powerful love language I had to translate my feelings and emotions to my mom was through this song.”
MAK adds, “The lyrics are deeply personal, while telling a story that anyone can relate to. I wrote this song for my mom, but I realized along the way that it was not only for her and me. It could be your mom, or anyone in your life that is the reason you are who you are.”
MAK teamed up once again with his friend, producer Yonatan Watts. He said, “something just feels right about this track. These nostalgic piano chords over an upbeat rock synth and drums feel sentimental, while getting your energy up at the same time. It was the perfect vibe for MAK to celebrate his mom to.
“You’re The Reason”’s AI-enhanced music video intriguingly fuses a storybook tail of MAK and his mom with oil-painted Impressionist art, synthwave aesthetics and artificially enhanced scenes.
“You’re The Reason” is now available on streaming platforms worldwide. Click below for the full-length music video.
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Amazing accomplishments. Amazing determination. Amazing story. Dan writes amazingly well
Wow…..is it a coincidence that Wow upside down spells MOM?
The song you wrote for your mom touches my heart! I know it touched her heart too!
Phyllis was very special person … kind & giving + a great conversationist & so smart. I enjoyed our conversations over the years while working with her at Norwalk Hospital. My sympathy
to her family. Mary Condon.
A beautiful tribute to your mother and your relationship with her.