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Arts + Culture

Deanne Matley Redefines the Wedding Song Genre

How many times have you been to a wedding where a mother-son dance gets extra special wedding commendation? We haven’t been to many but just because the wedding industry hasn’t built in special recognition for your mama, doesn’t mean there aren’t people out to change that.

Calgary-born jazz vocalist, Deanne Matley, is one of those people. Deanne has made a name for herself across Canada and beyond with five albums ranging from standards to pop Christmas favourites. She has also earned her spots in top jazz playlists in Canada, the United States, and Europe, and in the hearts of listeners around the world.

We sat down with this pure and powerful vocalist to discuss her latest song, Love Him Forever, and how she is paving the way for a new era of mother-son dances.

Vern: How is this song different from your other work?

Deanne Matley: Love Him Forever is more of an adult contemporary piece, where my past work has mostly been focused in the jazz genre. This song will connect with more hearts all over the world because it is hitting an uncommon niche and in a more popular style. Most of my work has been around adult love relationships, this will be the first song that is about a specific family relationship. I have been able to write music based on my personal experiences, where with this song, as I don’t have kids, it was solely based on a feeling.

The feeling started with the original instrumental composition that my good friend Jon Day shared with me and I was as they say “Hooked on a Feeling.” The lyrics were literally written in 10 minutes, that is how open I was to receive the download. I have never taken almost 3 years to release anything either, so really it has always been about divine timing with this piece.

How this song also is different for me is that it will act as two or three different songs, the lyrics have already been adjusted to be a father/daughter dance, which I will at one point have a male voice record that version, and as well the lyrics will also be altered for a funeral song. — eep — tears already.

V: Why is this song important/impactful to/for you?

DM: Honestly, sometimes I feel moms get the short end of the stick when it comes to weddings. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having my dad walk me down the aisle and our special song just for us to dance to as I’m sure a lot of father/daughters have embraced and cherished, but I do know this — if I had a son, him and I would be dancing at his wedding whether he liked it or not! I’m pretty sure I will make my nephew dance with his aunt at his wedding, which means I will probably have to write that one as well. All fun aside, this song is going to celebrate the beautiful connection between a mother and son, their special bond, an intimacy that will never be shared by anybody else. A relationship that, quite honestly, impacts the world. This song is inspired by that.

V: How do you hope it’s received?

DM: Well, one always hopes it will be well received! The truth of the matter is it will reach and touch the people it’s supposed to. Once I release any form of art, at the end of the day, I have no control how any of it will be received. If I don’t risk and take a chance, no one will ever get to have an opinion bad or good. I have released five albums and it always amazes me to discover who loves my music.

My last album is still being discovered a year later. Most recently Panama, for example, and I love it! So really, I have no expectations or attachment to the outcome, but I do know that every mother I have talked to about the song (especially ones with sons) have choked up from me just talking about it, so that’s a pretty good sign. And because we now live in such a visual world, the video will only enhance the experience – move over cute cats and dogs!

V: What is your favourite part of a wedding celebration? Why?

DM: I love the ceremony, it is so emotional and music brings out emotion that is often difficult to express through words. Every time I sing at a couple’s wedding I get chills as I know they are communicating with each other through me — it is so beautifully intense! For a lot of people, getting married will be one of the most precious moments that they will have in their entire lives and I always feel so honoured to be a part of that special moment. Music is the gateway to our hearts. It is what connects us and isn’t that what weddings are all about: connection.

Catch a Vern exclusive sneak-peak of the Love Him Forever music video below:

Film: @ringtailfilms
Make-up @stonefoxartistry
Hair & Makeup: @somethingborrowedbeauty
Mother of Son Dress: @blushandravenyyc
Decor: @engagedweddingshow
Groom’s Hair: @bestofsevenbarbers
Venue: @tricklecreekyyc

Follow Deanne Mately on Instagram @deannematley and use the hashtag #lovehimforever

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