Courtesy of Pamela Littky
When Mat Kearney moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Nashville, Tenn., the roof was caving in and mice would crawl across his face at night.
It was in that run-down apartment that he realized he wanted to make music.
“I didn’t care,” Kearney told The Lantern in an email. “As long as I was writing songs.”
Since then he has put out four albums and has had five top 20 hits on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart. Kearney is scheduled to come to Newport Music Hall Tuesday at 7 p.m. to perform his latest album, “Young Love.”
Though Kearney is a musician, he said he has always considered himself a writer first.
“I was a writer before I was a musician,” he said in an email. “Writing is the way I listen and process music. I started out in high school, writing poems with my friends trying to impress the girls. It felt so limitless.”
The inspiration that leads to that writing comes from “everywhere,” Kearney said.
“I write about my friends and the dark places of my own life,” he said in an email. “I write about falling in love and the grace of god, my grandfather’s illegal gambling ring and meeting my wife at Anthropology.”
Kearney said his newest album has its differences from his previous ones.
“This one is very personal and story driven,” he said in an email. “It also has a lot of beats. If you put it on in your car and turn it up you have to bob your head.”
Through Kearney’s experience as a musician, helping people through his music has been the most important thing to him.
“The most rewarding is someone telling you how your music has helped them get through something or understand someone better, made them feel close to god,” he said in an email. “The moments when you touch on something bigger and older than yourself leave you humbled and full of contentment.”
Kearney said the “Young Love” tour has been one of his greatest.
“It’s been epic,” he said in an email. “More people than ever have showed up and we are putting on a better show than we ever have.”
One student that will be in the crowd at the concert is Jordan Brauning, a third-year in athletic training.
“I took my girlfriend in high school to a show and it was great,” he said. “I’m going to surprise her for her birthday by taking her again this time. I really liked him in high school and I still think he’s pretty good.”
Erin Casey, a third-year in nursing, used to be a fan of Kearney, but isn’t any longer.
“I used to love him in high school but I don’t really listen to him anymore,” Casey said. “I don’t know if a lot of students will go because I don’t think he’s that popular any more.
Kearney said a variety of emotions might come from students attending the concert.
“We’ll make them laugh and make them cry, and maybe they might just fall in love,” he said in an email.