Episode 64 | Matt Bronleewe • Songwriter | Producer | Author
In episode 64, Brenton and Bryant unpack the creative journey of Matt Bronleewe. Matt is a long-time Nashville based producer and songwriter. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Matt always had a strong passion for music. He grew up playing guitar and listening to 80’s hair bands which caused him to be “that guitar player kid” in his small town high school. While in college, he met Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell and Stephen Mason. Together the four of them formed the group Jars of Clay, named after a verse in the Bible. The group began performing around their college and later recorded their debut demo album Frail. Following the demo’s release, the group’s fame spread, and they were approached by Christian record label Essential Records to record a full-length studio album.
Matt was married in August 1994 and lived for one year in Sterling, IL where he continued to work on his studies. In the summer of 1995, Matt was invited to reenter the world of music when another Greenville College student, Sarah Jahn invited him to play guitar for an independent CD she was recording, and later asked him to play guitar for her full-time. Matt moved to Nashville, and played with Jahn as well as pursuing other avenues of song writing and record production. Bronleewe had become known as a previous member of Jars of Clay as the group had rightly credited him as a co-songwriter for several songs from their album, which had gone platinum. With this, Bronleewe worked with several musical artists, most notably producing the debut album by Plumb, for which Jars of Clay member Haseltine co-wrote the song “Concrete” with Bronleewe and Arbuckle (the lead singer of Plumb). Following this successful release, Bronleewe collaborated with Christian singer-songwriter Chris Tomlin, with whom he was nominated for a 2003 GMA Dove Award. Bronleewe continues to collaborate with various musicians in the American Christian music scene such as Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Kari Jobe, and Leeland. Outside of the Christian music genre, Bronleewe has worked with artists such as Australian Natalie Imbruglia, actress Hayden Panettiere, former Tonic frontman Emerson Hart and American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke.
After building a name for himself in the music industry, Bronleewe turned to the literary world. In August 2007, Bronleewe released his first book, Illuminated. The thriller conspiracy novel has been likened to stories such as The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure.
n 2009, Bronleewe joined Dan Haseltine and Jeremy Bose to form a new band, The Hawk In Paris. The band released a seven song EP, His+Hers, in 2011 filled with melancholy love songs reminiscent of 80’s synth-pop groups like Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys. More recently, Matt has created a new venture under the name “Unsecret Music” involving some of the best songwriters and artists Nashville has to offer. ⏪