Music is a field for anyone and everyone as we strive to discover new sounds that connect us as people. This becomes even more relevant during a person’s time in college, as it is a formative point in one’s life where one may feel the most connected to a particular community or group. Local musician Matthew Cornwell aims to bring the community together through innovating new sounds inspired by his experiences.

Cornwell was born in the Binghamton area and has lived in various other places, but now calls the Southern Tier home once again as he works on his musical endeavors. Cornwell spoke on the Southern Tier music community.

“There is deep camaraderie within our community,” Cornwell said. “Our job is to get as many people at once into a space for a shared experience. People are more aware of art without its presence.”

Delving more into the music itself, Cornwell said music creation and performance are things the local community wishes to immerse itself in. He was very eager to talk about his upcoming musical creations, and spoke on some of his inspirations.

“’Bennie And The Jets’ [by Elton John], love the groove to that song, and ‘Woman’ by Harry Styles is an inspiration,” Cornwell said. “I’m trying to make electronic-infused R&B grunge rock, like a Frank Ocean and Kurt Cobain mix.”

Throughout the music-making process, there are various ways to define music and what it means to be a musician. These two concepts can mean something unique to each individual as there are many factors that can go into it. Personal experiences and what is inspiring to one person compared to another is crucial, as Cornwell said.

“It’s expression at its core, as well as being self-genuine and sharing your soul on a base level,” Cornwell said. “I think I spend a lot of my time in the hip-hop genre while exploring others recently.”

Cornwell said all of this will be encapsulated in an album he has been working on.

“It will be out Jan. 21, 2022, on all streaming services,” Cornwell said. “It’ll be R&B-leaning with grunge elements. It will definitely be something to listen to while you’re [holed] up inside with the cold weather, which is a reason why I chose that release date.”

Live performance is something fans can also look forward to before the album release, as there are multiple venues Cornwell performs at.

“I usually play at Peterson’s [Tavern] pretty frequently,” Cornwell said. “South City Publick House, [The Old Union Hotel] and The Stone Fox of course, as well.”

The year 2021 has been an exciting time to witness the return of live music, especially within the comfort of the Binghamton and Southern Tier community. The inspiration and talent coming from local musicians and artists is astounding and feels novel now that everyone is able to gather in person and experience live music together.

There will be numerous opportunities to see Cornwell perform before his album’s release in early 2022. As COVID-19 restrictions ease up, the local music community is now able to come together and bond over music from passionate local artists like Cornwell.