bio 1“Everything is music and music is everything.” --- Matt Portella

For singer/songwriter Matt Portella, music isn’t just a passion…it’s a calling. Inspired by music at an early age, Portella was drawn to the incomparable songwriting, harmonies, and arrangements of The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and John Denver, and later by the dynamic stage presence of Kiss’ Ace Frehley. But it was always the full-bodied, raw and truthful sound of the acoustic guitar that stuck with him and would later become an integral part of his signature sound.

Early on, he looked to artists like Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House who were redefining the music scene with an honesty, depth and emotion rarely heard in that generation, and started writing and performing his own music. Portella’s fan base immediately began growing from his first public gigs throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey region. He quickly built a reputation in the singer/songwriter community as a must-see performer and was soon sharing the stage with some of the most acclaimed names in the industry including Dave Mason, The Bacon Brothers, Jeffrey Gaines and more.

By 2012, Portella was ready to commit to his first full length album with a complete band.  He teamed up with bassist Fran Smith, Jr. from The Hooters and released Fractured Image in 2013. The CD was produced by Portella and co-produced by Smith and Andy Kravitz (Juliana Hatfield, Life of Agony).  Tod Howarth (Ace Frehley’s Comet, Cheap Trick) joined in on some of the backing vocals. The 10-track album which was recorded in both NJ and CA received critical acclaim from the press and fans alike for songs like ““Boys”, “Three (Everyday)” and “Funeral”. Describing the album best is Pop Break which wrote, “Fractured Image defines who Matt Portella is as a person and as an artist. The record has something for everyone no matter what genre you’re into. He has succeeded in producing a vibrant, appealing album from beginning to end and it comes highly recommended.”’

Representative of Portella’s knack for connecting with his audience,bio 3 “Boys” is an emotionally-charged song with an ethereal vibe inspired by his then four year old son while they were watching Fourth of July fireworks.
The provocative topic and title of the song “Funeral” captures Portella’s unique brand of musical creativity. He describes it perfectly, saying “From the beginning to the end it just drives straight ahead with relentless rhythm and dark enthusiasm.  I like the metaphors and symbolism in the lyrics about life, death and rebirth.”

Perhaps Portella’s most recognized song is his first single, “Three (Everyday)”. This catchy, melody-driven track features an upbeat guitar riff with memorable lyrics which the audience loves singing at Portella’s shows. “It's definitely a fan favorite. It always amazes me how many people know the lyrics and sing along,” said Portella.

Currently, Portella performs solo or with his band which is made up of Smith, drummer David Uosikkinen from The Hooters and Steve Butler from Smash Palace. His devoted fans never miss a show or a lyric. This is exactly how Portella likes it. “Both in my song writing and in my ‘day job’ as a criminal defense attorney, I use words to describe and convey emotions, thoughts and perspectives, whether to a music fan, a judge or a jury, so they see and feel what I so strongly believe in.”

Portella is a fan’s musician – approachable, humble and interested in those around him.  “I love going out and meeting as many of the people who came to the show as I can. It’s an awesome experience for me, one that I always embrace, interacting and connecting with fans after a show.  They’ve taken their time to come see me play and I want them to know how much that means to me.”  Whether in front of thousands of fans or a jury of twelve people, Portella’s energetic performances always shine.