- 30 Jun 22
Dublin producer, singer and songwriter Chameleon was the recipient of the A New Local Hero Award, run as part of Irish Music Month last year. Now the resulting single 'Show Me Where Your Heart Is' is ready for release on 15 July. The good news: it's a humdinger...
Chameleon, the winner of the A New Local Hero Award in November 2021, is set to release the resulting single on Friday 15 July, via the Rubyworks label. Titled 'Show Me Where Your Heart Is', it is a brilliant statement of intent from an artist who clearly has what it takes to go all the way.
A New Local Hero is part of the Irish Music Month initiative – a partnership between Hot Press and twenty-five IBI radio stations all over Ireland, who are affiliated to the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland organisation. Irish Music Month is funded by the BAI, through the Sound & Vision scheme. It is supported by XL Retail, MCD Productions, IMRO, RAAP and X-Music.
“Chameleon is a genuinely extraordinary talent,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes observes. “There was a real buzz across the industry when he was named as the recipient of the A New Local Hero Award for 2021. And with good reason. All of the raw talent and the abundant promise that we saw in Chameleon has been superbly realised on ‘Show Me Where Your Heart Is’. A brilliant slice of contemporary soul, it is the definition of radio-friendly pop music, but of a kind that feels powerfully real and of the moment.
“I think 'Show Me Where Your Heart Is' represents the perfect statement of intent from an artist who has the talent, the ability and the charisma, to become a huge star. People have been making comparisons with Prince, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd and Jai Paul and that’s the territory we are in here. I think the track will be played off the air for the very simple reason that it is a brilliant record – a real anthem for the summer of '22.
“The release of the single is also a fantastic monument to what the twenty-five IBI stations achieved, in partnership with Hot Press, on Irish Music Month. A big well done to all is in order.”
“Last October during Irish Music Month,” Lisa Ní Choisdealbha, Executive Director of the IBI says, "we started out with 25 independent radio stations, from all parts of Ireland, all searching for Ireland’s next big talent. We’re absolutely thrilled to see Chameleon’s winning single, 'Show Me Where Your Heart Is', ready to hit the airwaves. He blew the judges away with his talent and I’ve no doubt that he’ll be as big a hit with the audience as he was with the judging panel.”
Drawing influence from the likes of James Blake, Brockhampton, Kanye West and Arlo Parks, Chameleon released a collaborative single, ‘You Know’, with Lucy McWilliams last year.
The talented 22-year-old was the winner of the A New Local Hero award , which was run during Irish Music Month with the support of the BAI – and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, who recorded a special message for the glittering final night, on 18 November.
The special showcase took place at The Academy, Dublin, with 98FM representative Chameleon featuring alongside Carrie Baxter (WLR), Fintan McKahey (96FM), Leah Moran (Spin 1038) and Mia Yermeche (FM104). At the time, Chameleon was congratulated warmly on his stunning success by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.
25 radio stations around the country participated, including 98FM; Clare FM; Classic Hits; Cork's 96; East Coast FM; FM104; Galway Bay FM; Highland Radio; iRadio; KCLR; KFM; Live 95; LMFM; Midlands Radio; Midwest Radio; Ocean FM; Radio Kerry; Radio Nova; Red FM; Shannonside / Northern Sound; South East Radio, SPIN 1038; SPIN South West; WLR FM and TIPP FM.
Judges for the A New Local Hero award included representatives from IMRO, RAAP, Rubyworks, the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland and Hot Press, as well as musicians and songwriters, RuthAnne Cunningham and Róisín O.
Matthew Harris received an incredible prize for his win, including €5,000 in cash; €5,000 worth of gear from X-Music and the release of a single via the Rubyworks label. 'Show Me Where Your Heart Is' also has a guaranteed 30 plays on all 25 stations, adding up to a minimum of 750 in total.
"I was sitting in a film lecture, bored out of my mind," Chameleon recalls, "so I just decided to give the full lecture towards applying for the competition via 98fm, which is a Dublin station. I'd never won anything like that in my life, but you never know what could happen, right? So I just went for it. I felt like I fit the criteria. I didn't have anything to lose at that point.
"I was super nervous. When it came to the live performance, I had to get ready a lot quicker than I'd planned, but it was a really nice atmosphere and environment in the Academy on the night. Everyone was super supportive. As soon as you got on stage, it was grand. I was happy out there – and obviously over the moon with the result!"
Working with Roger Quail of Rubyworks Records, Matthew – who made his festival debut as Chameleon at Forbidden Fruit recently – has had the support of a proper label for the first time in his life. That made the recording of 'Show Me Where Your Heart Is' a lot less stressful.
"He's a legend," he says of Roger. "We get on very well. I've always wondered what it would be like if I didn't have to worry about all the nuts and bolts, and to have someone to take care of it, so I can just focus on music. Collaborating with Rubyworks, that side of things has been really great. It's good for me as well to have some deadlines set in place!
"It's been really, really fun. The buzz and excitement of a music label is just incredible. I can't wait to see what the response to the single is – and where it all goes from here."
'Show Me Where Your Heart Is' kicks off with a floating, fuzzed guitar riff and '80s-style synths, before Chameleon's textured, soulful vocals rein in the instrumentation. The sultry track has an addictive bridge and marvellously catchy chorus, with scattered raps giving it a funky zeitgeist-defining edge.
Melding contemporary and nostalgic influences is part of Chameleon's forte, his name hinting at the versatility of this fast-rising Irish artist. Already confidently exploring the realms of alternative R&B, hip-hop and pop, there's few genres Matthew Harris won't be capable of making his own.
Keep an eye – and an ear – out on Friday fortnight, when the enigmatic 'Show Me Where Your Heart Is' hits the airwaves. You won't be able to get it out of your head once it lands.
Stay tuned for an interview with Chameleon in the forthcoming issue of Hot Press.