CATSKILL — Inspired by his love of music and passion to fight hunger, Elliot Matos of Catskill is embarking on a project to highlight local talent and address food insecurity.
Matos, who has worked in the music industry for about 30 years as a DJ and producer, is searching for Greene County musicians for an album he is putting together. Proceeds from the album will go to the Catskill Food Pantry, where Matos has been volunteering for the past year.
“I volunteered at the food pantry for the past year,” Matos said. “We were trying to figure out ways that we can create some money coming in for us to purchase food. The numbers of families coming to the pantry has risen incredibly since March of last year.”
Matos saw that the Council for Resources to Enrich the Arts, Technology & Education, or CREATE, had community arts grants available and decided to apply.
“I came up immediately with a music compilation,” he said. “I know a lot of artists in Greene County that are amazing. What if they all donated a song and we sold the record on Spotify and Apple Music and whatever money came from that goes to the pantry and helping food insecurity?”
Matos received a $3,700 grant from CREATE and will be recognized at a virtual awards ceremony Thursday at 6 p.m. CREATE is awarding 50 grants totaling $126,000 to artists and organizations in Columbia, Greene and Schoharie counties. Matos was among nine Community Arts grant recipients in Greene County.
Matos will select musicians in June, he said.
“I want to show the diversity of the talent that exists here in Greene County,” he said.
A committee will review the submissions to determine which songs will be picked, Matos said, adding that the composition of the committee has not been finalized.
Musicians will be limited to one track each, Matos said.
Art students at Catskill High School will submit designs for the album cover, Matos said.
“A teacher [Wendy Doney] approached me and said, ‘I would love to give my Catskill art students this project,’” Matos said. “I thought that would be great and then they can submit their top three and we will pick out which one will go perfect with the album.”
The winning student will receive a $500 stipend, Matos said.
Musicians selected for the album will receive a $150 stipend, he added.
“They can choose to accept the stipend or to bypass the stipend so it can go into more marketing of the album,” Matos said. Some submissions that Matos has received so far include Ryder Cooley, Lex Gray, Liam Singer of Avalon Lounge and a high school student, Matos said.
The album is tentatively scheduled to be released in September, Matos said, adding he has not determined who will be mastering the album.
“What I plan to do is have some outdoor fall harvest events,” Matos said. “This is about creating awareness about food insecurity in Greene County. I’ve been in contact with the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, some people in Prattsville, and Liam and Laura Singer here in Catskill to do some outdoor fall harvest record release parties as well.”
Matos has worked as a DJ and house music producer since the 1990s, participating in events in Long Island, Manhattan, Vermont and the Netherlands.
Matos has organized a number of events including “Women of House” and “Sound of Blackness,” which feature female and Black DJs, respectively, as well as some local events such as the Diversity March and Rainbow Pride Parade in Catskill.
To submit a track, contact Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org.