Matt Ox was born Matthew Grau, in northeast Philadelphia, US, on December 13, 2004. He was raised in the Lawncrest locality of Philadelphia.
He had a difficult childhood. His father had severe psychological issues. Shortly after Matthew’s birth, his father committed suicide. His mother, Laurel, and one of his aunts raised him all by themselves.
Matt’s love for music was evident since he was a child. His mother and aunt were big fans of raps by Kendrick Lamar and Eminem. Matt soon got addicted to Lamar and Eminem.
Matt was always a creative child and was not too interested in academics.
By the time he was 5 years old, he had already started writing songs. When his mother looked at the songs that he had written, she was surprised by the quality of his writing.
She decided to support Matt in whatever way she could to make sure Matt could achieve his dream of becoming a rapper. By the time he was 12 years old, he had started to consider a career in music.
He did odd jobs to save money for a microphone. After months, he finally saved enough to buy a cheap microphone. He later stated in an interview that he had written ‘Overwhelming’ in 10 minutes straight, on a night when his mother was yelling at him to go to sleep.
He recorded his early singles on his mother’s ‘MacBook’ and uploaded them on ‘SoundCloud.’ Little did he know that this mere trial would catapult him to fame within a few months.
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Matt Ox had written and recorded several tracks before he became a social-media sensation. He produced and uploaded many tracks on ‘SoundCloud,’ but over time, he realized that those songs were not flawless and he deleted them. He had an uncle who was a small-time music producer.
Matt drew real-life inspiration from his uncle and visited him at his recording studio. He learned the basics of music production from his uncle and practiced on his mother’s laptop. Soon, he started recording and releasing singles online.
One of his first singles was ‘Pretty Penny,’ which made its ‘SoundCloud’ debut in January 2017. The song was popular on the portal, and through it, Matt got in touch with an artist named F1lthy, who later became his manager. He also introduced Matt to his crew named ‘Working on Dying.’ The crew had music producers such as Oogie Mane and Forza, who promised to produce tracks for Matt’s future singles.
Matt’s first contribution to the official channel of ‘Working on Dying’ was the single ‘Low Key.’ The song became viral and brought Matt significant attention from the artistic and rapping community.
A few weeks later, Matt uploaded another song on the channel, ‘Michael Myers,’ which became another major success and garnered about half a million “views” within the first few weeks of being uploaded. Presently, the song has been played close to two million times.
Two weeks later, Matt released another music video, for the single titled ‘This N That.’ The video has earned close to seven million “views” on ‘YouTube’ to date. Soon, Matt became a known face in the rap music scene and began receiving offers to join several rapping crews. However, he insisted on staying with ‘Working on Dying.’
Matt’s greatest success was his song ‘Overwhelming,’ which was released in May 2018. The video garnered more than two million “views” within just a few days of its release. The single presently has more than 23 million “views” on ‘YouTube.’
Following the huge success of the single, Matt became an overnight star. His lyrics were praised, as they gave an apt description of how life was in Philadelphia. Many respectable media outlets such as ‘Mashable,’ ‘The New York Times,’ and ‘XXL’ published stories about Matt, bringing him more fame.
Matt enjoyed the immense success of the track and received offers from high-profile rappers such as Meek Mill and Lil Uzi but turned them down. He signed a contract with ‘Warner Bros. Records’ in September 2017.
With ‘Warner Bros,’ Matt released the singles ‘Youngest Coming Up’ and ‘Messages.’ In September 2017, Matt got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was invited by Chief Keef to perform at his concert in Los Angeles. Matt performed with Chief and earned accolades.
Matt continues to release singles from time to time. More recently, he has uploaded songs such as ‘Yeah Yeah,’ ‘Athlete,’ and ‘Deposits.’
Of late, Matt heads his own group, ‘Ox Gang.’ He also designs and sells T-shirts via the official website of ‘Working on Dying.’
He also plans to release his debut mixtape in 2018.
Matt Ox is close to his mother and trusts her with his career. She accompanies him on most of his tours, and he does not perform at venues that his mother does not like.
Matt dropped out of school to make a career in music. However, his mother did not let him abandon his academic career altogether. He is presently being homeschooled, as he is too busy to attend regular school.