Andrew Matarazzo joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about the impact Teen Wolf has had on his life, interactions with fans of the show, making music for his YouTube channel, and much more.
Q: We are approaching the two-year anniversary since ‘Teen Wolf’ concluded. How do you reflect on your time on the show and the impact it’s had on your life?
A: Teen Wolf came to me at the perfect time when I was doubting myself and the direction I was heading in. At the time I had a lot of voices around me that were not the most positive. When I booked the role as a two-episode guest spot, but later found out I was sticking around for the remainder of the series, it gave me such reassurance that the hard work I put in was in fact being noticed. In many ways it was the first major stepping stone in the direction I wanted to go in.
Q: What will be your enduring or standout memory from being on the show?
A: I think it’s the people I met from being part of that family. Some of them became major parts of my life after the show ended. And playing Gabe came with a lot of “firsts” for me. I got to do some really cool stunts, weapon training, explore sides of myself that I wasn’t familiar with. The whole experience is going to hold a lot of weight for me in my life.
Q: I’ve spoken to a few cast members of ‘Shadowhunters’ about the incredible fandom that persists long after the show has ended. Is there a similar level of fandom for ‘Teen Wolf”?
A: Oh definitely. I think with supernatural shows like Teen Wolf and Shadowhunters, there’s this other world created for the audience, so I think fans find this connection to us as actors, who are seemingly from this fantasy world.
I’m really lucky to have done a show with a fandom like Teen Wolf. It’s an immense love that lasts so far beyond the show. It means a lot to me that I got to be part of that.
Q: Can you think of any occasions where a fan or fans have surprised you?
A: I’ve had some of the most thoughtful gifts given to me by fans. Extensive, handwritten books made by groups of them who came together and wrote personal messages for me. One girl gave me a handmade travel guide to the city she’s from that I was going to be visiting the month after. Fans putting together airport meet ups just so they can give me gifts they saved up for.
I just saw today a fan page organized a “streaming party” to get one of my new music videos to 100 thousand views! They really go above and beyond. I’m ALWAYS surprised by them.
Q: As we’ve seen on Instagram, you get some incredible travel opportunities. Which city have you found to be the most inspiring or creatively stimulating?
A: When I visit Rome I am always so inspired. I have a lot of heritage there and visited many times growing up, so I feel very at peace there. Visiting for work was a totally new experience for me. I saw things with different eyes, and having local fans from somewhere that is really significant to my childhood totally blew my mind. The art and history there alone is enough to inspire, but the energy is what really sticks with me.
Q: You’ve been recording covers of music by Shawn Mendes, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande and others on your YouTube channel. How do you approach covers and putting your own spin on a song?
A: I have a very specific vibe that I want to hone for my music, and when a song hits me in a familiar way, that fits with my style, I HAVE to cover it. I always know right away when I first hear a track I’m going to take on. And because I choose songs that are already up my alley, I find that when I’m recording my version they always become mine. It’s not something I consciously try to do, I just feel what I’m saying so it starts turning into more my style than the original.
Q: As part of those covers, you’ve collaborated with artists such as Arden Cho and Nicolina. What feeling does it give you to share and create music with another artist?
A: I love it! I am always up for collaborating with artists that challenge me and ones that bring out different sides of me.
Q: Who is at the top of your list to collaborate with in the future?
A: I’d love to do something with Billie Eilish, Rosalía and SZA. That’d be a vibe.
Q: Do you have any plans in the works to start putting out original music or even an EP?
A: I’ve been writing lines that come to mind rather than full songs. The ideas are churning in my head for original music, but I don’t have a set plan for it yet. I just know that I will feel when I NEED to start my own music and right now im still exploring and building my musical side.
Q: And lastly, do you have any plans or ambitions to share with us?
A: I’ve got some cool stuff in the works that I can’t wait to finally be able to talk about. As far as goals go, I’m just excited to keep firing all cylinders and working hard on my craft, my music and even try my hand at things I haven’t done yet.