Music Features

Tempe's Travis Stacey Gets Assist From Logic as Recording Artist

Travis Stacey went from 30 monthly Spotify listeners to more than 26,000 in less than a year, thanks in part to an unlikely partnership with rapper Logic.
Travis Stacey went from 30 monthly Spotify listeners to more than 26,000 in less than a year, thanks in part to an unlikely partnership with rapper Logic. Justin Fleischer
It’s hard for Travis Matylewicz to believe what’s happened in the last four months.

“It legitimately went from nothing to everything I have now within just maybe three hours,” the Tempe indie rocker, better known by his stage name Travis Stacey, told Phoenix New Times in a recent phone interview.

On an April morning, he woke up for his job as a monitor engineer at Crescent Ballroom. In his studio apartment, the room was a mess. There were clothes and music equipment scattered everywhere, then Matylewicz looked down at a confusing notification on his phone.

Logic, the Grammy-nominated rapper with three platinum and three gold records, followed him on Instagram. Matylewicz's account — travis_stac3y — was the only one followed at the time by Logic, born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II in 1990.

Bewildered, Matylewicz sent Logic a “thank you” message, and the rapper immediately asked for his phone number and called. On the freeway heading to work, he spoke to Logic on the phone.

“He was, like, obsessed with [my music],” he said. “It made no sense — no one's ever heard my music.”

At the urging of a few friends, Matylewicz even FaceTimed Logic later that day to verify that the situation was legitimate. Logic answered nonchalantly, saying "What's up?" like there was never a doubt.

“I thought I was getting scammed. I thought it was fake,” Matylewicz said. “You really never think things are going to work out for you in that way.”

Until then, the 25-year-old had been something of a music journeyman, working with sound and lighting at various venues and live sound companies in the Valley. After moving to Tempe at age 16, he then went to study for a little over a year at Columbia College Chicago before transferring to Gilbert’s Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Originally from Agoura Hills, California, in Los Angeles County, Matylewicz has been making music since eighth grade. He performed in various rock bands during his time studying in Chicago and releasing music under the name Travis Stacey for three years, drawing from influences like Kurt Vile and Neil Young.

In April, Matylewicz was excited to have over 400 monthly listeners on Spotify. Then Logic, with more than 6 million IG followers, posted a screenshot of Travis Stacey’s Spotify profile with the caption, “Check this kid out, you’re welcome.”
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Indie rocker Travis Stacey is releasing his first label-backed single, “Only You,” under BobbyBoy Records on Friday.
JT Clemente

As the end of the summer nears, there are Travis Stacey songs on curated Spotify indie playlists, thousands of Instagram followers and over 26,000 monthly Spotify listeners. But feelings of self-skepticism haven’t faded as fast as his anonymity.

“I'm on a playlist with people [such as Steve Lacy] I legitimately idolize,” Matylewicz said. “And I'm like, 'Fuck, take me off this playlist.'

“I'm inherently a pretty insecure person, so it's hard for me to go from just assuming that my music is not that good because of plays and stuff like that, to now I get a bunch of people DMing me like, ‘When's the new music coming out?’”

After the initial phone call, Matylewicz and Logic built an authentic friendship over Skype calls and a shared love for music. In May, Logic called and offered him a job as his personal assistant. The job would include housing at Logic’s place and opportunities to record music using the rapper’s abundant resources. Matylewicz had one week to decide.

“I told him yes, and then I called him a week later and I was like, ‘I can't, I can't do it. I just don't think I'm the person to do this job,’” he said.

Logic called again and urged him to overcome nerves about taking the next step. The persuasion worked, and Matylewicz packed his Nissan and drove 17 hours to Oregon.

Matylewicz has spent this summer as Logic’s personal assistant, traveling from coast to coast on the rapper’s Vinyl Verse Tour alongside Wiz Khalifa and 24kGoldn. Before this year, he’d never even been on a tour.

“I feel very spoiled, I'm not gonna lie,” Matylewicz said. “It is crazy to never be on a tour and to be on such a high production tour where there's catered meals every day, per diem and all this nice stuff.

“There’s just so many benefits and so many amenities that, truthfully, I've never been around in my life. I feel very out of place sometimes.”

On July 30, backstage at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, Matylewicz signed with BobbyBoy Records, the Logic-owned label that includes artists like Damian Lemar Hudson and John Lindahl.

After signing the record deal, Matylewicz left the green room to see a glimpse of his life in years passed. Crew workers walked by, hauling massive cases of live sound equipment.

“I used to load in and out at concerts, and I used to work at that venue [Ak-Chin Pavilion] that I got signed at,” he said. “There's nothing wrong with that job, but that shit was hard. I broke my foot at a Michael Bublé concert loading in when I worked labor like that.”

Life looks pretty different now. After releasing eight singles independently this year, Matylewicz is releasing his first single with BobbyBoy Records on Friday, a track called “Only You.”

Now wrapping up the East Coast leg of Logic’s tour, Matylewicz is still getting used to the often 24/7 work schedule as a personal assistant. The late nights and inconsistent sleep schedules are dizzying.

On a July morning, he woke up confused in the back of a tour bus as they pulled into that day’s venue. Pretty certain they were in Atlanta, he raved to the local crew about how amazing the city is.

“I was like, ‘Atlanta is the most beautiful place I've ever been!’” he said. “Because I've never been there.”

Three hours later, somebody finally told him they were actually in North Carolina. 
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Gannon Hanevold
Contact: Gannon Hanevold

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