It’s been two years since 11-year-old Matthew Dino stole our hearts with a song dedicated to frontline workers battling COVID-19 – inspired by his parents, Westmead Hospital nurses Sheila and Gemmel.
From there Matthew created a film clip with the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) multimedia team, starred at our annual awards ceremony, appeared on Sunrise, and had his song added to the National Film and Sound Archive.
Now he’s releasing his first professionally produced music to the world with producer Lionel Cole on the cusp of his 13th birthday, including a remix of the ‘Superheroes in Disguise’ track where it all began.
“I never thought something like this would happen. I just thought of it as another school project, done and onto the next thing,” Matthew said.
“Being on TV was a really big highlight and brought so many opportunities to meet new people like Lionel, who is a super cool producer and really fun to work with.
“He was inspired by the message I was putting out to the frontline workers, and he really changed the song in a whole different way to make it more upbeat so it’s not that serious. Now people can have a dance to it!”
“I knew recording the song would be a dream come true for me but I was not really confident in doing this before. Just out of nowhere my voice has dropped!
“Going through puberty and my voice changing is something that is quite challenging for me. I used to sing songs with higher notes that I could hit with ease. Now I am into the stage of trying to get to know my voice and adjusting to it. It is kinda hard.”
Dealing with this struggle was part of the inspiration for his next single, which is about thanking someone for their support through hard times.
Matthew’s proud mum Sheila said the experience had taught her a lot about parenthood.
“We didn’t realise he was looking at what we not just at home but at work. I thought it’s just a career but it actually impacted him. It helps us to be mindful of what we do,” Sheila said.
“The first time I heard his lyrics it made me cry. And I’m so thankful to the hospital making the video and for everything – that’s where it all started and it just grew.”
Despite the inspiration of his parents, Matthew remains passionate about pursuing a career in music.
“I really enjoy it and it just makes me feel happier and better. So I want others to be happy by producing my own music and making them have a great day,” he said.