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16K Songs and Counting: An Interview with Matt Farley

Posted by November 16th, 2014 No Comments » Interview
Q&A with Matt Farley

A couple of years ago I was searching Spotify for audio clips from comedian Joe Mande. It was part of a foolish effort to Tweet about every band performing at the 2012 Sasquatch Music Festival, a feat I nearly accomplished two years running.

I didn’t find any Joe Mande recordings, but Spotify did offer up “Joe Mande Is a Genius Comedian Genius Man,” a plainly-spoken anti-funny funny song about the B-list comedian performed by a mysterious artist called Papa Razzi & The Photogs. I enjoyed it so much that I checked out the artist page and discovered hundreds of songs about celebrities. I Tweeted about my discovery and before long the man behind Papa Razzi, Matt Farley, was asking if he could write a song about me. I figured it was only fair that I find out more. Hey Matt, how’s it going? 

Matt Farley: Doing very well. Thanks so much.

NM: Give us a quick rundown of all your projects. 

MF: My latest is The Very Nice Interesting Singer Man.  He sings about extremely common, mundane things.  The first album was songs about things around the house: doors, tables, windows, etc.  The second album is songs about transportation: the car song, the bike song, etc.  His most recent album has 92 songs about office supplies.

My previous projects include:

  • The “serious” band I was in before doing all the novelty songs – Moes Haven
  • Papa Razzi and The Photogs  – songs about famous people
  • The Passionate & Objective Jokerfan  – songs about music and musicians
  • The Toilet Bowl Cleaners – songs about poop
  • The Singing Animal Lover – songs about animals
  • The Singing Film Critic – musical reviews of movies
  • The Paranormal Song Warrior  – songs about aliens, ghosts and other X-Files stuff,
  • The Hungry Food Band  – songs about food
  • The Vampire & Werewolf Experience  -– songs about the Twilight movies
  • The Strange Man Who Sings About Dead Animals  – songs about dead animals
  • The Guy Who Sings Songs About Cities & Towns  – songs about cities and towns
  • The Guy Who Sings Your Name Over and Over  – each song is just me singing a different name over and over
  • Family Party Song Singers  – personalized birthday songs
  • The Best Birthday Song Band Ever  – personalized birthday songs
  • The Smokin’ Hot Babe Lovers – each song is the same except it’s about a different girl’s name and how she is pretty
  • The Very Very Awesome Song Band  – each song is “My name is ______ and I’m awesome”  with 300 different male names
  • The Best Friend Song Fun Band –  “_________ you are my best friend” with 800 different names
  • The Wedding Proposal Music Song Band  – personalized “Will you marry me” songs
  • The Prom Song Singers  – Personalized “Will You Go To The Prom with Me songs”  (very popular, lots of youtube videos
  • Those Crazy College Kids  – songs about college
  • General Cordswainer  – My wife singing a Cat Stevens cover
  • The Athletic Sports Band  – Songs about national and international sports figures. Each sports band is just about the athletes in that particular city or state
  • The Atlanta Sports Band
    • The Baltimore Sports Band
    • The Boston Baseball Band
    • The Boston Basketball Band
    • The Chicago Sports Band
    • The Cincinnati Sports Band
    • The Cleveland Sports Band
    • The Detroit Sports Band
    • The Green Bay & Milwaukee Sports Band
    • The Los Angeles Sports Band
    • The Miami Sports Band
    • The Minnesota Sports Band
    • The New England Football Band
    • The New Orleans Sports Band
    • The New York Sports Band
    • The New York Sports Fan
    • The Oklahoma City Sports Band
    • The Philadelphia Sports Band
    • The Pittsburgh Sports Band
    • The Boston Sports Band of New England
    • The Washington Sports Band
    • The Sports Band of Denver, Colorado
    • The Sports Band of Indianapolis, Indiana
    • The Sports Band of Phoenix, Arizona
    • The St. Louis Sports Band
    • The San Diego Sports Band
    • The San Francisco Sports Band
    • The Seattle Sports Band
    • The Singing Texas Sports Fan
  • General Cordswainer – My wife singing a Cat Stevens cover
  • The Extreme Left Wing Liberals – Songs about liberals
  • The Farley Flower Band – Songs about flowers and trees, featuring my father on vocals for the first single “I’m The Flower Guy” about his adventures as a flower delivery man
  • The FL Love Song Warriors – Songs about the girls in different Florida cities
  • The NH Love Song Warrios —  Songs about girls in different New Hampshire cities
  • The MA Love Song Warriors  – Songs about the girls in different Massachusetts cities
  • The Name Project  – Songs about girls names
  • The RI Love Song Warriors – Songs about the girls in different RI cities
  • The River Mud Warriors – The band from my movie Don’t Let The Riverbeast Get You
  • The Spoiled Chefs – An early food-themed band I started with my friend
  • The Ultra Right Wing Conservatives  – Songs for conservatives
  • The Birthday Band For Old People – personalized birthday songs that poke fun at people for getting old
  • The Sorry Apology Song Person  – apology themed songs
  • The Odd Man Who Sings About Poop, Puke, and Pee  – Competition for The Toilet bowl Cleaners
  • The Very Nice Interesting Singer Man – This guy sings about very common, mundane topics like household items
  • The Great Weather Song Person – songs about weather

NM: The fact that I found you searching for comedian “Joe Mande” and then connected with you on Twitter says something about the increasingly complex ways people can discover music in the digital world. How does that help you do what you do? 

MF:  For years, I was part of a more straightforward band called Moes Haven. We have 24 albums. The “serious” stuff we wrote never sold. But our occasional novelty song like “Pickle Sandwich” and “I Think Thom Yorke is Crazy!” would sell a couple of copies every year. It dawned on me that people search for all kinds of strange things on music sites. So, since 2008, I’ve made it my goal to write a song about every topic imaginable. It’s a project that only makes sense in the digital world. With no advertising, your music can be discovered merely because you have certain words in the title.

The Very Nice Interesting Singer Man The Office Supplies Album I've Been Telling You About

NM: Ah yes. The beauty of metadata. Are you like a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant in your day job or anything?

MF: No. My day job is working in a group home for teenagers three days a week.

NM: OK well let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. Tell everyone how many songs you’ve published and describe your current pace. 

MF:  At last count, I had more than 16,000 songs. I’ve done Happy Birthday songs where I sing the same song hundreds of times, each for a different person’s name (“Happy Birthday Mary,” “Happy Birthday Joe,” etc.). For those songs, I can complete around 300 in a week. For Papa Razzi songs, it’s more like 100 in a week.  For most of the other bands, it’s more like 50 per week.

The Passionate & Objective Jokerfan Another Brililant Album For You To Misunderstand

NM: How long do you think you’ll be able to keep it up? 

MF:  It might slow down if I run out of name-themed songs. But even then, I can still put out at least 1500 songs per year without much of a problem.

NM: Thanks for writing “Song For Great Man Named Matt Ashworth” and putting it on one of your albums. I know of at least two downloads in the iTunes store so hopefully that helps out a bit. Should our readers be sending you their ideas for future songs? 

MF: Sure. At the end of each month, I record custom songs for people who contact me.

Papa Razzi and the Photogs – Song for Great Man Named Matt Ashworth 

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