Eight-year-old Matthew Morris confesses to having a fear of coyotes and a loathing of spinach, and he answers questions with a focused, “Yes, sir.” But give him a beat and put him in shades and a leather jacket, and he becomes MattyB—a “chyeah”-saying emcee who agilely chirps that he’s hotter than gumbo.
Since his family uploaded a video for his cover of Justin Bieber’s “Eenie Meenie” in 2010, MattyB has scored 70 million YouTube views and garnered face time with Katy Perry and Simon Fuller. He’s recorded a video with Vanilla Ice and performed at Perez Hilton’s birthday party. “A lot of college girls recognize him,” says mom Tawny Morris.
MattyB’s forte is positive, G-rated lyrics over pop hits by stars like Ke$ha and Bruno Mars (skirting copyright laws by pulling no profit). The sentiment usually lands somewhere between adorable and comically ostentatious. But donning a sandy blond mop and dusty Crocs, he downplays the attention as “cool” while acknowledging those who rip him as a wannabe. Says MattyB, “I just shake the haters off.”
Photograph courtesy of mattybraps.com