First, a little history.
Matt Coker has loved singing since he was a young child. He’s been in several choirs, won many awards, and professionally recorded music at as young as 11 years old.
When he was a sophomore in High School, he became the lead singer (if you could call it singing) of a Christian punk rock band called “Table 13” that did car washes several weekends in a row to pay for the recording of a full-length album.
The album was terrible, but the process had been a blast.
Shortly after the album was recorded, the band broke up, leading Matt and his friend Michael “Bubba” Stallcup to start recording their own contemporary acoustic music. They spent nearly two years writing new songs, performing where they could, and then recording their own album, “Finally”.
One of their songs, a patriotic song about a boy going off to war, “I Watched Him Go”, got them invited to perform at Cannon Air Force Base for an “All-Enlistment Call”. Some of their other notable moments included two well-received local concerts, being an opening band during a “Communities for Christ Crusade” event, and getting their humorous Christmas song, “My Snowman Melted in New Mexico” on the radio.
Soon after high school, they went their separate ways, off to start their adult lives.
But Matt still had the bug.
He knew he wasn’t destined to be a big time musician, he just want to write lyrics and sing them, but he didn’t have anyone around him to do it with. So, using music he either built himself out of loops and song building software, or using instrumental music that other artists provided, Matt recorded 6 albums worth of music under the name “Matthias” (later “White Lantern”).
He gave his albums away for free, partially as a ministry tool, but mainly because he just enjoyed sharing his music with people. Not every song was gold, and it took a few years before he started to get the hang of “mastering” music. But he managed to create a lot of solid material.
In 2014, he decided to stop spending so much time on that side project and focus on projects that really mattered to him, such as The Back Row.
But when he was struggling to come up with content for his new YouTube channel, Back Row Videos, he had an idea while listening to “The Fox” by Ylvis.
Song parodies. Like ApologetiX and Weird Al before him. And thus, the first video on Back Row Videos became his first parody song, “What Did the Pastor Say?”, about a boy who is bored in church.
Shortly after that, Matt was already working on the next song, but this time he was going to parody a Christian song, something that isn’t widely done, outside of a few Christian comedian routines.
So far, Matt has parodied several Christian artists, including Skillet, Mandisa, and his first Christian parody, Chris Tomlin, where he took “Whom Shall I Fear?” and made it about standing in line at Chick-fil-A:
Nearly all of the BRSM videos so far have been “Lyric Videos”, the song with a simple graphic and the lyrics displayed. However, recently, Matt, Marty Field, and Matt’s wife and son, attempted the first Parody Music Video for Matt’s take on One Direction’s “Steal My Girl”, called “Steal My Pew”:
As with the parodies of Ylvis and One Direction above, Matt’s main focus has been parodying mainstream music. So far, he’s parodied Passenger, Eminem, Imagine Dragons, and also Pharrell Williams in the most watched (and most controversial) BRSM video to date, “Because I’m Osteen”:
Matt’s take on Pharrell’s “Happy” has been viewed over 25,000 times at the time of this writing, which is about one hundred times the average video on the channel and about 5 times the views of the second most popular video.
This has been a fun outlet for Matt to use his talents without devoting too much of his time to it, and it brings a smile to a lot of faces, which is all he was going for anyway.
So far, there are a total of 9 Back Row Special Music videos, with plans to make more at least throughout 2015. To see what you’ve been missing, or to just jam out for while, you can check out the playlist here.