Western Australian-born balladeer, songwriter and keen surfer Matt Gresham is looking at a frothy year ahead, with the announcement that he’s just been selected to perform at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. It bookends an already impressive run for the Rockingham-raised Gresham in 2015, which included touring nationally, performing alongside his heroes and writing and recording with a range of producers on the East Coast of Australia. “Songwriting for me is a huge healing process and it is very personal” says Gresham “but now I am collaborating with others to bring a great sound to the songs I have written.” Lead single Small Voices, produced by Scott Horscroft (Silverchair, Birds Of Tokyo) and written with Jaymes Young (London Grammar) is one such example of Gresham expanding beyond his already popular aesthetic. With a soulful tenor that bounds over his placid acoustic guitar, Gresham is a favourite for laidback listeners raised (as he was) on the sounds of everyone from Ben Harper to Paul Simon. “The fondest memories [I have] are hearing my mum sing and my brother play guitar at some of our back yard jam sessions when I was about 13,” he reminisces. “I was so attracted to the sound of an acoustic guitar and hearing my brother play.” As Gresham relocates temporarily to Los Angeles to write with new collaborators and a run of US shows, there’s an ocean of possibility before him. It’s the beginning of a new journey for the one-time Western Australian surfer who has been independently recording, touring and playing around Australia for nearly eight years. “I try to stay open to genres and listen mostly to the writing and tones of instruments,” says Gresham. “Small Voices is a song about a man in jail missing his daughter, but I’ve also been thinking it could be about someone trapped in a city life who wants to break out and live in the forest.” With an EP on its way and ‘Small Voices’ set to make further waves for Gresham back home, it looks like 2016 is going to be a big one.