By Emily Neelon |

Portland native and local musician Matthew Heller doesn’t want to make great music. He wants to instill a desire to make a difference in his listeners and fans.

“My favorite part of performing is when (the audience) actually feels what the song is about,” said Heller.

Heller has been writing songs since the age of thirteen. His band, Matthew Heller and The Clever, formed in 2010 when Heller moved back to Portland from Brooklyn, New York.

Heller believes his music has become more political in nature over time. With two albums an EP under his belt and the album Tragedy Towns in the works, he hopes to brings awareness to social justice issues and enact change through his music.

“I write about things that are unjust and (need to be) uncovered…The more difficult a topic is to talk about, the more important it is to have music about it,” Heller said.

Heller’s hard work to spread awareness through music is paying off. Matthew Heller and The Clever is Deli Magazine’s Band of the Month and will be featured in the documentary “If you don’t love it, change it.” The band will be playing next at the Tonic Lounge on March 26th at 9 p.m.

Heller visited Portland Radio Project this morning and spoke about his artistic vision with host Steven Shomler. Listen below for Heller’s live acoustic performance of his song “No Army”.

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