Mathew William "Mat" Kearney (pron.: /ˈkɑrni/; born December 1, 1978) is an American musician born in Eugene, Oregon, now based in Nashville, Tennessee. Kearney has received critical acclaim and widespread recognition for his Columbia Records debut, Nothing Left to Lose. So far, he has a total of 4 top 20 hits on the Adult Top 40 Chart. His most recent album, Young Love, was released on August 2, 2011. The album's first single, "Hey Mama," was released on May 10, 2011. Mat was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon with his two brothers. His youngest brother's name is Patrick; he is a DJ. Through his mother he is a sixth generation Oregonian and his father's family emigrated from Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine. At South Eugene High School, Mat was a soccer player. He attended California State University, Chico in Chico, California on an athletic scholarship and majored in literature, playing soccer until his junior year. Kearney first became interested in music after traveling to Nashville with music producer Robert Marvin. Using a roommate's guitar, he tried covering other songs. Realizing he was not too good at it, he began writing his own. Though things were going well for Kearney at school, Chico caught up to him. At a school known for its partying, Mat fit right in. In an interview, Mat said, "I guess I lived it up and did what everyone said you should do in college. I discovered the depth of depravity, the bleakness of that lifestyle. It just wasn’t working. I finally started understanding there must be more to life." Mat continued, "God found me when I was at my lowest point. That was the first time in my life when I really felt like I understood who Jesus was- it was more than knowing about Him, I felt like He met me in that time and place." Mat began focusing on music fusing his simple guitar playing with spoken word, or rap, he started to play at coffee shops and soon began to make small amounts of money. At this time, Mat had met friend and future producer, Robert Marvin. The two began to make music together, but Marvin had plans to move to Nashville, Tennessee. Marvin asked Kearney to help the move and Mat accepted the journey. Kearney says, "I helped him pack up his trailer and we put a mattress on the back of his truck. We basically drove cross-country and slept in the back. When we pulled into Nashville we slept in a school parking lot for three days until we finally rented this apartment where the roof was caving in and mice were crawling all over." Mat decided to stay in Nashville to record a few demos with Marvin and after a few months, Mat had no plans on returning. "By the end of the summer, we had three or four songs and I realized this is what I wanted to do. It just clicked. So I called home to Oregon and said, ‘I’m not coming back’ and I never left Nashville."