Matt Sassano’s childhood was spent as a pastor’s son in small town New York, but it was far from the American dream.Behind the scenes, his father’s anger issues were often taken out on him. Eventually his father’s toxic behavior led to his parents’ divorce as well as splitting the church they pastored. As a young child, this was hard to witness and forced Matt to face the realities of human brokenness early. “I spent many years finding myself, trying to understand what was true, what I believed and who I wanted to be,” Matt recalls. That search for identity was intensified by the experience of living with two disabilities: CerebralPalsy and dyscalculia (which impairs brain functions like navigation and mathematics). “I spent much of my early life in and out of doctor’s offices and disability meetings, which led me to struggle with my self-perception and self-esteem,” Matt shares.Those struggles set the stage perfectly for the entrance of music, especially the raw emotion found in rock and rap. After being introduced to Tooth & Nail bands like Underoath, Seventh Day Slumber, MxPx and Slick Shoes, Matt was hooked–and has been dedicated to the music community ever since. “Music gave me a sense of identity and made me feel empowered,” he says. “It made me feel like I was meant for something more than just the norm.” Through all the hard work and hustle, Matt Sassano is still focused on lifting up underdogs in situations similar to the ones he has lived through. “As vital as the music itself is, I view it as a vehicle to connect with people,” Matt shares earnestly. “Hopefully through that connection, I can help strengthen people’s faith and be a light to whatever darkness they may be going through.”