The Shirtless Violinist has become a YouTube hit – particularly attracting millions of views for his Disney classics with a gay twist.
But now Matthew Olshefski (his real name) is sharing a more personal story. His latest video is his version of How Does a Moment Last Forever, from his Disney Strings album. And it charts how he met his husband.
Matthew Olshefski and Paul started chatting on Grindr back in 2016. Paul, an artist, agreed to give Matthew a painting lesson, but only if Matthew brought his violin and played a song. Matthew agreed, and they met face-to-face for the very first time.
Since then they’ve been inseparable and the video is their personal album of photos and videos.
The pair married in December 2019. And How Does a Moment Last Forever was their wedding song.
We asked Matthew to tell us all about it.
Can you tell us a bit more about your music? What’s your style and what excites you musically?
I’m classically trained and I’ve been playing the violin since the age of three. In other words, I don’t remember a time without it!
While I love traditional classical music, I get most excited when musicians cross genres and blend the old with the new. Acts like 2Cellos and The Piano Guys were early inspirations for my YouTube channel.
They were doing creative things with their music, and I found that very inspirational.
Does playing shirtless make the music better? Or is there another motivation? 😉
Oh yes! Typically, when fully clothed, the true radiance and fullness of the music is absorbed into the garments. Taking off my shirt allows the music to resonate at its fullest potential (cue the laugh track).
Ok, all kidding aside, the motivation is purely aesthetic – not musical!
Love can begin on Grindr
Your new single is about you meeting your husband. And you actually met on Grindr. Do you have any tips for struggling Grindr users to find their perfect man?
The perfect man can be anywhere, even on a dating app like Grindr! My advice is to strike up meaningful conversations. Paul and I talked for two months before we met face-to-face.
When we finally met, we really clicked. But we both had to go on a lot of bad dates first. That’s just a rite of passage.
In the video, Paul is a painter. Is he still painting? Could you tell us about his work?
Yes. My husband, Paul Castle, is a full-time artist and illustrator. His work is amazing.
Not only is Paul a talented artist, but he is losing his vision to a rare disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. He is legally blind, but it doesn’t stop him from creating the most wonderful, whimsical, and fantastical pieces of art.
Do you think it helps your relationship that you are both creative?
Absolutely. Our creative connection is integral to our relationship. Our shared passions are what initially attracted us to each other.
We both run creative businesses, and each of us is very involved in the other’s work. Paul directs and edits all of my music videos, and he shows me his paintings and illustrations at every stage of development.
We can count on each other for honest feedback, and we push each other to be our very best.
The Shirtless Violinist in 2020
What’s next for the Shirtless Violinist?
2020 is another year of live performances across the United States (follow me on social media to keep up on my travels).
I will also be launching my second Kickstarter campaign for another upcoming album. Last year I released my Disney Strings album, and several of those songs will be premiering in music videos throughout the year.
Look out for some more Disney Love Stories – with a gay twist, of course.
And do you have anything you want to say to the LGBT+ community around the world as we relaunch GSN?
I am so excited that GSN is back! The LGBT+ community needs great websites like this one.
Representation of the community is so important to me and my husband. We want to tell LGBT+ stories and inspire the people of our community to feel loved, included, and strong. We have come a long way, but we have much further to go.