From a gun to a guitar, Matt Hoggatt’s story is unlike any other


IMG_0087I’ve worn a uniform since I was 17 years old~Matt Hoggatt



For 13 years of my life, I wore a badge and a gun for a living. I saw  some amazing and  awful things during my time as a cop.  The people I met along the way were a mixture of both as well. I still have a tremendous amount of respect for that job and the people who wear the uniform.


Throughout it all, I was able to find peace in one thing that I truly  Ever since I was a kid I  played musical instruments. I started in the junior high marching band with the trumpet which carried me through high school and 2 years of college. Sometimes I would sit in the stare-well of our college house in Hattiesburg, MS and makeup songs about what everyone was doing at that particular moment. As I got better, I became a frequenter of open-mic night at a place called the “Julep Room” in Ocean Springs, MS.


“The first time I discovered the Julep Room, I don’t know if it was the local music, or one of the bartender Mike Shaffer’s long-island ice teas, but I couldn’t get enough. I was completely hooked on the idea of songwriting.” – Matt Hoggatt

Eventually this led to my first gig. From there I started playing local bars like the Julep Room and festivals to make extra money on the side. I was writing songs, learning cover songs and making up songs on the fly for extra tips.  I started hosting my own open mic nights  and began to network with local writers. Living 8 hours  from Nashville was something that we all thought would hurt us as writers so we started traveling to Nashville for songwriting classes. Sometimes we would host our own classes and invite writers to Mississippi. Along the way, I also got into entering songwriting contests. I won a few and came close to winning a few more. I won prizes that ranged from a year’s supply of chili, to brand new guitars.

In 2012 my life changed.  I entered a song contest with American Songwriter Magazine and won first place. My winning song was entitled “Dear Jimmy Buffett,” and in the song I asked Jimmy for a record deal. Low and behold, Jimmy heard the song and reached out to me.  Next thing I knew, I was on stage with Jimmy in front of 14,000 fans for a surprise duet performance  which included a new song by Jimmy called “Dear Matt Hoggatt.”  To this day I still can’t find anyone who scored a record deal quite like I did. Matt Hoggatt & Jimmy Buffettthis photo was used for iTune use of jimmy buffett and Matt Hoggatt.

Since then, I’ve been touring all over the country playing music for whoever will listen. I have opened for and shared the stage with numerous artists including Mac McAnally, Paul Thorn, Ronnie McDowell, and of course…Jimmy Buffett.



 Awards and Accolades:

    •    2010 American Songwriter Magazine – Lyric Contest Winner
    •    NSAI Spring Training Song Contest- Winner
    •    Zac Brown “Sailing Southern Ground” – Finalist
    •   American Songwriter Magazine / Amy Speace Song Contest – Winner
    •   Vietti Chili Jingle Contest – Winner
    •   2012 American Songwriter Magazine – Lyric Contest Winner
    •   2012 “Get Yer Rodney On” Rodney Carrington Contest – Winner
    •   2013 American Songwriter Magazine – Lyric Contest Winner

For booking information, contact Matt Hoggatt.