Blackbear is the stage name of alternative R&B musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer Matthew Musto. Born and raised in Florida, he fell in love with music in the fourth grade when his older sister introduced him to bands like Rancid, Blink-182, Alkaline Trio, and New Found Glory.
2006-2014: Early career
As a teen, Musto fronted the Florida-based punk band Polaroid, who were signed to Leakmob Records in his freshman year of high school, leading him to drop out of school in 10th grade in order to pursue music. The band released one album, Paint The Town; one EP, Inside And Out; and one demo, The Cure Demo. In addition to writing and performing with Polaroid, Musto had begun making his own solo music in 2008. He soon left the band and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to work on a solo record with Ne-Yo. His debut EP, Brightness, was released in 2008, followed by Contrast in 2009, and Exposure in 2010.
In late 2010, he released the Christmas single "I Hate the Holidays" with Tyler Carter of Woe, Is Me. This was followed by "Douche Bag" in early-January 2011. A few months later, he released the Gone For Good EP and the Year of the Blackbear EP. That fall, Musto decided to begin making music under the Blackbear moniker.
In early 2012, Justin Bieber’s "Boyfriend" was released, which was co-written by Musto and was a number two hit on the Billboard 200. Musto’s debut EP as Blackbear, Foreplay, was released that April, and his debut mixtape, Sex, was released in October 2012. October also saw him feature on MGK's track "End of the Road" from the Lace Up album.
In 2014, Blackbear released The Afterglow EP and he also became one of the first artists to monetize streaming on SoundCloud.
2015: Deadroses and Help
Deadroses, Blackbear’s debut full-length album, was released on February 14, 2015. The album was critically acclaimed and launched the single "idfc", which reached number 14 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart and has been certified triple-platinum by the RIAA. The album’s second single, "90210", features G-Eazy.
Dead, Blackbear’s third EP, was released on June 2, 2015, and reached number 36 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. This was followed by Help, his sophomore album, which reached number 34 on the chart.
2016: Drink Bleach, Cashmere Noose, and Mansionz
Drink Bleach, Blackbear’s fourth EP, was released in April 2016, featuring appearances from "Boyfriend" collaborator Mike Posner as well as American hip-hop recording artist and The HBK Gang co-founder P-Lo. 2016 brought further collaborations with Linkin Park, Jacob Sartorius, Phoebe Ryan, and Hoodie Aleen, who he also toured with. That summer, he also joined Super Duper Kyle and Tinashe on their tours
That August, he released Cashmere Noose, his fifth EP. The EP peaked at number one on the iTunes R&B charts and number six overall on iTunes. It also charted on the Billboard 200 and hit number five on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The following month, he featured on Olivia O'Brien's single "Root Beer Float". He also released the track "If I Could I Would Feel Nothing", which began as a freestyle posted on his Twitter and eventually became a promotional single for his upcoming third studio album.
Late 2016 saw Blackbear hook up with Mike Posner once more to form the duo Mansionz. The duo released their debut single, "STFU", on December 9, 2016, featuring Spark Master Tape. They released two more singles in early 2017, "Rich White Girls" and "Dennis Rodman", the latter of which features the basketball player Dennis Rodman. In March 2017, they released their self-titled debut album, which features guest appearances from G-Eazy, Soren Bryce, CyHi the Prynce, and Snoozegod.
2017-2018: Digital Druglord and Cybersex
Blackbear posted the track "Make Daddy Proud", a remix of Jeremy Zucker's "Heavy", on his SoundCloud page on January 29, 2017. The track was later revealed to be the first promotional single from his upcoming third studio album, Digital Druglord. The album’s lead single, "Do Re Mi", was released that March.
On April 2, Blackbear released Salt, a short acoustic EP, on SoundCloud. This was followed by Digital Druglord on April 20. The album features guest appearances from Gucci Mane, Juicy J, Stalking Gia, and 24hrs, and reached number 14 on the Billboard 200. Two months after the album’s release, Blackbear signed with Interscope Records.
Cybersex, his next mixtape, was announced that August. On October 6, 2017, a song titled "Playboy Shit", featuring Lil Aaron, was released on Blackbear's PornHub account and confirmed to be a part of the project. This was followed two weeks later by "Bright Pink Tims" featuring Cam'ron. On the release day of "Bright Pink Tims", Blackbear began Fall Out Boy’s Mania Tour as their support act. Cybersex was released on November 27, 2017.
On April 26, 2018, Blackbear featured on the song "About You", which was written by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda regarding the death of his bandmate Chester Bennington.
On August 23, 2018, Blackbear released his single "The 1".
2019-2020: Anonymous and Everything Means Nothing
Blackbear made an announcement in February 2019 that he would be releasing a single per week until April 26, when his fourth studio album would be released. The singles were: "1 Sided Love", "High1x", "Swear to God", "Hate My Guts" and "Dead to Me". Anonymous, Blackbear’s fourth studio album, reached number 20 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and number 36 on the Billboard 200.
That August, he released "Hot Girl Bummer", the lead single from his upcoming fifth studio album Everything Means Nothing. This was followed by a non-album single, "Tongue Tied", with American producer Marshmello and English singer Yungblud, in November.
On January 16, 2020, he released Everything Mean Nothing’s third single "Me & Ur Ghost". March and April brought more collaborations with the release of Ellie Goulding's single "Worry About Me" and the All Time Low song "Monsters", both featuring Blackbear.
July 2020 brought the announcement that Blackbear would be releasing a two-part LP, titled Everything Means Nothing, on July 17 and August 21. The first part of the album features three new songs - "I Feel Bad", "I Feel 2 Much", and "I Felt That" – in addition to the three already released. Part two features the songs"Sobbing In Cabo", "Clown" with Trevor Daniel, "Half Alive", "If I Were U" with Lauv, "Why Are Girls", and "Smile Again".
On August 7, 2020, Blackbear featured on Machine Gun Kelly’s single "My Ex's Best Friend". In October, he featured on "Hate the Way" by G-Eazy, and in December, he released the single "Cheers" featuring Wiz Khalifa.
2021: Misery Lake
On March 12, 2021, Blackbear was featured on Mod Sun's single, "Heavy". In May, he released "Jealousy", his first track with Mansionz partner Mike Posner in four years. On June 4 came "U Love U" with Canadian singer-songwriter Tate McRae, the lead single from Blackbear’s upcoming EP, Misery Lake. The EP, which was delayed due to Sony Music Entertainment acquiring Alamo Records, was released on August 13, 2021.
Blackbear’s sixth studio album, In Loving Memory, is slated for release in August 2022.