First Light (Front Cover)
  • Production, songwriting, arrangement and guitar by Matthew Shell
  • Vocal artistry by Kenny Wesley
  • Flute and saxophone by Nicolas Laget
  • Piano and upright bass by Vahagn Stepanyan
  • Rhodes keyboard by Kenny Darby
  • Percussion by Curtis McCain
  • Tracks 17 and 18 feature cello ensemble arranged and performed by Yoed Nir String Productions
  • Track 18 features vocals by Zane Alan Latta | Saxophone by Marcus Mitchell | Flute by Wouter Kellerman | As written in 1945 by Bob Wells and Mel Torme | As made famous by Nat King Cole
  • Recorded, engineered and mixed by Nicolas Laget and Matthew Shell at The Sweet Spot Studio, Annandale, VA
  • Mastered by Nicolas Laget and Matt Veirs at the Sweet Spot Studio, Annandale, VA
  • Art design by Alexandra S. Haris
  • Executive produced by Arun Shenoy, Terra Tuono-Shell and Matthew Shell


NARKED RECORDS is delighted to announce the forthcoming release of the highly anticipated new album, “First Light” by acclaimed artist and producer  MATTHEW SHELL.  The hour-long jazz opus boasts of a complex arrangement featuring 17 key changes and 20 tempo changes, all created by Shell in a single twelve hour session. The music on the recording has been brought to life by Vahagn Stepanyan on the piano and upright bass, Kenny Wesley on vocals, Kenny Darby on keys, Curtis McCain on percussion, Nicolas Laget on flute and sax, Yoed Nir on cello, and Shell himself on guitar. The album is slated for release on Aug. 30, 2017.

“First Light” was born in a single burst of inspiration. On the day Shell’s wife took on a new job for better work/life balance, Shell hit the studio to create this hour-long arrangement to fully explore the range of emotions felt by his wife. Shell’s unreleased 2016 production of “The Christmas Song” was originally only made as a gift for his family, but it has been included as a bonus track since it was the first instance where Shell attempted explore the “First Light” sound. 

A review of the album by the Ghost Chronicle can be read here


MATTHEW SHELL (aka MTS) is the founder and CEO of MTS Music Productions. He is a music producer, audio production engineer, music business instructor, and producer for the music competition “The O” (as seen at


Shell’s work on the production for Marcus Johnson’s album Flo: Chill reached #7 on Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Chart in 2009. Later that year he worked as the engineer on O.A.R.’s album Rain or Shine that reached #5 on the Independent Albums Chart and also #7 on the US Alternative Albums Chart. In 2011, his work on Grammy Nominee Carolyn Malachi’s Beautiful Dreamer was featured on FOX 5 DC Morning News.

In 2012, Shell’s album Freedom, his collaboration with Trey Eley was launched by the Recording Academy via a Worldwide Exclusive First Listen at The album was also featured as one of Generation Bass’ Top Albums for 2012. First Listen Trey Eley & Matthew Shell

In 2013, Shell collaborated with Arun Shenoy on Genesis, a jazz instrumental single, which received massive airplay and went on to be the lead song on the full length album, Victorious (Matthew Shell Presents), released later in the year.

In 2015, Shell released his next album Spiritual Relationship: The Deeper Meaning in 2015, the music on which was conceived by Shell over a period of 15 years. During this process, over 200 songs were created and scratched before this final version of 11 songs were picked to be recorded and released as part of this project. Shell’s wife, Terra, inspired the completion of this concept album which goes from two destined souls being alone, to meeting, to growing in love, to protecting each other, to finding true love that lasts a lifetime.

  • © 2017 MTS Music Productions
  • Ⓟ 2017 Narked Records | MTS Music Productions
First Light Executive Produced Arun Shenoy
First Light Credits Sheet