MKE pride on another level

Matthias+uses+TikTok+to+show+off+Milwaukee+and+all+of+its+glory.

Photo by Courtesy of Jeffrey Matthias

Matthias uses TikTok to show off Milwaukee and all of its glory.

Do you have pride in where you come from? How do you show it? Former 103.7 Kiss FM radio host Jeffery “JMatt” Matthias has taken MKE pride to another level. He uses his TikTok, @jmattmke, to show off Milwaukee and all of its glory.

Matthias transitioned from being radio host to TikTok during the start of COVID-19. With content ideas still floating in his head, Matthias sought out ways to continue what he loved to do.

“The idea didn’t hit me right away to do TikTok but it was something I was actively looking for a place to continue doing what I was doing on the radio,” Matthias said.

Around July, Matthias struck gold with a video of a pirate ship being sold here in Milwaukee. The video gained 5.3 million views.

Matthias figured out where to put his content but now needed to figure out how to grow his following.

“A lot of viral content, you can’t keep creating it forever. I said, ‘That was cool but that was a one off.’ So, like, how do I continue to grow on TikTok?” Matthias said. After some thinking, he felt videos about Milwaukee would be his niche.

With 272 videos and counting, Matthias explores Milwaukee restaurants to get brunch, such as Engine Company No. 3 or Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern. Shake up your taste buds, Matthias encourages, with Fresh Fin Poké, a restaurant that serves poké, a native Hawaiian cuisine.

Check out the video where Matthias suggests five hills you can sled down, including Humboldt Park or Washington Park.

@jmattmke 5 city of #MilwaukeeWI sledding hills! #MilwaukeeHome #MilwaukeeSnow ♬ original sound – JMatt (Milwaukee)

Not into sledding? In another video, he mentions five outdoor ice rinks like Riverwest People’s Ice Rink or Lake Park.

@jmattmke 5 Outdoor Rinks in the city of Milwaukee! #MilwaukeeWI #MilwaukeeLocal #IceSkating ♬ original sound – JMatt (Milwaukee)

As a way to be fair to restaurants, Matthias said he doesn’t like to rank them, but mainly leaves the choice of dining to the people. He said he made it his mission to bring awareness to small businesses, especially during the pandemic.

“If you think about certain restaurants in the area that continually make it on to the different awards in the city for best, they are always getting featured. What about the other ones, that are also equally as good, but lesser known or forgotten?” Matthias said.

There are always activities in the big city and Matthias found some ones that may be less-known like visiting the Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse. Or you can visit a business called Selfie Hop with photo rooms that people can take selfies in by themselves or with their friends.

Matthias has a love for the city life, but he didn’t grow up in Milwaukee. He is a Brookfield native, which is west of the city in Waukesha County. After moving around Wisconsin, he stayed in Milwaukee.

“Even though I grew up in Brookfield, I kept looking at the city and just how active it was. I was very intrigued by the city and wanted to live in the city,” Matthias said.

There is a theme to Matthias’ TikTok, but what is he trying to achieve?

“The goal is just really, at its core, to support local,” Matthias said.

Matthias said he feels there is a stigma against the city of Milwaukee. People may associate city life with bad traffic and high crime rates. Matthias believes if people started to look at the positive sides of the city and what it has to offer, they would enjoy Milwaukee a little more.

“If you look at the city of Milwaukee and you see positives within in it, you start seeing the city as more than its negative aspects. You start seeing it as its potential. What benefits and positive things there are. But I don’t think there are enough people telling those stories. That’s what I’m trying to help do,” Matthias said.

In five words, Matthias describes his account as the “city of Milwaukee for locals.”

This story was written by JD Davis. She can be reached at jonillia.davis@marquette.edu.