UM students and Cane Records voted Matt Feld as their choice for the UM Idol winner this past Wednesday.
Feld was voted into the top spot after weeks of competing with over 50 singers who auditioned.
“I just started singing recently,” Feld said. “The first time I sang publicly was at my high school’s basketball game about a year ago.”
Originally from West Palm Beach, Feld attended Hofstra University in New York last year. He asked to sing a song with the house band at a club when he was home over the summer. The band happened to have two UM School of Music graduates in it who recognized potential in Feld.
They directed him to Professor Larry Lapin, the director of the jazz vocal program at UM.
“He sings great,” Lapin said. “And we always need guys in the program.”
Feld was accepted to the UM School of Music two days before classes began this fall.
Since the beginning of the semester, Feld has been performing at clubs and other venues, including Titanic, every weekend, perfecting his performance skills.
He sings with the Fifth Avenue Band, a professional wedding and social event band, and with his own R&B band.
“R&B is my main influence,” Feld said. “I love Musiq Soulchild, Brian McKnight and Ginuwine. I love hip-hop, too.”
As the first UM Idol, Feld received a year-long record contract with Cane Records. He will record a six-song CD to be released next year.
“I’ve got three originals ready to record,” he said. “Everybody keeps asking me what songs I want to cover. I’m not sure I want to cover any songs – I’m not sure yet what will be on the album.”
Feld says he’s not the type to hog the spotlight, but so far he is handling his new-found fame well.
“My best friend’s step-mom asked me for my autograph,” he said, “in case I make it really big.”
Feld is mostly excited about the prospect of having his own CD and getting to make music with other great musicians.
“I love singing,” he said. “I’m going to sing till I die.”
His advice to other performers: “If you love it, go do it. That’s all you can do.”
Jaclyn Lisenby can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.