Out singer/songwriter Matt Zarley made a “conscious decision” to take a break from show business for three years. After making an album six years ago that was “creatively satisfying” but the many promises made by Universal, the record company behind it, did not happen.
This left Matt disheartened and burned out as he had put his soul into the album titled Debut. Well thank goodness he had a change of heart and is now back with the great new EP Here I Am.
Being the first openly gay man to be featured in People Magazine’s “Hottest Bachelors” issue one can see why the well balanced & grounded Zarley deserves your attention.
With lyrics from the heart and a passionate voice that resonates with an audience (I caught his performance at the release party for his CD at Upright Cabaret in Los Angeles recently, one word: Great!). Matt has a way of connecting with people and pulling at their emotions.
Title ballad "Here I Am," was submitted in the American Idol songwriting competition and made it into the Top 20. As Zarley enthuses, “They get over 20,000 submissions!” This very personal song is the emotional spine of his second effort. “It really encompasses where I am in my life right now, it is the first song I have ever written.”
Although Zarley has always been out the second time around he wanted to be really out. His approach is to be secure and open in his own skin without being overtly sexual. As is evident in the video for his moving song "Had I Known."
Matt wants to be someone who LGBT people and their straight parents can enjoy, by being himself and simply singing from his heart about every facet of life, gay or otherwise.
With many engagements that include many Pride Festivals, Rosie O’Donnell’s Family Cruise & Los Angeles’s Upright Cabaret Matt is glad to be back in the saddle. “Leaving show business for three years I realized what really makes me happy, my music.”
A show business veteran almost his whole life he danced with Tony the Tiger by age 12 and has a quite impressive list of Broadway and TV credits, Zarely’s return to music after a three year sabbatical is a welcome one indeed. Here I Am is a wonderful CD by one of the best singers this writer has ever heard.
After the break, check out a clip of Zarley from a recent edition of CBS News on Logo.