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Matthew Schuler, 20, is a singer from Yardley and a contestant on NBC's "The Voice" Season 5.
*Note* Matt was voted off "The Voice" on December 3.
How did you become a contestant on "The Voice?"
I was in the middle of my school year back in February at West Chester University. It was a risk, but I know I love music. It’s better to go after these types of things and make risks when we are young. To not give up on your dreams and go for your dreams first. Then, have your back up plan. Tomorrow is not promised. It’s really important to take advantage of these opportunities you have. (So, Matthew went for it).
What is it like watching your dream playing out on "The Voice?"
It’s such an honor and blessing. This was my first time auditioning for the show. They only invite the best of the best and I’m so blessed to be numbered among them. The talent is absolutely amazing. To get it on my first try to get all four chairs on my first try. It’s such an amazing experience to be a part of. The best case scenario is someone watches the show. People will see it and I can get some contacts. I’m never going to give up on my music. I love song writing and singing. Music really impacts people. It’s a weapon we can use for good.
How hard was it to pick your team coach?
It was crazy to have all four coaches to turn so fast and to be so passionately fighting for me. It was absolutely insane. It was really tough because they had all really good things to say. Blake talked about me helping his wife Miranda. Cee-Lo talked about me owning myself and my art. Adam is so passionate and he’s more like a rock guy too. But, Christina. There’s something about her. I still can’t put my finger on it today. She’s an underdog that really got me. She could be the first female to win "The Voice." The thing is I can bring it home for her. I think it was a wise decision. It’s crazy. It makes me stand out a little more (on Christina’s team than Adam’s team). I had to go with my heart. I think she’s got it.
What are the "Battle Rounds" like?
The "battle rounds" are insane. It’s definitely the most nerve-wracking experience to go through. Really there’s a little bit of pressure. Jacob is the man, the guy I went against… we hung out and became really good friends. We went out to eat together. I feel like for a song like that you have to give it your all and be in sync. At the same time, you want to win. We’re in it to win in. We become friends but you have to be enemies at that the same time.
Where does your passion for singing come from?
I feel like music has been such an important part of my life. My mother has an amazing voice. She’s definitely where I get my chops from. I had a very musical upbringing. Worship is a big deal in our household, which makes singing even more expressive for me. We put our hearts into everything we do. My family worships right in our basement, the Genesis Community Church in Yardley. We’ve been doing it for a few years. We moved into my basement during my freshmen year of high school. I couldn’t have friends over as much. I had to give up a few things. We’ve been holding strong. We don’t have a huge ministry, nor a huge amount of members. We do want to get a building. We are non-denominational. Sometimes denominations can get in the way of Christianity. We are just a bible preaching, teaching church.
When did you start taking singing seriously?
I started a band in my sophomore year and got into a lot of rock stuff. The band's name was Threshold. The biggest show we did was the 2010 the Best Buy Battle of the Bands in Bensalem. It was also our last show. I had to focus more on school instead of all the music stuff. I've been teaching myself the guitar for the past year and a half. I’m not that amazing yet. I can do it on the show. I want to use this opportunity to get better and better at that.
How do you describe your sound?
I really like to focus on the dynamics of singing. I like soft sounds. I can make certain soft sounds and I can still give some powerhouse crazy high notes. I definitely got it from my mom. Her range is ridiculous. I like to change it up a lot. My song choices and how I sing the songs. I really approach them in a youthful, have fun, joyous way. So whenever I’m singing I like to bring high energy. My style and the music I listen to is a lot of Indie Rock. I didn’t want to do the traditional path of gospel or R&B on my blind audition. I wanted to put my own spin on it and pay homage to the artists who sang "Cough Syrup."
What are your fondest memories living in the Philly area?
Yardley is a beautiful, quaint little town. IT’s been really cool for me. There’s nothing like home. Me and a few friends did a benefit concert for Lake Bucks County Community College for a year. My senior year I was voted prom king. Growing up here was such a blessing. There’s a lot here that inspires me. There’s a lot of awesome times I’ve had and friends made. My mom is from South Philadelphia and my father’s from North Philly. Hanging out with friends on South Street. Philly is such a beautiful city, a gritty city, a hard-working mentality. I get the best of both worlds.
What lessons have you learned on the show?
I think the show has really taught me a lot about staying positive. Even when you feel like you are under pressure and times are tough and you don’t feel like you are doing the best you can, just stay positive. Stay excited. Embrace the moment. You have to take everything in stride. All the encouragement people have given me, it’s really intense. I definitely want to say thank you to all of them. Go after your dreams.
Do you have other aspirations beyond music?
I want to get into charity work and missions, whether its promoting an album or helping build a village. I want to give back to people who are less fortunate than me. I have a lot of friends who do missions trips. I definitely see that in my future as well. I definitely want to give back to Philadelphia too. I want to encourage the next generation. I have done anti-drug programs. I’m really passionate about that as well. Just trying to help people out. Human beings are so important.