Chuck Taylor from Billboard writes: “(Zarley) sings, dances, acts and possesses grrr-dreamy appeal...Zarley’s stunning tenor range, crafty harmonic layers and spine-tingling money notes... Tweens have plenty of idols to swoon over. Here’s a crush for grown-ups, whose earthy machismo is quite the complement to his musical muscle....a marquee mainstream artist is born.”
Matt began his career at 12 years old starring in national commercials and, subsequently, his career led him to Broadway where, still just a teenager, he made his Broadway debut in A Chorus Line. Zarley has appeared in numerous shows and has played the title roles in both Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Who’s Tommy on Broadway. Matt also appeared in Cats, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
On television, Matt was featured on The Drew Carey Show, Fame, and in the Disney TV movies, “Cinderella”, “Geppetto”, and “Annie”. Matt could also be heard on the NBC Emmy winning musical drama, SMASH.
Aside from performing, he’s an internationally published songwriter and has had numerous songs recorded and released overseas by some of the biggest names in international music.
In addition, Matt has the distinction of being named the first openly gay man in People Magazine’s “Hottest Bachelors” issue in 2002 – opening the door for other openly gay men to be featured in the mainstream publication.
Matt has had the pleasure of working with such A-listers as Whitney Houston, Brandy, Usher, Reba McIntire, Vanessa Williams, and Chaka Khan, to name a few.
Matt’s passion for songwriting resulted in his first solo album, “Debut,” which was released in 2002 and received critical acclaim. The set featured the dance hit, “You Always Want (what u ain’t got)” and “Say Goodbye”; which is also featured on the all-star Human Rights Campaign (HRC) benefit CD, “Being Out Rocks” , along side other artists such as Cyndi Lauper and Rufus Wainwright, to name a few.
Zarley’s sophomore album, “Here I Am,” had its title track chosen as one of the 2008 “American Idol Songwriter” competition’s Top 20 finalists in the prestigious national contest. The set was also named one of Billboard Magazine’s Critics Top 10 of 2008.
Matt’s latest album, “Change Begins With Me” garnered near unanimous acclaim when it was released this past year. Critics hailing it “inspiring”, “powerful”, “passionate”, “soaring”, “dreamy”, “poignant”, and “a rare breed of
artist....soulful and impressive”. The album’s first single, “WTF” became Matt’s 3rd Billboard hit; while the music
video became an internet cult classic. Matt’s next single, “Trust Me” quickly became Matt’s 4th consecutive Billboard single; while that music video become a viral sensation, having clocked over 100,000 views in its first 2 weeks of release. Matt was also awarded the 2012 OutMusic Award for ALBUM OF THE YEAR and SINGLE OF THE YEAR for “Change Begins With Me”....which also spent a month at #1 on the Eurochart.
Matt’s philanthropic work includes several events with Broadway Cares, The Trevor Project, and The Starkey Hearing Foundation, among many others.
Matt is currently at work, returning to his roots and developing a couple of musical theatre projects...this time as the songwriter.
Matt’s latest single and fifth collaboration with DJ/Producer/Songwriter Mark Picchiotti is a declaration of love and equality and currently blowing up the dance floor. “Somebody 4 Everybody” also marks Matt’s 3rd collaboration w/ superstar remixers, Moto Blanco.
Later this year, Matt will unveil his most personal and most ambitious project to date when he releases “Hopeful Romantic”. This 16 minute original musical film, which Matt wrote, produced, and stars in, will be making the rounds in film festivals before premiering to the general public. Beloved Star Trek alumni and pop cultural phenomenon, George Takei co-stars in Matt’s musical labor of love.
For updates, follow Matt online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, iTunes, and MattZarley.com.