Matt Koziol has never been on an airplane.
The 23-year old doesn’t understand how and why a huge moving chunk of metal should be flying through the air in the first place. He is, as he puts it, “scared sh*tless” of flying, but the singer/songwriter white-knuckled it for the sake of his career on March 22, as he flew across country to Los Angeles to play shows at the University of Southern California and the Hotel Café.
He’s no longer the three-year old singing, “Heard It Through the Grapevine” while watching the California Raisins’ commercial on his living room couch. He’s an adult, singing “adult contemporary” songs at places like The Living Room in New York City, instead.
Guess what collegiettes? Koziol is coming to the Rat this week as he continues his tour and brings his soulful sound to new listeners here at TCNJ. Koziol will join other local musicians Matt Santry and Matt Huston for Matt in the Rat Night on Friday, April 15, at 8 p.m.
With his newest album, Heart on the Line, just released on March 6, Koziol is pursuing a more adult life with the sounds of a more mature music. What used to have a punk-pop sound, now is similar to that of John Mayer and Jason Mraz, giving listeners something they are used to and can understand. Compared to Koziol’s previous albums and EPs, Heart on the Line has a smoother sound, with lyrics that are relatable for fans. The young adult has used sounds from Blink 182 to Jack Johnson for pop songs that truly mesh together. Now on iTunes, Koziol’s self produced album and the singer himself are gaining popularity all on their own.
Before the local musician gained a reputation as a singer and songwriter, he was a young guy in pop-punk band, focusing more so on his music than his college years. Despite his budding music career, Koziol and his parents still made a deal that he would attend college. Koziol entered Kean University as a broadcast journalism major in 2006, but the artist was itching to get out from the confined walls of a classroom.
“Out of all of college, I maybe had three classes that I enjoyed,” says Koziol. But, on the inside, Koziol knew that college helped to make him who is today. “[My high school]’s music education is what really made me into a musician. But college is what turned me into a person. I met certain people and professors and I learned how good it is to be involved in your surroundings.”
Koziol is currently taking a semester off from his college education — an opportunity he and his parents decided he needed in order to further his career as a musician.
“I knew he would rather play music than go to school,” says his mother Kelly Koziol. “I didn’t want him to resent us and think what could have happened,” she explains.
Nevertheless, Koziol is on the right track as of his CD release show on March 6 at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J. Koziol has shows booked on both the East and West coasts and toured Tennessee earlier this month. As he continues his journey, Koziol has the support of a new manager, his parents and numerous friends. His fan base continues to grow as Heart on the Line makes it way to more and more iPods each day.
See if Koziol is worthy of making its way on to your newest playlist by listening to him on iTunes or checking him out on his website, mattkoziolmusic.com. Make sure to get out to the Rat on Friday, April 15, at 5 p.m. for some food, fun, and a taste of new music.