Two Shots of showbiz
by: Mike Farley
While you wouldn’t expect crooners in the mold of Frank Sinatra or Harry Connick, Jr. to hail from Canada, 25-year-old Matt Dusk is changing those expectations right before our eyes and ears. Not only has the Toronto native just released his debut CD on Universal/Decca, Two Shots, Dusk is also starring in the Fox hit reality show “The Casino.” But rather than being an aspiring actor getting his first break on a reality show, Dusk is the lounge musician on the show trying to work his way up to the big room.
“Definitely music,” says Dusk, when asked what his priority is, and while he does have the looks of a Hollywood film star, one listen to Two Shots and it’s evident that Dusk has a long career ahead as a recording artist. The title track was written for Sinatra before he passed away, by U2’s Bono and The Edge, and Dusk is honored that he was given the privilege to record it. “Bono is a great man,” he says, “as a musician, but more than that for everything he believes in and stands for.”
There is nothing flashy about Two Shots, but there doesn’t have to be. Dusk has a smooth, velvety voice that is hauntingly similar to Sinatra’s. A song like “Miracle” is happy and jazz-infused, while tracks like “Precious Years” and “Lonely Road” have a haunting, timeless soundtrack quality. But it’s in standards like “Fly Me to the Moon” and a remake of the Beatles’ “Please Please Me” that Dusk really shines and seems to be having the most fun. And a look into his private CD collection would confirm his love for pop music in general, as Dusk currently has everything from Nat King Cole to Elvis to Justin Timberlake to Christina Aguilera in rotation.
As for the television show, which coincidentally began airing the day before the release of Two Shots, the producers of “The Casino” sought Dusk out, and not the other way around. Mark Burnett, who has had a great deal of success in recent years creating “Survivor” and, more recently, with “The Apprentice,” was tipped off to Dusk by one of his producers. “They called and then came to see me perform,” says Dusk. “The rest is history.” Maybe it didn’t go down quite that easily, but Dusk was given an opportunity he hopes will catapult his music career. That, and the fact that the young artist has already released four independent albums and was playing 20 gigs a month in Toronto clubs before he was discovered, and it’s evident that Dusk tends to create his own good fortune.
Meanwhile, Matt Dusk is as busy as ever with the duality of his career right now. Asked whether his fate on the show was pre-determined, he says “No, not at all. They film 300 hours for every 42 minutes you see on television.” In other words, the reality of the show is exactly that, and Dusk is doing his best to work his way up to the big room at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, just like he would be if there weren’t any cameras around.
Whether or not he makes it, Matt Dusk cannot put a price on the kind of exposure he’s getting.
For more information, please visit www.mattdusk.com.
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