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Mathai PAM LENNARD. (click for larger version)

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Mathai (click for larger version)
June 10, 2013
CUMMING, Ga. — In the second season of "The Voice," one rendition of Adele's "Rumor Has It" caused three of the judges to fight over the grungy voice of Mathai— the same voice that will be entertaining area residents June 21 at Market 334.

This 17-year-old singer joined Team Adam Levine and continued on to be one of the top 10 contestants on the show.

Now, Mathai has released her debut single, "Once Again," collaborated with Lecrae on the track "Free From it All" and has her first album, "Girl Like Me," ready to be released in July.

"I never grew up believing that you could ever make a career out of passion. I thought you had to go to school, and you had to do something in the medical field," Mathai said. "Being on the show made me realize that I have this other thing that I have always been doing like as a side job all my life. After that, I pursued it."

Inexperience was good for Mathai. She said she would be on stage not really able to understand the intensity of being on national television.

"To me, I was just singing in front of four cool people and then a relatively small group of people. So I was able to be free and be myself," Mathai said. "The fan support on Twitter and the comments – good and bad – that's when it starts hitting you."

Mathai's new album will feature seven songs she wrote. She said she loves grungy jazz, soulful music, so she mixes that with her lighter, more airy voice.

"Since this is my first release of music, they are going to be sweeter," Mathai said. "There are so many different sides to this whole 'Mathai thing.' There's my sweet, shy, nerdy girl, and then there is this person I became – this stage diva with attitude. Then there are the struggles of living as an artist. So it is songs from each of those places."

Mathai said her sound comes from her soul, and it has many different qualities from soothing to scratchy because of the grunge in it.

"It just has soul because when I sing, I put my soul into it," Mathai said. "I make it my goal when I sing. That's what people say when they hear my music. They are like, 'I felt it and I can relate to that.' That is what I love."

The event at Market 334, 334 Dahlonega St., Cumming, will feature Mathai, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a fashion show. Admission is $10.

To hear more of Mathai, visit her YouTube channel at youtub

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