Jax's Matthew Johnson, of "The Voice"

The Narrow Interview… With Jacksonville’s Matthew Johnson from “The Voice”

by Meghan Gallagher

Four seconds. One note.

That’s all it took for “Voice” contestant Matthew Johnson to get judge Blake Shelton to slam the red button and turn his chair in a nod of approval. This blind audition, where the judges start with their backs turned to the contestant and turn around if they decide they want the contestant on their team, ended with all four chairs turning around.

Just who is the owner of the voice that instantaneously stunned the judges? The answer to that question is Jacksonville’s very own Matthew Johnson. Sunshine in human form, overflowing with energy, talent, faith and kindness.

Always sporting a smile and a positive attitude, Johnson started his vocal journey singing for his church in Mandarin. Since then he’s branded himself as a happy go-lucky soulful entertainer. He chose the song “I Smile” by gospel artist Kirk Franklin for his blind audition, doing the song justice with a powerful rendition that was well received, to say the least. He has yet to hear anything negative about his performances.

“This is what I love to do, sing songs that give people hope,” Johnson told Narrow, “I want to give people a reason to smile. That’s very important to me.”

Ironically, his day job as a debt collector is one that normally wouldn’t put a smile on people’s faces, although it’s a good bet he manages. It’s safe to say if you were to get a call from any debt collector, you’d would want it to be him. In between filming, the down-to-earth talent goes back to work, where he’s heard every excuse in the book - one of his favorites being someone staging their wife in labor.

But it’s almost time for him to put his voice back in the spotlight after resting it up during the break.

“It’s been such an exciting process; we’re all one big family having the time of our lives. I’m always reminding myself and others to take a moment and really enjoy where we are,” Johnson says of the fun-loving TV show.

The 26-year-old vocalist is a devoted basketball and football fan, so you know he enjoyed his week off in Los Angeles, home of the Lakers. Although he doesn’t need much luck to supplement his talent, he insists on wearing his lucky Kobe Bryant socks for every performance.

“Anytime you see me on the show, I’m wearing my Kobe socks.”

Even though sunny LA treated him well, Johnson’s love for Jacksonville has not subsided. His travels have not left him jaded with his normal life, just more and more excited for what’s to come.

“I continue to seek council from God, and I realize I have to be open to everything to reach my full potential. But I would love to live in Jacksonville for the rest of my life.” Johnson said.

Before auditioning for the voice, Johnson was exclusively singing for churches and sporting events, but is open to playing for any venue “who will support Johnson,” he told Narrow. Preferably alongside Tori Kelly, whom he’d love to do a song -scratch that- songs, with.

“She is so amazing, so versatile!” he said.

Thing are looking great for our hometown hero. With his faith, his adorable and supportive family, Kelly Clarkson as a coach, and a little luck from Kobe Bryant, he’ll have Tori Kelly requesting to do songs with him.

dave kosciolek