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Friday, April 18, 2014

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Second Montrealer heard on The Voice Israel

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Mattia Pironti with Inuit children in Nunavik

Israeli olah Kathleen Reiter is not the only native Montrealer who vied for stardom on The Voice Israel, the reality show singing competition that racked up almost 40 per cent of the audience share when it first debuted there in January.

Also competing was Mattia Pironti, who turns 23 next month. He made it onto the show as part of its trademark “blind audition,” using an MP3 music file submission that impressed the judges.

Reiter, who was featured in a CJN article Jan. 26, is also 23).

Before The Voice Israel first aired, about 4,000 Israelis sent in MP3s for the audition.

“I really like singing,” Pironti, a singer/songwriter/guitarist says. On his Facebook page and website – matmusik.com – he also notes that he is of “Italian and Moroccan descent.”

Pironti made it to the second round of the competition – a group of 56, half of those who first competed – but did not go further, he said, because he declined to commit himself to making aliyah.

“It was one of the conditions to be eligible to go further,” he said. “They said they were willing to find me an apartment to rent for two years and for me to learn Hebrew.”

In an interview, Pironti came across as a laid-back, backpack kind of dude who takes life as it comes and is not yet ready to plant any permanent roots.

For the last three years, he has been working in Nunavik in northern Quebec, going there originally to help build a hockey school for native Inuit children. When Pironti spoke to The CJN, he was planning to return there shortly and continue “travelling village to village,” making friends with the people and working on projects.

Nunavik is, in many ways, light years away from Israel, where Pironti was last May for a planned three-month trip that turned out to be six, working at a battery factory in a kibbutz. He met someone connected with The Voice Israel at a birthday party.

“They heard I was a singer and said I should send in the MP3,” Pironti recalled.

In fact, Pironti said, he only took up singing seriously a couple of years ago. His website says he grew up listening to “to different music genres,” began writing poetry at 16 and starting collaborating with a Cuban producer on an album after a 2009 trip there.

Pironti’s album – the final product – is called MAT. For him, singing is not only about “the voice. It’s also the [song’s] story. It’s everything.”

But is a musical career in the cards? Is that Pironti’s ultimate ambition?

He’s not sure. He is thinking about going to Ottawa to attend university in May.

He also agreed that during his The Voice Israel experience, he remained what he seemed on the phone – someone who does not get easily unnerved.

“In Israel, people were asking me why I seemed so calm? I’m just a relaxed guy,” was Pironti’s unreserved answer. “That’s who I am.”

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