HOMETOWN: Long Island, N.Y.
INFLUENCES: Jerry Reed, Chuck Berry, Little Richard
ALBUM: Last Train to Rock n’ Roll, out now
Growing up on New York’s Long Island, musician and model Zeiss (born Matthew John Zeiss) was drawn to entertainment because of his parents’ obsession with Elvis Presley. As a kid, he’d scoured his father’s record collection of the King’s music, along with other classic rock and blues albums. Zeiss’ vocal talent was first nurtured by a high school music instructor after singing Jimmie Rodgers’ “It’s Over” in a talent audition. This led to performing at local gigs, and eventually landed him a spot as opening act at Broadway Comedy Club in Manhattan. In 2010, Zeiss fulfilled a lifelong dream when he recorded Presley’s “That’s All Right” at Sun Studio in Memphis. Partnered with producer Sean Power, he devoted the next two years to developing original material. Those efforts came to fruition with his debut album, Last Train to Rock n’ Roll, which mixes retro R&B with more aggressive hard rock.