MILLEDGEVILLE — Matthew “Austin” Brown never imagined his ardor for singing would take him on a journey across the world to one day showcase his talent on national television. His dream of that “one day” has come true as he and his band, Home Free, are ready to debut their vocals on NBC’s The Sing-Off.
“None of us expected to get this. We were going in knowing that we were doing our best. We put our coal in the fire hoping it would catch,” Brown said of the audition earlier this year. “You have to have more than talent to get on the show. There’s got to be something unique about you, and our country aspect provided that something new for [the judges].”
Brown hopes to make his hometown of Milledgeville proud, where his passion for singing, dancing and drama flourished.
“My first real stage time in front of people was at Baldwin High School. It’s where I found myself,” Brown recalled. “When I sing, I find my inner-self that I never knew existed. I lose myself to the audience in front of me.”
The Tifton native’s musical heritage began as a young boy growing up with his father in the southern gospel community along with his mother in church. Brown moved to Milledgeville as a high school freshman, attending Baldwin High. He starred in many roles in various school and community musical productions. Brown secured an overall state championship as a soloist during his senior year in 2004.
“I got into music theater under the direction of [former BHS and current GMC fine arts director] Mark Weaver. The first a capella group was a male quartet that competed in literary state competition in my senior year,” Brown said. “I really grew into the arts community. They really fostered my love and artistry for singing.”