Born and raised in Ellwood City, Joey Mazzant, 34, moved to Florida nearly 14 years ago to pursue his music and performing career, even appearing as a guest on the American Idol Experience – but he never realized it would lead him across the United States, all the way to LA, for the opportunity to be a contestant on Fox’s newest game show, aired to millions across the nation, Beat Shazam. (View the episode free here)
Beat Shazam, hosted by Jamie Foxx, is a game show where the contestants are paired against a computer software known as Shazam, which recognizes media via a smartphone or computer’s built-in microphone, challenging the contestants to name songs after hearing a brief sample before Shazam does.
Shazam takes about two and a half to five seconds to identify media and works by gathering a brief sample of audio being played. It creates an acoustic fingerprint based on the sample and compares it against a central database for a match. If it finds a match, it sends information such as the artist, song title, and album back to the user. Shazam is on Apple and Android devices for free and most commonly known for being part of the app, Snapchat.
Three teams of two have the chance to play against each other and Shazam for a prize of one million dollars.
Mazzant paired with his band mate and friend, who he met four years ago while playing at a charity event, Clark. When asked by Foxx why he wanted to win the money, Mazzant had a selfless answer.
“I have a six year old nephew who reminds me so much of me at that age and I wanted to go to school for music, and I couldn’t. My old man said music wasn’t a major – and I am now, sixteen years later, able to bank some money for my nephew so that when he goes to school he knows he can go for whatever he wants.”
Although the duo didn’t win any money from the game show, Mazzant says it was still one of the best experiences of his life that may lead to other doors opening in the future.
“I’ve had a great life with many doors opening at different times, I’m hoping this is another door. Only time will tell, but I’m hoping for the best.”
Although Mazzant loves living in Florida, he says he misses Ellwood from time to time, especially the mom and pop stores in the community.
He left behind several family members in the Ellwood City area to pursue his dream, including the uncle who he claims got him into music as a young boy. Mazzant has been playing piano and singing since childhood and he continues to dedicate most of his time to music.
Along with being employed by the music based company, the Hard Rock Cafe, as a leading brand ambassador, he also plays band and piano gigs and he has a self published album with all instruments and vocals performed by him.
To find out more about the talented artist, you can follow him on all forms of social media @TheJoeyMazzant and view some of his music on his Youtube Channel.