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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Student Spotlight: singer, songwriter: Molly M.

She’s more than just the lively brunette girl in one of your classes; Molly Mathias, a senior at New Trier with dreams of singing pop professionally, is beginning her path toward stardom by releasing her first single, “Mr. Shady.”

This Trevian toils with homework and hangs with friends like the rest of us, but doesn’t partake in the typical sports teams, clubs, or theatre in her spare time. Instead, Mathias pursues a career as a pop singer.

“I’ve always loved singing. As a child, I put on little performances for my parents and sang Spice Girls in my free time,” said Mathias. She took the next step in 5th grade by joining the Sears choir program.

She also began weekly voice lessons and playing the piano.

On the side, Mathias took roles in local plays, but by high school had given them up. “Plays are deceivingly huge time commitments,” said Mathias. “Plus, I cared more about singing than acting.”

Through middle school, Mathias honed her craft with the assistance of multiple voice coaches, but faced a scare early in her venture.

Her first voice coach had her breathing improperly, and after each session she would lose her voice. Doctors concluded that the nodes on her vocal chords had become inflamed.

To regain her voice and sing consistently, Mathias endured biweekly vocal therapy for six months. Barring her setback, Mathias moved on and began scouting city venues where she could sing. She found an open mic at a restaurant called Common Ground in Wrigleyville. Mathias has gone there just about every Tuesday since then to perform a few songs and stay in vocal shape.

A friend of Mathias, Renee Vesselinovitch has come to support her a few times. “It’s cute because I know Molly’s really nervous each time, but she sings so well on stage it’s impossible to tell,” said Vesselinovitch.

But small weekly shows couldn’t satisfy Mathias’ craving, especially considering most bars prohibited under aged kids from performing.

So she landed a bigger paying gig this past summer. Accompanied by a band, including Trevian Ned Bowen, Mathias sang two of her own songs and three covers. But Mathias wanted more. “I kept begging my dad to find me a producer so I could really put myself out there, but we had no idea where to start,” she said.

Luckily, Mathias’ first voice coach, Jess Godwin, had connections with a producer named Joe Hurt. After auditioning in his studio, Hurt liked what he heard and signed on for three songs.

Mathias released “Mr. Shady”, a sexy club-banger condemning dishonest boys, a few weeks back on iTunes and over Facebook. Friends took to promoting her fan page with over 200 likes and posting the iTunes link.

Another friend of Mathias, Mary Grace Deloach commented, “I’ll play Molly’s song whenever I’m in my car. Not only is it super catchy, but it’s like, no big deal, that’s my friend.” The song took only a month to produce, as Mathias notes the vocals weren’t tricky, the song just needed production from Hurt.

She uploaded the song to iTunes through a simple website called for only $10. Mathias gets 70 cents of every dollar iTunes makes on Mr. Shady. Hurt has contacted local DJs who promised to play the track at their clubs.

Mathias’ next song, “When You’re Gone” took a bit more time; after four months of perseverance and a collaboration effort with a Chicago rapper, this track has shaped up to be Mathias’ favorite of the three. She noted, “I had to cut vocals hundreds of time to make sure I was pitch perfect. Then Hurt and I would both listen to critique it again.”

Her last track of the package, “Uh-Oh”, details a boy in love with a girl who he thinks is perfect, but she has unseen flaws.

The package of songs will be released within the next two months. Mathias can only hope a notable record label hears them and likes her sound. Mathias noted,

“If I got signed I would forsake college. Right now I’m applying to pop programs at Miami, Belmont, USC, and Syracuse, but I wouldn’t want to pass up such a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Her parents don’t agree as firmly. Nonetheless, her dad handles the financial side of her career and her mom takes care of all her scheduling.

“If nothing comes of this, I’ll be disappointed but understanding. The chances of making it are incredibly slim. I’m just glad I’ve had this experience and met the people I have,” said Mathias.

For now, she can feel the celebrity just by passing through the halls of New Trier. Last week, she heard someone humming a tune in class that sounded so familiar. She then realized it was her own song.

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