It took half a semester for Matte Wolfe to realize Penn State wasn’t a fit for him.
So the then-18-year-old packed his bags, dropped out and moved to New York to pursue his music dream.
When he arrived, the Long Island native knew only a few relatives in the city. So, during the summer after the move, he caught wind of a group dance lesson nearby.
He decided to go.
By chance he met his agent Cannon Mapp, who connected him to his current vocal coach Marlon Saunders.
“[My opportunities] taught me that connections mean everything,” Wolfe, 19, said.
Saunders linked Wolfe with an opportunity of a lifetime: The young pop singer took part in the rapper Logic’s multicultural choir during his performance at the Grammys.
Before he partook in the choir, Wolfe prepared for the Grammys by first listening to Logic's hit song “1-800-273-8355."
The song, which features artists Alessis Cara and Khalid, is named after the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and was a finalist for song of the year. Calls to the suicide prevention lifeline skyrocketed shortly after the song’s release in April, according to CNN.
After listening to the song multiple times to gain a familiarity with it, Wolfe received his singing part along with the melody he needed to sing during the performance.
Then, he practiced his part before it was time for him to purchase “an all-black outfit that would look dope for the show” a few days before his big rehearsal.
None of this would have been possible had he stayed put in State College.
“I don’t know why I was at Penn State,” Wolfe said.
When he was younger, Wolfe experimented with music by taking guitar lessons and by taking part in his elementary school’s choir.
However, neither of his first two trial runs in his grand musical adventure spoke to him — neither learning how to play the guitar nor trying his hand in choir furthered his passion.
As a kid, Wolfe, who spent most of his childhood in State College, listened to pop artists like Drake and The Fray.
The Fray’s hit song “How to Save a Life” struck a chord with Wolfe so much so it made him want to learn how to play the piano.
About a decade later, Wolfe attended summer camp at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Then a junior at State College Area High School, the camp allowed him to be around people following a similar path of music.
Even though Wolfe was hooked on music, he had no idea what to major in, so he enrolled in the college’s division of undergraduate studies.
Since dropping out, Wolfe has released two pop singles, “Whatever You Like” and “All Day, All Night” followed by his upcoming EP.
He also took on modeling independently on the side in hopes of being signed to a modeling agent in addition to his current agent. Wolfe works with photographers to build his portfolio.
The musician and model jokingly added that he will not be young forever, so he has to take his golden opportunity now while he’s still in his prime.
From all that he does, Wolfe’s main goal in his career is only to do well. He affirmed that he will do so in learning by doing.
“I don’t want to look back on life and think ‘what if?’” Wolfe said.