Val Matthew Emmich (born 1979) is a pop rock singer-songwriter and actor from New Jersey. In 2001 he became the first unsigned artist to be featured on MTV's Total Request Live. As an actor he has appeared in such television shows as 30 Rock and Ugly Betty.

Early life

Emmich was born in Manalapan, New Jersey. He is of Italian, Russian, and German ancestry. He attended Manalapan High School where he played soccer. At age 15, he was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and had to give up all strenuous activities. During this time, he learned to play the guitar and began to write songs. In 2001, Emmich and fellow musician Andy Gesner founded Artist Amplification, a program to help independent musicians and bands gain exposure to fans and the music industry.

Musical career

While attending Rutgers University, Emmich performed with various bands, including Awake Asleep and Ben Trovato. After graduating from Rutgers in 2001 with a liberal arts degree, Emmich recorded an independent EP entitled The 15 Minute Relationship. He then recorded Slow Down Kid, a full length independent album on Childlike Records produced by Wayne Dorrell. Emmich recorded a video for his song, "Privacy Attracts A Crowd." The video appeared on MTV's Total Request Live, making him the first unsigned artist to be featured on the show. He was then signed by Epic Records label Red Ink and recorded a new version of his Slow Down Kid album with four new songs. The video of another track from the album,"Shock", was featured at LA's Hype Fest and Toronto's NEXT Festival. In 2005, Emmich moved temporarily to Woodstock, New York and recorded another independent album, Songs, Volume 1: Woodstock which was released in 2007. The Woodstock sessions eventually became the independent studio album Sunlight Searchparty. In 2007, a track from the album "The Only One Lonely" won the best video category at the Independent Music Awards. After recording Sunlight Searchparty, Emmich left Epic Records in 2006 due to artistic differences. In 2008, Emmich signed with Bluhammock Music. On May 27, 2008, he released his first single from Little Daggers entitled "Get On With It". The full album was released on September 23, 2008. Emmich's music video for "Get on With It" was nominated for a Best Video Award at the 2008 Independent Music Awards. He released Looking For A Feeling You Never Knew You Needed on September 21, 2010 in a digital only format. In June 2011 he announced his intention to use Kickstarter to fund his next album and in just under 24 hours he reached his goal of raising $7000; by the end of the month he had reached more than $15,000. The album was produced by Jason Cupp and was designed to capture the feel of a live performance. On August 16 the album was released digitally to Kickstarter backers and was later released to the general public on October 11. Titled Aide Memoire the 10 track album was recorded completely live to tape.

Musical influences:

Emmich has been influenced by a wide range of musicians including Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, The Beatles, Wilco, Björk, Radiohead, R.E.M., Bright Eyes,Nada Surf and Paul Westerberg.

Acting career

Emmich began acting in 1997 to finance his college education. He appeared in a television ad for the Got Milk? campaign as well as advertisements for Burger King and At&T Wireless. He has also appeared in small roles in the television shows Ed, Third Watch, and Hope & Faith. More recently, he has appeared in NBC's 30 Rock with Tina Fey in the seventh episode of the second season titled "Cougars", ABC's Cashmere Mafia with Lucy Liu and as a love interest of Betty Suarez on Ugly Betty. In the summer of 2008, he shot his first film, playing the lead role in the independent feature Fighting Fish.

Personal life

Emmich lives in Jersey City, New Jersey with his wife Jill, an elementary school teacher, and their roommates.