Hanging out with Ard Matthews

Ard Matthews has been making beautiful music for 22 years and entertaining crowds around the world! He’s the lead singer of the hugely popular Just Jinger and arguably one of SA’s best vocalists with a knack for writing catchy, meaningful songs. He’s jammed with some of the world’s greats and now he is trying something a little different: a solo album, Impossible Machines, which has an interesting new sound and a fresh new vibe. We chat to the unique artist about this new project.

When did you start working on your solo album and tell us a bit about the recording process?


I started recording the album when I got back from Europe in September 2017. My aim was to record at least 15 songs and choose the best 11 out of them. The only directive I gave myself was to get downstairs to the studio and do exactly what I felt like doing each day. This allowed me to create my most diverse album to date.

You experiment with different sounds and genres on this; it must be an exciting adventure going at it alone.

It is exciting and daunting at the same time. I decided to use quite a lot of the electro sounds I’ve always enjoyed such as arpeggiators and bass synths and I very purposely did not use acoustic guitar so that I could make a clean break away from my usual sound; I’ve only used a Fender electric guitar on the whole record.

What is your favourite song on your new album? A pretty difficult question, but which number sets the tone for the rest of the record?

I would have to say that a late entry called Shoulda Stayed has become my favourite because it’s about the closest thing I’ve done in recent years that feels like it may strike a chord the way Shallow Waters and She Knows did.

What was your first ever job?

I was a waiter at Reds in Rivonia. I remember rocking up in the only white T-shirt I owned, which was really not great quality and was pretty worn and stained. The owner was quite kind to allow me to continue to work but I could see he was not too impressed because it was quite a fancy restaurant!

Say they’re making a documentary about Just Jinger – which famous person plays Ard Matthews?

Uhhhh, I think Tom Hardy would rock dreadlocks!!!

In your opinion, what are the top five SA bands of all time?

Johnny Clegg, SNG, Mango Groove, Prime Circle and Freshlyground.

You are the president of our beautify country for a day: what is the first thing you do?

Goodness me, so much pressure! I would fire anyone with a criminal record and put the most honest people in their place!

What is your favourite holiday destination?

I enjoy anywhere where there’s sun and sand and good waves. Our African coast provides places that are better than most islands I have ever visited.

You’ve been offered a million dollars to be the vocalist in a tribute band. Which band do you choose?

Led Zeppelin every time. Best ever.


Watch Impossible Machines Below: