BY ALEXANDER BRAND
Stellenbosch favourite, Matt Carstens, is a pop singer-songwriter, coming into his own on the music scene, both locally and internationally.
Matt skilfully delivers a lively and versatile performance of original arrangements and well-known covers, equipped with just his acoustic guitar and loop pedal.
He says he always finds it funny when people ask for a come up story, because there’s never a time in a musician’s career where he isn’t trying to reach the next level. He also still describes himself as an “up-and-comer” in the music scene. Matt grew up on game farms in Limpopo and stayed in Vaalwater until age 17 when he found a manager and moved to the Western Cape. He has been playing in pubs and resorts since he was 13, so he says “moving down here where the scene is so alive was quite the culture shock.” After he finished matric, he spent a year studying BA Language and Culture in Stellenbosch and working on his debut album, “2D Heart” in 2017 before he decided to become a full-time musician. The album received excellent reviews. Since then Matt has shared the stage with some of our country’s biggest names, including Majozi, Spoegwolf, Die Heuwels Fantasties and Francois van Coke.
Carstens said, “The reaction I’ve gotten on the singles released so far have been absolutely amazing and supportive.”
His song “High” is currently playlisted on 5FM, which he says he never thought would happen. According to Carstens, everything related to his music has gotten “a bit clinical and less idealistic”, but he is excited to see what the fans think of the new direction he went in. Carstens believes, “Evolution of self is very necessary and should be pursued at all cost.”
Together with a commended Australian band Germein, Matt played 20 gigs at English universities over two weeks. Two of his original songs made the Top Five on the Coffee House Sessions Chart for 2018. His single “Somebody Else” was track of the week on Manchester Student Radio. Because of this, Matt is planning on doing many tours overseas.
His new album titled Why Him is coming soon.
He describes his new album as “a pretty solid and honest representation of where I’m at right now”.
He said he had a blast making it, and that’s all one could hope for.
“It’s a lot bigger and edgier than most of the music I’ve released up until now,” he explained.
He also has two upcoming gigs in Stellies. He is performing at The Mystic Boer on 12 February and Spier Wine Estate on 14 February. He says he is always amped to play in Stellenbosch, because “there’s always a very hyped and lekker vibe that comes with a Stellies show”.
That being said, along with the rest of us, he is just hoping Loadshedding is cooperative.