Matt Gardiner Releases Sea of Faces [Interview]
An Interview with Matt Gardiner
“I kind of like to share my life with people through the songs that I write…” – Matt Gardiner
Matt Gardiner is an upcoming South African singer-songwriter from Pietermaritzburg, that’s quickly making his way up the local music scene ladder.
With the use of a loop station, Matt incorporates intricate layers of vocal and guitar melodies into beautifully crafted works of art that are sure to grab even the most distracted listener’s attention. He’s just released his debut single, Sea Of Faces.
I recently caught up with Matt to talk about his music:
Hey Matt, thanks for the chat. You are from KwaZulu-Natal; how are you experiencing the music scene there, and what are the challenges (especially as a solo artist)?
KwaZulu-Natal is an absolutely beautiful place. The people here are so kind and supportive and the music scene here overall is really good. There are so many incredibly talented musicians that are born and bred here and deserve to be seen and known all around the country. The biggest challenge, especially as a solo artist here, is that there are not enough festivals and concerts that take place, and being a solo artist it’s a little bit more difficult to become a support act than it is as a full band in my opinion.
Completely agree! Are you playing music full time at the moment? If not, what else are you currently doing?
Yes and no. I stopped studying Civil Engineering at Tuks to pursue music. I did Idols last year, and did music theory. This year I started studying music production and sound engineering which is a great help for my live set and skills to create music and songs.
So, you use a loop station, why did you decide to go this route?
Being a solo artist I wanted to make my set a little bit bigger than just playing guitar and hitting a kick drum. I saw Ed Sheeran using one, and when I saw Jeremy Loops do it live, I thought to myself that I really needed to try it out and I ended up really loving it. My new set that I’m working on currently is going to be a lot more fun!
You’ve gotten quite far in Idols 2016. Do you see this as your break? And would you take part again in, perhaps, Idols or The Voice?
Personally, I didn’t see it as my big break. I got some awesome coaching and I learned how to be in front of cameras. The biggest thing was probably the confirmation that I should stick to playing guitar and singing because my dancing is horrible. I would be really keen to try out The Voice if they do another season!
I’ve read somewhere that you write a lot about personal experiences, can you share one or two examples of this?
I write my songs based on how I feel, or how I think I would feel in a certain situation. I kind of like to share my life with people through the songs that I write.
You’ve just released your debut single “Sea Of Faces”, which sounds like a bit of a love song; was it written about a specific person (perhaps the girl on the artwork)?
The girl on the artwork was actually designed by my friend’s girlfriend and he did the cover for me. I wrote this one about somebody sticking out in a crowd of people.
As a solo artist, what went into putting this single together; from the writing to the final product?
I wrote the song myself, and chatted to Neil Breytenbach of Prime Circle about it, and played it for him. He felt like he could turn it into something rad so we laid the guitar tracks down and put the other music around it together. Once that was done we recorded the vocals and sent it off to Germany to be mixed and mastered. What came back is what you hear today!
Tell me about that 6-track EP that’s currently in the making?
I ended up deciding to turn it into a small album of 8 tracks, but I’m currently working on some really cool stuff to show to everybody!
Where can we see you perform live next?
I have a few smaller gigs in and around KZN ranging from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. I have a few really really awesome shows lined up that I unfortunately can’t announce as yet-but trust me, they are really kiff!
What are your plans for the rest of 2017 and 2018?
My plans for the rest of this year and for next year are basically to keep at it, get my name out there and known around a little more. I am currently working on my new set, which is going to be something nobody is expecting I think. I want to try and play in more provinces, and I would love to do a mini tour through Gauteng and the Western Cape.
Get the single now: