Over the course of the last decade and a half, well know singer and songwriter, Ard Matthews, has been honing his craft and moving people the world over. As the front man of South African band Just Jinjer, his indelible lyrics and melody arrangements led the way to the incredible success of their debut album title ‘All Comes Round’, becoming one of the biggest selling albums of all time in their native country of South Africa in their genre, achieving double platinum status in it’s first year, with the follow up album “Something for now” reaching the same status in just a few weeks, a year later.
Ard was born in Johannesburg to Dries Brits and Arlene, but considers himself a Durban boy after having moved to the Bluff in Durban shortly thereafter to be raised by his mother. He grew up in a strict religious household with little popular music, but what he did hear — Nat “King” Cole, Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley — elicited an innate musicality that won him a talent contest as a singer when he was twelve years old.
In his late high school years, he sat down at a friend’s drum kit and immediately found a natural proficiency on the traps. Having no desire to pursue conventional studies after school, he enrolled in to The Groove Class based in Johannesburg, South Africa’s only affiliate of Los Angeles’s famed Musicians Institute, during which time he also started to learn the guitar and discovered a voice that would shape the course of his future forever.
Travelling frequently to countries all over the world with Just Jinjer, Ard and the band wowed audiences across Europe, Australia, and the United States, and eventually settled in Los Angeles for 8 years, where they signed an international recording deal with Capitol Records and later to Curb Records, and played at some of the most well known and influential clubs and festivals, before returning to SA in 2009.
In 2010 a decision was made to pursue a solo album, and so began an extensive writing process which took him all over the world and around South Africa – from sailing around the Mafia Islands, to visiting India on an extended trip in February 2012, the album draws on many themes and thoughts and was recorded over the period of many months, predominantly at his beach house in Durban where he now lives with his canine companion Jeff. With brand new tracks, a fierce independency, and some formidable life experience behind him, the new album is set to be a landmark both in his home country of South Africa and abroad.