From a very young age Matt Carstens has been composing his own music and has since then continuously molded and shaped his creations to deliver the captivating performance he is known for today. He skillfully manipulates his guitar and knows his way around his looping pedals. He charms audiences with his endlessly versatile and unexpected repertoire of songs and a gallant on-stage presence.
With numerous festivals around the country under his belt he has gained invaluable performing experience along the way. He has recorded a 6 track EP and will be launching his debut album in April. Since releasing his debut single, “Paper Planes”, there has been a string of radio stations jumping at the opportunity to playlist it.
You might be curious about this great SA artist, so today we’re sharing 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Matt Carstens with you
1. There are lots of things that freak him out, some more normal than others. A few of these things include children, public toilets, heights, snakes, spiders and that squeaky sound Styrofoam makes when you take something new out of a cardboard box.
2. He’s missing a fingertip on his right hand because he had an incident with a particularly large hammer when he was about 6. He always thought it would affect his guitar playing, but he’s managed quite well up until now…
3. He plays guitar the wrong way around. He’s actually meant to play left handed since he writes with his left hand, but his parents didn’t realise that left handed guitars existed when they bought him his first one, so he just went with it and learnt right handed. He can’t imagine trying to play a left handed guitar now.
4. He loves watching Anime (Japanese cartoons). He’s always wanted a tattoo of Pikachu and he imagines that would be quite the ice-breaker…
5. Matt Carstens is really terrible at playing video games, which is probably why he got so into making music. All his mates at school would be playing on their consoles, so he found his own outlet. It seemed to have worked in his favour at least.
6. Matt once marched through his school wearing all black with heavy eye make-up while blasting My Chemical Romance’s “The Black Parade” album through loudspeakers. The reason for this being that the album had turned 10 years old and he wanted to commemorate and pay tribute to one of his favourite albums of all time. His teachers (thank fully) didn’t stop him.
7. He writes most of his music while he’s lying in bed. It probably accounts for his music being so chilled.
8. He would’ve probably gone into theatre if he didn’t pursue music. He’s been in a few plays and has always been into musicals and musical theatre. Some of his favourites being Rocky Horror and Moulin Rouge (yes he’s that cheesy).
9. He could probably live off instant noodles quite easily. It’s his favourite food. In any way, shape or form. All day. Every day.
10. Matt Carstens has been writing songs since the age of about 12. He’s probably written over 200 songs by now, but most of the songs from that long ago were really bad, so it made choosing songs for the album so much easier. He thinks it’s cool how things work out like that.
11. He can rap “The Real Slim Shady” in its entirety and sometimes he’ll even play it live for laughs.
12. Matt hails from a small town in Limpopo called Vaalwater. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but he owes a lot to it since that’s where he discovered music, joined bands and just sort of laid his musical foundations. It also keeps him grounded in a way – coming from a small town.
I’d like to thank Matt for sharing this info with us and I wish him all of the best with his future musical endeavours. If you’re not familiar with this music, check out the live performance of his song “Bisous” on SABC 3’s Expresso below:
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If you live in South Africa and you're looking for a live music gig or music festival to attend, feel free to check The SA Gig Guide on our sister site (SA Music Zone).