Over the course of the last decade and a half, well known 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 rock genre albums of all time in their native country of South Africa, achieving double platinum status in its first year, with the follow up album “Something for now” reaching the same status a year later.
Several albums, band member changes, national and international tours later, the Bluff-proud local released his first debut album in 2012 and has since gone on to continue to draw audiences as a solo act with the same distinctive voice but somewhat different style: a progressive evolution of what fans have grown to know and love with an edgier fusion of alternative pop, dance and rock.
In what one may see as a coming full circle, Ard Matthews and Morgan Ross are reunited once again. 13 years ago, Just Jinjer found themselves between California and South Africa, working, at the time, with then road manager and passionate newby, Morgan Ross at indie agency, G Management. After many years of working together on different projects, albeit infrequently, their business relationship and vision have paired the two again and Ard is now exclusively booked by UMG Live, under the guidance of Morgan Ross, and under exclusive management by Haven Media, headed by managing director Craig Reid.
For bookings, please contact Morgan Ross on firstname.lastname@example.org
For management enquiries, please contact Craig Reid on email@example.com
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Ard Mathews bio
Just Jinjer have shared the stage with many iconic local and international artists on many stages across the world. Most notably at the Nelson Mandela 46664 Concert, Johannesburg in 2009 where they performed with the likes of The Goo Goo Dolls, Annie Lennox, Razorlight, Ludacris, Corrinne Bailey Rae, Peter Gabriel, Live, and Angélique Kidjo. They have also performed support duties, and shared the bill with many international stars such as U2, Counting Crows, Def Leppard, INXS, Maroon 5, One Republic, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Strokes, and many more. On their own Just Jinjer have performed many sold out arena shows across South Africa.
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 only 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 Curb Records, and played at some of the most well known and influential clubs and festivals before returning to SA in 2009.
Ard released his debut solo album in the winter of 2012 to critical acclaim and shortly after teamed up with South African folk icon Vusi Mahlasela for Ard’s single ‘Umuntu’. Ard is now playing regularly as a solo act, as well as still fronting the original Just Jinjer, with many well known and talented musicians joining him on bass guitar and drums on an ad-hoc and dynamic basis, at well known festivals such as Oppikoppi and Rocking The Daisies festival in Darling, Cape Town.
Ard also joined forces with top advertising company King James and leading insurance firm Sanlam to produce a massive online campaign about a snubbed contestant from an international music contest television series, with Ard writing, producing, and recording a song for the contestant and being filmed for a documentary. Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B98sjwnKH4o
Ard’s latest, released at the beginning of 2017, entitled ‘Wonder Years’ was an evolution in his sound, and received with acclaim across the country. Further to this, he performed an extensive European solo tour in August 2017, performing in Monaco at the annual Croix Rouge Charity Ball – hosted by the Princess of Monaco, and iconic venues such as the Halfmoon Putney in London, The Classic Grand in Glasgow, De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam, and many more. Ard is now permanently in studio recording his second solo album, due for release in March 2018.