MATSHIDISO (pronounced mat-sea-dee-so) is a half South African (the origin of her name comes from the Sotho tribe, meaning blessing or consolation) half Jamaican musician, born and raised in London.
A classically trained pianist, composer, arranger and singer-songwriter, she also plays guitar and experiments with percussion. Inspired by soul, hip-hop, world music and singer-songwriters of the 70′s, Matshidiso’s eclectic fusion of styles adds up to a soulful sound that is uniquely hers.
Best experienced live, Matshidiso is a storyteller creating an immersive and collaborative experience between audience and performer. She enjoys writing spontaneous songs for audience members during her gigs (this involves a volunteer from the audience whom Matshidiso has never met and then writing a song specifically for that person on the spot) and also holds intimate gigs in her living room at home, ‘The Front Room Sessions’.
Not only does Matshidiso write, compose, arrange and produce all her music, she is a band leader, a songwriter and arranger for both signed and unsigned musicians including soul singer Daley, Charlotte OC and Khalia who shared management with Lana del Rey and Emeli Sandé respectively. Matshidiso is also a keen collaborator and is passionate about ever-expanding her musical repertoire. She has sung and played piano for a range of different artists from diverse musical backgrounds including Afrobeat, pop, electro, jazz, soul, world music and not only in English but also in French and Spanish.
Matshidiso has worked closely with leading UK cultural organisation, the Southbank Centre at a series of festivals including ‘Africa Utopia’ and ‘Women of the World.’ this has included performing, devising and leading a workshop on songwriting and chairing a panel on arts and activism with artists from south Africa, the UK and Egypt. Further afield Matshidiso has collaborated with South African filmmakers to create music videos that not only highlight her music, but also seek to present Africa in a more nuanced and complex way. This has included a video shot in Johannesburg, Running [https://youtu.be/bs-u_go1_ts] and an upcoming short film that considers post-apartheid South Africa from the perspective of young South Africans.
Matshidiso believes in the transcendent power of music to not only connect but to heal and has spent the past 5 yrs playing to staff and patients at renowned cancer hospital, the Royal Marsden in London.
With a background in human rights law, Matshidiso also trained as a lawyer, has a Masters in public international law and spent some years in France, studying French law in Paris. she speaks French fluently as well as some German, Russian and Spanish. Matshidiso has been playing the piano from the age of 7 and started writing songs alongside her law degree.
Her passion is using music and creativity to promote human rights and social justice. she has worked in Ethiopia with an anti sex-trafficking organization and as a relief worker in Haiti soon after the 2010 earthquake. Matshidiso returned to Haiti in 2013 to continue the work that was started. More recently she set up an education program facilitating arts and educational workshops for male inmates at a young offenders prison in the UK.
In 2012 Matshidiso released her first EP ‘Nursery Rhymes for Grown Folks’, taking children’s nursery rhymes and adapting them for adults, it stemmed from a desire to re-create for adults the same familiarity and comfort that nursery rhymes bring to children. Her goal was sucessful, a number of listeners have noted that the ep is the only thing that helps them sleep at night. She released a second EP in Spring of 2016 fragile which was recorded in Tel Aviv, Israel. raw, intimate and vulnerable, just Matshidiso singing at the piano .
She has also released 2 singles, The Water and Running in 2012 and 2013 respecitvely and is currently working on her debut album. A full length album that will display her broad musical influences, her musicianship and love for storytelling.