I have met people who are humble but none surpasses the humility that exhumes from Matthews Matsetse. He is a singing sensation and a song writer we all want to hear sing, and he has made a name for himself. He is very authentic and I love the fact that he loves God dearly. I have grabbed some of his valuable time to ask Matthews about his life.
WHO IS MATTHEWS MATSETSE?
I am first and foremost a Christian who sings not a singer who is a Christian, before I am a singer I am a Christian. I was born in Mochudi 42 years ago and schooled there. I have studied Aviation Communications and I have worked for Department of Civil Aviation for 5 years and I quit my job in year 2005 to focus on music full-time, because I could now earn a living from music and still be a minister of God.
WHEN DID YOU START SINGING?
I recorded my first album in year 1993 in collaboration with Moses Rakaba-Letso. The album was noncommercial as it was recorded at Radio Botswana studios for their airplay. In year 1999 I released my first commercial album titled “Wena Jesu” and in 2005 I released the second album titled “This love is” of which I started getting more recognition from. In year 2011 I released my first live recorded album which was also well received.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I am planning on a new album which should be out by April 2017. On this album I will be collaborating with a several artists. An upcoming artist Botsile Moreba, already established artists Thato Johnson Pheto from Botswana, from South Africa Andile B and Andrew Morris Hawk from USA. It will be a totally different album and I expect good music from it.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN COMPETITION?
I have made a name for myself, that is why I am able to collaborate with international stars. On the other note, the upcoming album will bring something fresh and highly competitive.
WHAT CONTRIBUTION ARE YOU MAKING IN THE GOSPEL MUSIC INDUSTRY?
I am mentoring a lot of upcoming artists for free as a way of giving back to the community and I am also helping churches with training praise and worship teams.
WHAT DIFFERENCES DO YOU NOTE FROM THE TIME YOU STARTED IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND THE CURRENT SITUATION, HAS CIRCUMSTANCES IMPROVED?
Back in the days Batswana did not think music can be a career; gospel artists were just performing for free but now artists can earn a living from their talent. Skill, engineering and singing talent has been polished. Even the shows have become bigger from small 50 people concerts to hundreds of crowds.
WHAT ARE YOUR FONDEST MUSICAL MEMORIES?
I remember one day I was invited to Molepolole and after the show the lady who invited us took the money and went away. We actually thought she was just counting the money and we waited for a very long time it was already after midnight and her phone was off. We trusted God and we went to hike and a drunk guy offered to take us to Gaborone because he thought we had good-looking girls and he might get lucky! The other memory that will always be a part of me is when I went to Kenya in 2011, I was received like a king and they recognized the man of God that I am. I spread from Nairobi to other towns doing performances through referrals and I ended up staying there for 4 months
WHICH GOSPEL MUSICIANS DO YOU BELIEVE ARE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL?
Locally I would say Tshepo Lesole because he is dynamic, he is a producer, a song writer, a mentor and an artist. In South Africa Pastor Benjamin Dube is the most influential, from the 80’s he has defied the odds and is still relevant today, he is consistent and he never vanishes. Internationally I believe Donnie McClurkin is doing it for me.
WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS IN TERMS OF PASTORS?
Bishop Michael Gaotloge has been my all-time inspiration, he introduced me to Christ and groomed me. He also introduced music recording to me and the first time I held a microphone was in his church. He pushed me to my destiny. I also look up to Apostle Timothy Mabhena from South Africa I consider him my mentor and lastly Miles Monroe was one of my inspirations.
IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU COULD CHANGE IN THE CHRISTIAN FRATERNITY, WHAT COULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would open the eyes of Christians and change their mindset to let them know that they can change the world. They have the power to take on the economy and dominate the market place, make them aware that they can also own chain stores and big corporations
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY BIBLE VERSE?
Ephesians 3:20 which states that; “Now to the one who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
When things are ok, even when things go wrong and when my wisdom is failing me I always quote that verse.
WHAT DOES THE WORD WORSHIP MEAN TO YOU?
Worship is a lifestyle not a song, when I sing I am expressing worship. Worship is your state of mind and posture towards God. Worship is also a fellowship of a divine being and the one who he created, it is an intercourse.
ARE YOU A PAUL OR DO YOU HAVE SPECIAL SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE AND IF YES WHEN DO YOU INTEND TO GET MARRIED?
It is difficult to be a Paul, I was in a relationship and in year 2007 it did not work out and we broke up, I was really heart-broken and I took time to heal. Now I am ready to get married because I love kids and would like to have a family by 2017/18.
WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE AFTER 5 YEARS?
In 5 years’ time I would have penetrated the South African market and performed in Europe and USA. I will be owning a production company, having a solid mentorship company and authored at least 2 books. Lastly I will be married and be a family man.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO SING?
It is not as easy as many think, it has its ups and downs and it can take even 2 years before you receive any proceeds. Do it because you want to share your talent with the world and believing that you are sowing a seed that you will harvest later. Don’t go in there for money because the proceeds are slow, there was a time I gave away CD’s for free because there was nobody to buy them but I consider it as my time for sowing because now I am reaping the rewards. Also anybody can make it if they are determined, it is not about where you are coming from because I for one come from a poor background where nobody believed that music can be a career but today I have managed to leave the job I loved and be focused on music only.
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Agape Love, stay Divine!