Matuse may seem alternately tough, rugged and down-to-earth but this self-styled, award-winning rap/hip-hop artist has exploded onto the global stage with a flurry of popular, raw and emotionally charged lyrics. With musical training in New York, he now co-produces, writes and stars in his own songs along with producer Kazi, director Steven Guzman (SGZ) and Freedom Fighters Movement. He incrementally releases them as singles onto iTunes where they have become bestsellers in a short space of time.
They debuted a critically acclaimed independent album called “Third Eye King”, compiling the best of Matuse’s poetic, soulful vocals and sunnily refreshing if not controversial honesty rarely seen since Eminem. An official track, “Phoenix” is incredibly moody for instance. His most personal work has been in “Goodbye Letters” featuring reggae artist Jah Tung, respectfully addressing issues of suicide, mortality and depression.
Matuse has won plaudits for his acting chops in Tropfest finalist “Between the Flags” as Best Actor. He is best known for his pivotal guest role on the extremely popular crime drama franchise “Underbelly: The Golden Mile” in 2009 as Kassab (Michael Vice)’s associate and drug dealer. Set in the seedy nightclub district of Kings Cross between 1988 and 1999, the narrative was loosely based on real events.
In theatre, he has flexed his muscle on STC & BYDS’ “Look the Other Way” (2012) and “The Other Way” (2013): about Muslim religion and piety, loss, family and the epic generational/cultural divide. Matuse was essential in the part of a man trying to keep his faith during a bad losing streak. Earlier shorts “Jammin’ in the Middle” and “Cedar Boys” similarly dealt with Middle-Eastern cross-cultural sentiment in Sydney’s Lebanese outer-west, using rap music, comedy and romance.
Other highlights in 2014 and 2015 have been traveling to Dubai and Egypt respectively to appear in a multimedia outdoors spectacular “Clusters of Light” for Sharjah Expo, a remarkable story of Bilal who begins as a slave and later becomes a Muslim.
Indeed, this spiritual gangster is not only an artist’s artist in his own right he also shares and promotes his struggles with a devoted audience in social media through his inspirational adages. Because of Matuse’s involvement with resonant subject matter, authentic acting, workshopping true-life experiences and deft direction, he often receives praise for his work.
Clearly he is on track to ‘becoming the new and unforgettable face of urban music, film and television in Australia.’ And he needs only one name.