Born August 18, 1960, in Hull, North Yorkshire, England, Matthewman started playing clarinet as a child. During his teens, he picked up sax and began playing guitar. His influences include Jr. Walker, King Curtis, Art Pepper, Gato Barbieri, Ernie Isley, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Wah Wah Watson, Issac Hayes, Bill Withers, Lee Perry, and Gustav Mahler. In 1982, Matthewman relocated to London. Joining Latin funk band Pride, he met singer/songwriter Sade Adu. They began writing songs together. Teaming with bandmate Paul S. Denman and keyboardist Andrew Hale, they formed the band Sade.
Signing with Epic Records' U.K. division in 1984 and working with producer Robin Millar and engineer/producer Mike Pela, Sade's debut Diamond Life began a long string of hits. In 1995, Matthewman met singer Maxwell through percussionist Karl Vanden Bossche. Matthewman wrote and produced "Welcome," "Lonely's the Only," and "Whenever Wherever Whatever" and played sax and guitar on Maxwell's multi-platinum 1996 Columbia debut album Urban Hang Suite. Matthewman also worked with the singer on his follow-up album Embrya and on "Seguranca," a track from the 1996 Verve various artists CD Red Hot + Rio. With Sade bandmates Andrew Hale and Paul S. Denman, Matthewman recorded the self-titled debut of Sweetback. The CD was an attractive mix of ambient dub, trip-hop, retro soul, and acid jazz. The charting single "You Will Rise" had lead vocals by one-time Groove Theory vocalist Amel Larrieux and became a steppers favorite along with other tracks on Sweetback.
On October 31, 2000, Boulder C0-based What Are Records issued the Matthewman-composed soundtrack to the independent movie hit Twin Falls Idaho. The album is a wonderfully eccentric affair and was recorded with the New York Philharmonic. One track, "When Did You Leave Heaven" with singer Lisa Ekdahl, brings to mind Billie Holliday. "Mystery Dub" and "Edge Test 1" recall Sweetback. "Don't Grow" with Mark Anthony Thompson is a nice pop/rock ballad.
Stuart Matthewman also has done remixes for Edge Records, React Records, Quango Records (the dub remix of Gregory Issacs' "Night Nurse"), and film scores (Sea of Love, Indecent Proposal, Bajo Del Perro, and To Be a Black Man with Samuel L. Jackson). During 2000, he was working on albums for new artists Olu and Santessa and recording under the pseudonym Cottonbelly. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi