Stuart Matthewman

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Stuart Matthewman
Stuart Matthewman.jpg
Background information
Also known asCottonbelly
Born (1960-08-18) 18 August 1960 (age 61)
Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Genres[citation needed]
  • Songwriter
  • composer
  • arranger
  • record producer
[citation needed]
Years active1982–present
Associated acts

Stuart Colin Matthewman (born 18 August 1960), also known as Cottonbelly, is an English songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer[1] With Sade Adu, Paul S. Denman, and Andrew Hale, he gained worldwide fame as the guitarist/saxophonist of the English band Sade. Stuart is also a member Sweetback, and was one half of Twin Danger.

Early life and career[edit]

Stuart Colin Matthewman was born on 18 August 1960 in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England.[2]

In 1982, Matthewman relocated to London. Joining Latin funk band Pride, he met singer-songwriter Sade Adu and they began writing songs together. Teaming with bassist Paul S. Denman and keyboardist Andrew Hale, they formed the band Sade. Sade signed with Epic Records U.K. division in 1984. In addition to songwriting, Matthewman can be heard on saxophone, guitar, keyboards, and programming. He appeared on all of Sade's tours and albums: Diamond Life, Promise, Stronger Than Pride, Love Deluxe, Lovers Rock, and Soldier of Love all of which went triple platinum in the U.S. and have totalled sales over 40 million albums worldwide.

In 1995, percussionist Karl Vanden Bossche introduced Matthewman to then unknown singer Maxwell.[3] Matthewman co-produced, co-wrote, and played saxophone and guitar on Maxwell's albums: Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (Columbia, 1996),[4] Embrya (Columbia, 1998), Now (Columbia, 2001), and blackSUMMERS’night (Columbia, 2016).

In 1996 Matthewman along with Andrew Hale and Paul Spencer Denman formed the studio band Sweetback. Their work featured instrumental songs and songs with guest vocalists. They released two albums, Sweetback (1996) and Stage 2 (2004).[5]

Matthewman co-wrote, performed, and produced tracks on Santessa's 2000 trip-hop album Delirium released on Sony.

Using the pseudonym Cottonbelly, Stuart released the dub/electronic album, X Amounts Of Niceness in 2010 [1] and produced remixes for artists.

Working with Paloma Faith on her third studio album, Stuart Matthewman co-wrote two songs on her album A Perfect Contradiction released March 2014.[6] In an interview with Pete Lewis for Blues and Soul print magazine, issue 1098, Paloma Faith discusses working with songwriters:   "another person I really clicked with was Stuart Matthewman, who is Sade's co-writer. Basically I found him very easy to work with because to me he is really like a beautiful facilitator. In that I could just hum something to him and, though it could seem like a really shoddy idea, he would somehow immediately just play the right chords that would make it sound like something really special. So yeah, I think working with Stuart was actually one of the best co-writing experiences I've ever HAD - just because he works in very simple ways".

Stuart was also a member of the group Twin Danger, formed in 2011 with singer/writer Vanessa Bley, daughter of late jazz pianist Paul Bley and pioneer video artist Carol Goss. In 2014 Twin Danger signed to Decca Classics/Universal records and released[7] their eponymously titled album in spring 2015.[8] Vanessa Bley was killed in a car crash on 25 October 2019 in California.[9]

In 1996 Matthewman composed the music the short movie 'Bajo del Perro' by LA based film makers Mike Polish and Mark Polish. He went on to compose the music scores for various films;[10] with Maxwell the music for the short film To Be A Black Man (1997), and Twin Falls Idaho (1999)[11], Jackpot (2001), Northfork (2003), The Double (2005), The Astronaut Farmer (2006), Life Support (2007), The Smell Of Success (2009), Nona(2017), and short Erotic Dreams of the Chelsea Hotel (2017) .

Matthewman has discussed diverse musical influences including Junior Walker, King Curtis, Art Pepper, Ernie Isley, Steve Jones, Wah Wah Watson, Issac Hayes, Bill Withers, Lee Perry, Tony Iommi, and Gustav Mahler.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Married to Michele Matthewman (1990-2018). They have a son, Clay Matthewman. Stuart is an avid cyclist, and races with New York race team RBNY.

Awards and nominations[edit]



  1. ^ "STUART MATTHEWMAN". Threee. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Stuart Matthewman". Stuart Matthewman. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  3. ^ Leight, Elias (1 April 2021). "Maxwell Wasn't Sure He Wanted to Be a Star. 'Urban Hang Suite' Left Him No Choice". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  4. ^ "How Maxwell Captured the Sounds of Timeless Soul on 'Urban Hang Suite': 25 Years Later". Rated R&B. 2 April 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  5. ^ Gunnar Homdrum. "SADE - The Band". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Paloma Faith: You gotta have faith". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  7. ^ GRAMMY Pro Interview With Twin Danger, retrieved 21 April 2021
  8. ^ "Twin Danger - Twin Danger". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  9. ^ Oct 29, Tyler Hayden Tue; 2019 | 11:18am (29 October 2019). "Driver in Fatal 154 Crash Was a Ticking Time Bomb". The Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Stuart Matthewman". BFI. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  11. ^ "twin falls idaho". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  12. ^ "The Couch Sessions". The Couch Sessions. Retrieved 22 April 2021.

External links[edit]