Do you remember your childhood? Days of staring dreamily at your bedroom walls on which you displayed everything you wanted to grow up to be.
For most of us growing up has disabused us of these fantasies, but for some reason singer Mathew Gold was unscathed by the maturing process.
His childhood ambition to become a crooner has blossomed into an increasingly successful music career.
“When I was in primary school I would promise myself I’d eventually get to get signed by Sony or Universal.
“It’s amazing to think about that now and see how far I’ve come,” said Gold, who recently released his second album, Mathew Gold.
“It’s the most important piece of art I have ever put together because I feel like it is mine. I had full creative authority,” he said.
Gold’s journey to creating his “most important piece of art” hasn’t been straightforward.
At 18 he took a pot shot at fame by entering Idols.
“It was an interesting time in my life. I didn’t enter thinking that I was going to win. I went to Idols to get that ‘nod’. I wanted to see how people took to me,” he said.
The Idols audience took him all the way to the top 12 in the fifth season of the show before they decided on other contestants.
A few years, a stint on television and a reasonably successful debut album later, and Gold believes he’s finally arrived at a place where his true musical personality can shine.
“It hasn’t been easy finding my feet in the South African music industry. There are a lot of misconceptions about the game and how much money people actually make.
”I can definitely tell you that I have paid my school fees to be where I am today,” he said.
The hard work has paid off. His latest album is a sultry slice of R&B that weaves electronic, reggae and hip hop influences throughout the project.
Unlike the Frank Oceans and Miguels of the world, Gold’s brand of R&B has far more of a pop feel and is more accessible.
The album took three years to make and required Gold to whittle down the 54 songs that were up for consideration to just 14.
The result is a polished, well-crafted album that steers clear of some of the pretentious, haunting angst floating around the R&B world while managing to just avoid being bubblegum.
•‘Mathew Gold’ is available at music stores and on Apple Music
• This article was originally published in The Times.