Red Light Management

Mattiel

Artist Bio

It’s a familiar story: fledgling singer does soul-sucking day job in order to fund their real passion during the nocturnal hours. Except Mattiel Brown, Atlanta’s rising star, is a rare exception to this time-honoured tradition: a fulfilled creative by day and night, albeit in different contexts. “It’s like I have two full-time jobs: designer and musician,” she says, humbly hip to her good fortune.

During office hours, Brown works as an ad designer and illustrator at MailChimp, a position she’s enjoyed for four years. “I work with a great video production team, in a great studio. Luckily, they’re a company that encourage side gigs.” Out of office hours, Brown swaps the design studio for the stage, a softly-spoken, chilled-out design nerd turned rock & roll belter, performing bold, vintage soul as Mattiel (pronounced ‘maa-TEEL’).

Brown grew up on a five-acre farm in rural Brooks, Georgia, the only child of a Detroit native. “My mom bought the farm in the early ‘90s. She had – still has – horses, so I learned to ride western-style when I was 6, 7 years-old,” (a skill Brown nods to in her cover art).

As an adolescent, Brown delighted in the ‘60s folk and pop of her mother’s limited vinyl collection: Donovan, Peter Paul and Mary, and Joan Baez. As an adult, relocated in neighbouring Atlanta, she’d sing along to the radio on the long drives to work: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Andre 3000, Dylan, Marc Bolan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jack White.

When Brown first began jamming with InCrowd, the Atlanta-based song-writing and production team behind her dynamite eponymous debut, she had no real designs on making a whole album and no gameplan beyond the fun of “creating something out of nothing.” She said, “That process is always pretty astounding to me, and doing it with other people is even better.” But her producers, Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley, knew a good thing when they heard it: Brown and InCrowd had chemistry.

InCrowd’s founders, both skilled multi-instrumentalists, met in 2014, as session musicians touring with soul man Curtis Harding. Michael – an experienced player who’d co-written with Harding and racked up impressive session spots with the likes of Bruno Mars, and The Next Day-era Bowie – played guitar, while Swilley ­(producer, writer and performer since age 9 and younger brother of Black Lips bassist Jared) played drums. On the road, they bonded over a mutual love of vintage R&R and ‘90s rap. “We discovered we both loved The Beatles as much as Jay-Z, Dylan as much as the Arctic Monkeys,” remembers Swilley. Back in Atlanta, once the Harding tour had wrapped, the pair formed a band, Black Linen, writing reverb-washed guitar music inspired by Tarantino soundtracks, by way of ‘60s Cambodian psych.

Mattiel’s sound might borrow from the past, but their art direction – Brown’s inspiring handiwork, of course – is decidedly forward-thinking, all colour block aesthetics (á la the White Stripes) and artful, design-savvy music videos. “I don’t wanna hit people over the head with like, bell bottoms and long hair and a Jimmy Hendrix outfit,” Brown laughs. “People have seen all that before.”

Mattiel is a “fresh mesh of retro and contemporary,” says Swilley, the latter thanks in large part to Brown’s vision, voice and on-stage energy. “She’s very exciting to watch. She doesn’t rehearse it or try to emulate anyone; she’s just doing own her thing. And she’s not fazed by the crowds [as evidenced during their shows to date: a recent, three-date support slot for Portugal The Man]. It’s kind of incredible really, because in person she’s pretty chilled and softly spoken, but when she gets on stage…in the last six months, she’s really been killing it.”

With a European festival circuit tour scheduled for this summer, Mattiel is no longer Atlanta’s best kept secret. Look out, world.

 

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Tour Dates

May 03 2019
Third Man Records
Nashville, TN
May 04 2019
The Hideout
Chicago, IL
May 05 2019
Third Man Records Cass Corridor
Detroit, MI
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May 06 2019
The Drake Hotel
Toronto, Canada
May 07 2019
Quai Des Brumes
Montréal, Canada
May 08 2019
Cafe 939
Boston, MA
May 10 2019
Berlin
New York, NY
May 11 2019
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY
May 14 2019
Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House
Washington, DC
May 17 2019
Cat's Cradle - Back Room
Carrboro, NC
May 18 2019
The Masquerade
Atlanta, GA
May 30 2019
Gasa Gasa
New Orleans, LA
May 31 2019
White Oak Music Hall
Houston, TX
Jun 01 2019
Mohawk Indoors
Austin, TX
Jun 04 2019
The Echo
Los Angeles, CA
Jun 05 2019
Cafe Du Nord
Sf, CA
Jun 07 2019
Bunk Bar
Portland, OR
Jun 08 2019
Barboza
Seattle, WA
Jun 09 2019
Wise Hall
Vancouver, Canada
Jun 12 2019
7th Street Entry
Minneapolis, MN
Jun 13 2019
Back Room at Colectivo
Milwaukee, WI
Jun 14 2019
Blueberry Hill Duck Room
St. Louis, MO
Jun 15 2019
Proud Larry's
Oxford, MS
Jul 01 2019
Norwich Arts Centre
Norwich, United Kingdom
Jul 02 2019
Gorilla
Manchester, United Kingdom
Jul 03 2019
Òran Mór
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Jul 04 2019
The Caves
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Jul 06 2019
Various Bristol Venues
Bristol, United Kingdom
Jul 07 2019
The Rescue Rooms
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Jul 08 2019
Brudenell Social Club
Leeds, United Kingdom
Jul 09 2019
Whelan's
Dublin 8, Ireland
Jul 11 2019
The Haunt
Brighton, United Kingdom
Jul 12 2019
EartH
London, United Kingdom
Jul 15 2019
4AD
Diksmuide, Belgium
Jul 17 2019
Paradiso
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jul 18 2019
Valkhof museum
Nijmegen, Netherlands
Jul 19 2019
Welcome to the Village
Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Jul 21 2019
poolbar Verein zur Förderung d kulturellen Vielfalt
Feldkirch, Austria
Jul 26 2019
Sala 0
Madrid, Spain
Jul 27 2019
Low Festival
Benidorm, Spain
Aug 01 2019
Loco Club
València, Spain
Aug 03 2019
Le Chien à Plumes
Dommarien, France