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Many people struggle with their self-identity, wrestling with questions about who they are that they're afraid to confront, let alone answer. Atlanta-based rock group Mattiel, fronted by the dynamic and bold Mattiel Brown, decide to explore this notion — or rather, bask in it — in the quirky, playful video for their new single "Je Ne Me Connais Pas."
The Jason Travis-directed video, now on Refinery29, finds Brown dressed as a man — facial hair and all — smoking and drinking beer as she stands proudly around a group of bikini-clad women. They're basically treated as part accessories throughout, as Brown sits among them and parties with them, gloating about his prospects. The tone of "Je Ne Me Connais Pas," a phrase meaning "I don't know myself" in French is rather tongue-in-cheek — purposefully funny and a big, self-aware wink. But despite its seemingly amusing nature, it also reveals how people, more often than not, contain multitudes.
“In ‘Je Ne Me Connais Pas,' there’s a line where I say 'I’m a lone star man, I’m a dead ringer,'" Brown told Refinery29 in an email. "I think the concept for the video stems from this — and it also stems from the dualities of my personality. But it’s absolutely exaggerated and lighthearted. We had a blast making it — and it was fun to freak myself out in the mirror. I genuinely felt different in drag, and I had a great time exploring this dirtbag character I conjured up. I learned that manspreading is a choice, and facial hair is really itchy. And I felt absolutely disgusting by the time we wrapped the shoot, so it was very much an immersive experience."
The single and video comes ahead of Mattiel's second album (their first with ATO Records), Satis Factory, due to release on June 14. The first single off of the forthcoming album is “Keep The Change,” which the band debuted on NBC’s Last Call. Mattiel's self-titled first album in 2017 earned the attention of rocker Jack White, who the band opened for during a handful of stateside of arena shows. Now, the group is embarking on its own extensive tour of North America, the U.K., and Europe.
Check out the video for Mattiel's “Je Ne Me Connais Pas” below.