Tuesday, September 26, 2023
HomeFashionThe Triple-Threat Musician Mette Is Back—And Ready for the Big Leagues

The Triple-Threat Musician Mette Is Back—And Ready for the Big Leagues

In May, Mette released the arresting music video for “Mama’s Eyes,” directed by Camille Summers-Valli. (“I’ve never felt that kind of trust with someone behind the camera before,” she says of her relationship with Summers-Valli, who has become a close collaborator.) The visual—which showcases Mette’s dizzying dance skills, alongside intercut footage of everything from nature documentaries to archival nightclub footage—served as a powerful reintroduction to Mette, the artist. 

Its follow-up, “Van Gogh,” arrived today—and while it may have the same infectious, foot-tapping beats as its predecessor, and come accompanied by a similarly eye-popping video, the song is a different beast entirely, displaying Mette’s lighter, more humorous side. (“I could be Van Gogh, shawty, if you’ll be my muse,” she sings with a wink, before offering the highest of compliments to her mysterious subject: “You got your edges laid down like queen Janet Jackson!”)

“I was in the studio with my collaborator on the song, Jonny Latimer, and I felt like I had no inspiration that day and nothing to write about, so I said, I need a muse,” Mette remembers. “So the song was written almost as a kind of message in a bottle to a future muse. What would I say to this person?” It was when she and Summers-Valli began discussing how to bring it to life visually, however, that the song took on a deeper meaning. “I realized that when I was writing the song, I was actually talking about the muse within, and how I could inspire myself,” she says. “So we wanted to explore that in the video—and the plurality of identity.”

With zero bells and whistles—just a backdrop and Mette’s hypnotic dance moves—the video is a testament to her abilities as a performer. Shuffling through a series of increasingly outré looks, styled by Flora Huddart, Mette spins, dips, and twirls in everything from an archival Jean Paul Gaultier corset teamed with a Vivienne Westwood tee from her own wardrobe, to some bedraggled Jackie O. cosplay, with bouffant hair and a deconstructed tweed suit by designer Arthur Siéger, and an Alexander McQueen men’s suit for an American Psycho moment—complete with bloodied nose and teeth. (Mette herself has become something of a McQueen muse recently, walking the runway in a number of their recent shows and also appearing in its spring 2023 campaign.)

“I think what’s always interesting to me is multiplicity,” Mette says of the chameleonic array of identities she inhabits throughout the video. “And a part of that is making something heartfelt, but also being inspired by camp. Those might be seen as polar opposites, but they’re really not—they’re existing on the same plane.” She also notes that this shapeshifting quality—which she traces all the way back to being a dancer in L.A., driving from auditions to rehearsals with every kind of wardrobe in the back of her car to change into—is something she’s learned to appreciate. “I can slot myself into these different identities, or spend the day as a different archetype—I’ve done that so many times in my life,” she adds. “But I realized that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not being true to myself. It’s very liberating to come to terms with the idea that no human being is one-dimensional.”

With “Mama’s Eyes” and “Van Gogh,” the fruits of that balancing act are finally coming to light. (When we speak on the day before the release of the latter, Mette is all but ecstatic about finally being able to share this long-gestating project with the world.) Today, it was also announced that she’s been signed to RCA in both the U.S. and the U.K., and the unveiling of her tour dates in the fall is imminent. “There’s nothing like being on stage and being witnessed in that moment,” says Mette. “I can’t wait to be back on stage and have that feeling again.” 



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