Chicago pop singer Matt LeGrand has a new alter-ego in the form of ‘Mattieu’, his animated counterpart and the star of his new video, “Message In A Bottle“. Taken from his 2020 self-titled EP MATT LEGRAND, the energetic, guitar-driven track now has an accompanying beach-based video that sees ‘Mattieu’ courting a young woman plagued by the watchful eye of the paparazzi. Adding to his infectiously charismatic image, the singer continues his winning streak of recent releases with this colorful and adventurous video that highlights all the joys of a summer romance. We spoke to Matt about the new video, his background, and the future.
You recently released a new music video for your track “Message In A Bottle” – can you tell us about the inspiration behind the track?
First of all, Message In A Bottle is probably my favorite track on my EP! The song was pitched to me by Bryant Reid who is the former Senior Vice President of A&R at both Laface and Atlantic Records. He received the songs from the producing team Dub Shakes and Clayton Williams who are based in LA. What really got me was how fast it could bring you into a fantasy world! So we flew out to LA to cut the record. This song is about the beginnings of a relationship. Rushing things or getting anxious that you’re not doing enough. You know all that good stuff! This song is about the intricacies and sometimes false realities that come with being infatuated with a new person! The song is being received really well on streaming platforms like Spotify! We have surpassed 100K streams thus far.
The music video features your alter ego – ‘Matthieu’? What inspired creating this new character for the video?
Bryant Reid who served as Creative Executive Producer of the animation short came up with the idea of creating the character Matthieu. His vision was to have Matt LeGrand live vicariously through his alter ego Matthieu. So, he and Viviana Acevedo who is a former Producer at HBO assembled the creative team. I want to bring my fans in on a little secret! My name is actually spelled Matthieu.
The music video is also an animation which seems to be a new direction for you. How did you put that together and why did you decide to go down that route versus a traditional music video?
We really wanted to try something new with this next video! It was obviously very different. One of my favorite things in the world to do is shoot music videos! I love creating with people and being around everyone that has a part in the video, whether big or small. Unfortunately because of COVID it was hard to get a crew together for this video. Bryant Reid decided that we’ll do an animation and I’m really glad we did! It honestly fulfilled all of my dreams of becoming a Disney character as well. I mean the attention to detail is phenomenal and the whole team deserves an award for it! Please, if you haven’t already, go take a look. It’s streaming on YouTube.
You spent your childhood in France, how do you think that experience influenced your music?
So I grew up in France till I was only about 6 years old. I was a bit young to really feel influenced musically but now as an adult I’m starting to experiment with singing in French and really exploring that side of myself that I can use in the future. What really influenced me though was growing up in two completely different cultures. The way art is romanticized in France is one of the most extraordinary feelings you’ll experience. I think the biggest thing I take away from France is its love for simplicity!
After France you moved to Chicago – was that a big culture shock as a child? How does living in Chicago inspire your music?
Yes it was a big culture shock! I grew up in a small suburb outside of Paris where my home, bakery, school, playgrounds, and friends were all in the same block. That was my whole world. Chicago was monstrous to me! Even Paris doesn’t come close to the size of Chicago. The skyscrapers, the avenues, the 5 lane highways, the enormous sidewalks, I could really go on and on. That’s the beauty of America though, I felt excitement and fear coming here. The biggest shock of them all though was having to learn English. French was indeed my first language so I had to go to a French-American Lycée for about 2 years! Chicago is at the root of who I am thou and I love the city with all my heart. Musically it inspires me to know how much untapped talent lives in this city!
How would you describe your sound in 5 words?
Like. A. Perfectly. Cooked. Steak!
Which musical artists have most inspired your work?
I really love people like The 1975, Lauv, LANY, The Chainsmokers, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and Julia Michaels. My number one though is blink-182. They are the reason I insanely chose to pursue a career in music!
If you could collaborate with any other musician today who would it be and why?
I’d collaborate with Travis Barker because he is bringing back pop-punk and I’ve been waiting for this since the 6th grade. And also because he is the glue to my favorite blink-182.
Your self-titled EP was released in November 2020 – can you tell us about some of the other tracks on the EP that you are excited about?
It’s shocking how excited I still am even though it has been out for this long. All of them have a real special place in my heart. I specifically really liked working on Crazy Bout Cha and the All Good Remix featuring my guys Erre XI. Crazy Bout Cha was born out of a great idea from the team to take a familiar sound from a different era and make it new! I got to work on it with the great Dave “Jam” Hall. Then All Good getting a nice reggaeton remix was so much fun!
Tell us about your most memorable performance so far?
My most memorable performance so far is split by two! Either performing for the first time on National TV WGN out of Chicago or singing at the HQ for iHeartMedia. I got to do a special holiday performance on WGN. I had the fun of a whole band with me and we got to help Chicago bring in the holiday season! iHeartMedia treated me so incredibly well too. They had my face on all of the TV’s in the whole building! I came in to do a special performance for the staff who were the kindest, most hospitable people around!
Are there any words of wisdom you live by?
Be patient or you’ll end up as one. Read that again.
What else do you have on the horizon for 2021 that you can share?
Lots to look forward to that I’m probably not supposed to share but will anyway!! Working towards a full-length album right now and a possible tour!! Will be releasing a live acoustic recording session I did of one of my songs on the EP as well! Thanks a million for having me!