METTE, the dynamic and versatile artist, is renowned for her exceptional skills in dance, music, and visual arts. She burst onto the scene with a memorable appearance in N.E.R.D and Rihanna's "Lemon" music video, propelling her career into meteoric ascent. With her unique style and boundless creativity, METTE has become a trailblazer in the entertainment world, serving as an inspiration to a new generation of artists and performers. METTE's debut EP, METTENARRATIVE, consists of seven tracks that showcase her unfiltered vocal prowess, signature catchy hooks, introspective songwriting, and multifaceted artistry. These songs intertwine themes of tenderness, strength, authenticity, nobility, and vulnerability, solidifying her status as one of the most captivating artists in the current landscape. Her magnetic presence promises to continue enchanting audiences well into 2024.
What is the inspiration behind METTENARRATIVE?
The reason why I called it METTENARRATIVE is based on "metanarrative," which is an overarching theme that exists in literature. It's my way of bringing a sense of community to my personal experiences and getting a macro picture of how I fit into my own humanity and the emotions and experiences I've dealt with to make this music.
Can you share some challenges you encountered while working on your EP and how you overcame them to be what it is today?
When making music, especially being an emerging artist like myself, I've found fear at specific points. It’s a bit of a fear of truly being authentic, wanting the product, or finished work to be profound and esteemed. One of the challenges I would have from time to time was sitting in the actual process of just being authentic and open and genuinely myself and referencing myself to remain true to my experiences. The music reflects who I am and my story and is not a reference to a time or a trend.
What are your hopes and expectations for METTENARRATIVE now that it's out in the world, and how do you envision your music resonating with your audience?
I just did shows in London, New York, and Los Angeles. The more shows I do, the more I get to see and be in touch with my fans. I realize that they’re who I make music for other than myself. It takes me outside of my own artistic personal venture. It makes me realize that other people are feeling and experiencing similar things as me. When listening to my music, it becomes a soundtrack to their life. That's an exciting idea for me because it makes me feel mirrored. That's what I hope in some way that the humble offering of this EP can allow listeners to feel mirrored, inspired, and bring a sense of levity and peace. There are a few songs like "VAN GOGH" on there and "PSYCHO (NAH NAH)," which is my take on the other side of my Gemini, not the nice part of me that I want to take a vengeance spirit with. Creativity is so unique that you can just build these worlds in music. This whole dream world and experiences that I can't live out in my day-to-day life, but through music, I can. When we go to one of my shows or on the dance floor at a club, when people hear my music, I just hope that it resonates with some sense of levity and humor. Inspiration, power. Hope. I mean, those are all qualities of humanity that I'm touching on in the work itself. So I want those to seep their way out in and to experience it.
"VAN GOGH" seamlessly combines melodic elements with infectious funk and R&B rhythms. Can you elaborate on your method for integrating these genres and what sparked the musical direction for the song?
All the music I make amalgamates a few things, but that's just my living experience. So I love many different kinds of music. I can appreciate the intersectionality of genres. When I'm making music and I'm with my producers, I do. I will just point them in a million different directions. And then, slowly but surely, we find our way to the end product. For "VAN GOGH" specifically, It was the critical change in the middle eight. That was very specific because I heard this rule once: if you go up in a key in a song, you can't come back down. And I was just like, "Oh my gosh, rules are meant to be broken." And I was feeling a bit like an anarchist, I guess, against rules and traditional music theory then. So, there are just certain ideas that pop up. And because I'm a new artist, there's nothing to prove. I can be so clairvoyant and enjoy the experience of experimenting, as if, "Oh, well, rules don't apply because I'm just walking out into an empty lot and filling it with whatever I want, and that's thrilling." That's the fun part.
When you talk about breaking free from traditional constraints in your music, how does this approach manifest itself in the music videos for those songs?
My "VAN GOGH" director, Camille Summers-Valli, and I met at a coffee shop and spoke about the song and possibilities. The work that she and I do together is all about dismantling notions of beauty, notions of gender, and power structures that put a weight or a cap on the potential of women, specifically female artists. That all sounds lofty, but our goal is to bring a bit of lightness, humor, and camp quality. There are so many different versions of me in that video. Even when I walk into my closet every day, I'm like, "What do I want to be today?" "What parts of myself do I want to embellish or perform?" And I just feel that—that video—was an opportunity to get in touch with the idea that I can be multifaceted and that I don't need to tie myself to one particular idea of myself. We just did that through fashion and performance in that video. But it's something that resonates with me personally, because oftentimes, I've felt like I've had to choose one particular lane in my life, whether it be a career, a fashion choice, or a hairstyle. Now I've got clip-ins for any length I want and for whatever day I feel like feeling a little more feminine and androgynous, I'm interested in exploring myself outside of the brackets of specific descriptions of who I am.
You portrayed “Video Girl Barbie” in Greta Gerwig's "Barbie," are there specific takeaways from that filming period that significantly influenced your work, and if so, can you elaborate on how they played a role in your creative process?
The totality of my experiences working as an artist comes in many different mediums. Those all inform each other, and specifically for me, performance and the freedom in the moment to make choices. That is through techniques that I've watched and learned from other folks, or whether that's maintaining daily my rigorous wellness schedule so that when it comes to performance, I don't have any element of stage fright. Those are things that I've learned in different fractions of my career across the mediums. You just have to get through it and keep your eyes wide open so that you can take inspiration from others. I've had many opportunities to have incredible mentors, like a pseudo-masterclass. I'll be doing a job, and there'll be someone incredible and esteemed in the field. I'm multi-hyphenate in my career, so I'll take note, take interest. Look at their choices. Be a student and learn from them.
You've characterized your creative background as multi-faceted. Have any of the roles you've undertaken inspired your approach to live performances, particularly in terms of self-expression and movement?
When I was a backup dancer, I spent a lot of time observing other artists take center stage under the big spotlight. I have certain ideas about what works. I go on tour with Jessie Ware in November in the UK, but I've just had my first three shows, and now I'm already starting to see it all for myself. Just the practice of preparing and doing it on my own shows how much all the preparation does prepare me, but until I'm doing it, that's where the real knowledge and experience take flight. So I have certain ideas. I've done a lot of work, but I haven't done so much theatrical work, but I think that's the next palette I’m looking at in terms of my live performances. I'd love to do a little research on that.
What are your aspirations for what fans will experience during your live shows in November?
Come dance with me. Come sing with me. That's all this is. It's a beautiful introduction to the world that we can create together. The music is the soundtrack, and the dance floor is wide open. It's a free, beautiful space. A space of pure joy, and I've felt that so far. And I want to continue to build that. But I actually joked on stage the other night in LA. I was like, "Man, you guys are my fans.” But the fans feel like my friends, we could go to brunch. It's this beautiful mirroring that's happening. I just want it to be a joyful place where people feel free—unadulterated brilliance and happiness. That would mean the world to me if that's the effect that one of my shows had on people and stayed with them long after they left.
What can fans anticipate from your upcoming tour? Any surprises or unexpected guest appearances?
I can’t spill much, but I plan to pay homage to one of my favorite artists ever. There's a tribute moment, and I'm bringing back an old song that my OGs will love.
What message would you like to convey to your fans?
It's going to be amazing to meet you all on this new journey. I hope all of this music means something to you, and we can dance to it together sometime. All I want is that connection and moment to feel mirrored in other people. I think that's what makes these living spaces so important and fruitful. That's it. Thank you for listening and watching because it means the world to me. I get to do what I love because of you all.