INTERVIEW: Mathilde Bataille

Ahead of her appearance at GOLD, a night celebrating a year like no other with Goldsmiths, we caught with Mathilde Bataille… 

Hi! Tell us about Mathilde – how would you introduce yourself to someone who’s never heard of you before?

I’m a French musician based in South East London. My music mainly focuses on lyric-driven songs that derive from introspective everyday experiences and social reflections. My music is inspired by the styles of the French chanson as well as including post-punk references which all come out in our cathartic live sets.

You’re French-born but based in London, what was it that made you move?

I grew up just outside the city and I came to London to study music at Goldsmiths University but I also came for the music scene and opportunities.

And do you think one or the other provides more inspiration for your music?

Yeah, I think London has made a huge impact on my music, the amount of art you can witness be it through gigs, exhibitions or films is really inspiring and just the natural cacophony of the city seeps into what you make.

How did you get into music? Was it something that always surrounded you or did you discover it by yourself?

I’m the only musician in my family, it just so happened that it was something I was drawn to as a kid. I started playing guitar and got into writing songs and became obsessed with listening and discovering different bands and artists.

Your track ‘No Man is an Island’ came out in January – could you tell us about the story it tells?

The single I released earlier this year, ‘No Man is an Island’, reflects on everyday relationships, self-loathing and empathy. It references lines from poets like Rimbaud and John Donne. The song tracks personal experiences but it also comments on the importance of expressing empathy.

While the track’s in English, elements of it are in French. What’s the decision behind mixing both?

I thought it was natural to mix both languages together, to speak in both tongues that I grew up with. I guess the message of the song is that regardless of the different languages we may speak and the backgrounds of where we come from, we are all responsible for each other. Also, my grandma doesn’t understand English so I had to put in a little French in the song for her.

Do you have any plans in the pipeline for new releases?

I’m about to release an EP with NX Records on 13th July which will be available on streaming services as well as limited edition cassettes. We’ve got another gig on the 26th July at The Waiting Room and we will be going into the studio later on this summer to track down some more songs… so there’s quite a few things to keep an eye on!

GOLD takes place at The Amersham Arms on 19 July


Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa, 22. Editor. Student, music journalist, probably talking about Blur or Bowie