Legendary Grammy and BRITs award-winning artist and producer DAVE STEWART has teamed with French artist MAHAUT for her debut album PARDON MY FRENCH, set for release this Fall. The album’s first single “Summertime” was released earlier this week, with its music video having just premiered on Konbini in France and Vice/Noisey here in the U.S.
STEWART and MAHAUT met through her father–famed photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino–on a video shoot in France last year. Shortly after that meeting, MAHAUT headed to California and met up with STEWART to see his headquarters. While there, the two, in MAHAUT‘s words, “decided to sit in the studio and start making music just for fun, I think neither of us expected anything more at that point. Dave picked up a guitar and recorded a bluesy riff on top of a programmed beat. The word ‘summertime‘ was his idea, not that the production sounded anything summery. And that was exactly his point. I went back to my place in Laurel Canyon to record some vocals, sent it back to him the next day and ‘Summertime‘ was born.”
Seeing the results of that initial collaboration, the two decided to embark on making a whole album and a few months later it was completed.
“I’ve always been more comfortable experimenting and recording vocals on my own,” MAHAUT adds. “Dave instantly got that and was the first to say ‘that’s how we should make the whole album.’ And we did–none of my vocals on the album were recorded in a studio.”
The provocative “Summertime” video was shot at Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles. American photographer and director Olivia Bee gave the clip a dreamy and poetic aesthetic, while Oth’than Burnside (Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, Ciara) choreographed the video.
“For the video we wanted to do something energetic and fun,” MAHAUT says. “Wet cheerleaders dancing to a ‘summertime’ song under pouring rain seemed like a fun plan. Maybe both of our European backgrounds and mindsets explains why bringing some of our French and English rainy weather onto a bunch of happy California cheerleaders sounded appealing.”
PARDON MY FRENCH marks the next step in MAHAUT‘s career.While in her teens–with her amazing voice and French pedigree style–MAHAUT was commissioned to write original music for top brands including L’Oréal, Cacharel, and YSL. After attending a sound engineering school in France, she moved to the United States, working with production duo Supreme Cuts from Chicago who featured MAHAUT on two of their tracks, one of which, “Gone”, ended up as the lead track from their album Divine Ecstasy. After performing at SXSW in 2014, MAHAUT released her first track “Voodoo Me,” co-produced by Young & Sick. The song was also premiered on Vice magazine’s noisey.com and was followed by a 2015 self-titled EP.