I was lucky enough to meet Mahaut two years ago through our mutual friend Young & Sick who co-produced her first single "Voodoo Me." Upon first seeing the Parisian Mahaut—who was chain-smoking Marlboro Reds, painted fingernails like claws a tigress would fear, and wearing enough hoop earrings for more than five humans—I was intimidated. She seemed years beyond being only 21 at the time and like she would have no time for my compliments about how blown away I was by the recordings I'd heard showcasing her inhuman vocal range.
Mahaut is stylish and confident but you'd be surprised by how soft spoken she is. Her French accent is only ever heard when she is cracking a joke or talking about her admiration for other artists. If she seems shy in person it is likely only because her creative mind is constantly working.
About a year ago, Mahaut met her new manager and producer Dave Stewart on a video shoot in Paris a year ago through her father, photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Mahaut moved to Los Angeles and she and Dave began writing songs together. Their first collaboration "Summertime" was born, quickly followed by an entire album the pair produced and finished in just a few months with Mahaut recording all of the vocals at her home in Laurel Canyon.
The video for "Summertime," directed by Olivia Bee, is energetic and playful, and premiering on Noisey below. Shot at Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, rain pours down on bouncing California cheerleaders while Mahaut directs them in a dance choreographed by Oth'than Burnside who has worked with Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, Ciara, Silento, and more. Mahaut's vocals guide the cheer squad with what starts as an innocent routine but ends in a soaking wet mud fight.
"Summertime" sounds like the first week of summer in New York City when all of a sudden the lightness of spring disappears and life gets unreasonably sexy and sweaty. It begins with a bluesy guitar riff then things quickly get sultry when the beat drops.
Mahaut's debut album entitled Pardon My French is set to be released in the fall of 2016.