Rene Matich

Artist — Peterborough

Photo: Charlotte Patmore

Name, where are you from?
Rene Matich, from Peterborough

Describe your style in three words?
Androgynous, Chic, Skinhead 

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Patti Smith at field day festival in 2015. I was about to turn 18 and I felt die-hard in love with myself and the world in the most gorgeous, aggressive and ambitious way, that's what Patti's music does to me.  

If you could work with any artist in history?
Nina Simone, undoubtedly. An energy like hers is largely missing from my life and from me. I use her music and her attitude in almost all my work. We could do magic things together.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
I was born and raised a Skinhead so boots and braces are in my veins. I address subcultural production a lot in my work because of its generosity in terms of 'looking after' my Dad as a parentless, working-class black youth and looking after me. It offers so much more than people discuss. Being a Skinhead influences every moment of my life. 

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
I crave so many conversations with so many magical people. What I would do to thank them all for bringing me up. Audre Lourde is definitely at the top of my list for obvious reasons, I cannot imagine a feminism without her. I can't imagine myself without her guiding light. 

Of all the places you’ve shown your work, which is your favourite?
I have been working on some sculptures for Windrush Square in Brixton. I was commissioned by Tate to create something that would honour British Black Panther, Olive Morris. This is a really important and sacred space to have work on display as it is in the courtyard of the Black British Archive. So much history and power, it was an honour to make work for such royalty.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
I owe a lot to Nina Simone and Patti Smith. I can't choose between the two. Both of them taught me to channel my emotions and my politics into my work. I am forever in their debt. 


To celebrate the opening of our new Coal Drops Yard shop, we've teamed up with indie trailblazers Crack Magazine to create ‘Departures’ – a zine and online series featuring five creatives and the journeys that have shaped them.

The first track you played on repeat?
Probably 'Me Against The Music' by Britney ft. Maddonna, I use to dress up in my dad's tie and trilby and go off. I can't believe my parents didn't know I was gay hahaha.

A song that defines the teenage you?
David Bowie's 'Rock And Roll Suicide' is an important one to my teens. I held a lot of pain in my little body when I was a teenager, that song helped me dance it away a few times. It still does.

One record you would keep forever?
Lou Reed's Transformer vinyl that belonged to my Dad. He played 'Perfect Day' to my mum when they first met on that record. When Lou died I lit candles around my record player and cried for days.  

A song lyric that has inspired you?
Nina Simone's 'Young Gifted And Black' gets me every damn time.

A song you wished you had written?
'Uptown Top Rankin' by Althea and Donna is one of the best songs in the world so I feel like it's got to be that. 

Best song to turn up loud?
The Slits cover of 'Grapevine'. I will never get over how sexy the sound of that intro is.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
People are always shocked that I am a die-hard Lady Gaga fan, so I'd probably say 'Lush Life' on the Cheek to Cheek album she did with Tony Bennet. 

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
'Car Wash' by Rose Royce is always my request song at weddings. I am obsessed with Rose Royce. 

Best song to end an all-nighter?
'Purple Rain' by Prince.

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
At the moment I am listening to Blood Orange's new album 'Negro Swan' and that's literally all. 

Photo: Charlotte Patmore

Name, where are you from?
Rene Matich, from Peterborough

Describe your style in three words?
Androgynous, Chic, Skinhead 

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Patti Smith at field day festival in 2015. I was about to turn 18 and I felt die-hard in love with myself and the world in the most gorgeous, aggressive and ambitious way, that's what Patti's music does to me.  

If you could work with any artist in history?
Nina Simone, undoubtedly. An energy like hers is largely missing from my life and from me. I use her music and her attitude in almost all my work. We could do magic things together.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
I was born and raised a Skinhead so boots and braces are in my veins. I address subcultural production a lot in my work because of its generosity in terms of 'looking after' my Dad as a parentless, working-class black youth and looking after me. It offers so much more than people discuss. Being a Skinhead influences every moment of my life. 

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
I crave so many conversations with so many magical people. What I would do to thank them all for bringing me up. Audre Lourde is definitely at the top of my list for obvious reasons, I cannot imagine a feminism without her. I can't imagine myself without her guiding light. 

Of all the places you’ve shown your work, which is your favourite?
I have been working on some sculptures for Windrush Square in Brixton. I was commissioned by Tate to create something that would honour British Black Panther, Olive Morris. This is a really important and sacred space to have work on display as it is in the courtyard of the Black British Archive. So much history and power, it was an honour to make work for such royalty.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
I owe a lot to Nina Simone and Patti Smith. I can't choose between the two. Both of them taught me to channel my emotions and my politics into my work. I am forever in their debt. 


To celebrate the opening of our new Coal Drops Yard shop, we've teamed up with indie trailblazers Crack Magazine to create ‘Departures’ – a zine and online series featuring five creatives and the journeys that have shaped them.

The first track you played on repeat?
Probably 'Me Against The Music' by Britney ft. Maddonna, I use to dress up in my dad's tie and trilby and go off. I can't believe my parents didn't know I was gay hahaha.

A song that defines the teenage you?
David Bowie's 'Rock And Roll Suicide' is an important one to my teens. I held a lot of pain in my little body when I was a teenager, that song helped me dance it away a few times. It still does.

One record you would keep forever?
Lou Reed's Transformer vinyl that belonged to my Dad. He played 'Perfect Day' to my mum when they first met on that record. When Lou died I lit candles around my record player and cried for days.  

A song lyric that has inspired you?
Nina Simone's 'Young Gifted And Black' gets me every damn time.

A song you wished you had written?
'Uptown Top Rankin' by Althea and Donna is one of the best songs in the world so I feel like it's got to be that. 

Best song to turn up loud?
The Slits cover of 'Grapevine'. I will never get over how sexy the sound of that intro is.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
People are always shocked that I am a die-hard Lady Gaga fan, so I'd probably say 'Lush Life' on the Cheek to Cheek album she did with Tony Bennet. 

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
'Car Wash' by Rose Royce is always my request song at weddings. I am obsessed with Rose Royce. 

Best song to end an all-nighter?
'Purple Rain' by Prince.

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
At the moment I am listening to Blood Orange's new album 'Negro Swan' and that's literally all. 

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