Hip Hop’s bad-girl trans artist Epiphany Mattel bitch-slapped all the pouty beauties on the dance floor this fall in her single, #FIXYOFACE.
“I always felt that ‘resting bitch face’ trend from 2017 was tired,” she explains. “Especially now, with all the sh*t going down in Washington, we need all the positive energy we can get.”
Epiphany Mattel will release new remixes of #FIXYOFACE in early 2018. “My hope is that the new remixes will spread my message of love and light to all the different dance floors in club land and that they make everyone believe they are the proverbial sh*t.”
Epiphany Mattel certainly believes it of herself. As a music artist, she is raw, unapologetic, and provocative. “It’s important to me that people know my name, respect my mind and acknowledge my existence,” she says. “Who’s gonna believe I’m a star if I don’t believe it myself? I am a bad-bitch force to be reckoned with. You may not know it yet and that’s cool for now because in time, you will.”
Epiphany Mattel grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. Her parents raised her to be confident and speak her mind, that is, until she told them that she was girl. Her mother, a devout baptist, took the religious “God doesn’t make mistakes” and “let’s pray the demon out” path, sending Epiphany to priests, psychiatrists and other medical professionals to fix the problem. Her father’s approach was more physical. He sought to beat the trans out of Epiphany and would tease, taunt and shame her. At one point, he even shaved her head.
Ironically, her father was a gay man who viewed transgendered people as freaks, criminals and sexual deviants. “He would say to me, ‘if you are gay, that’s fine, I can help you with that, but why in hell do you wanna be one of those things?’”
Once puberty hit, Epiphany left home for the hood where she learned about street code and survival. She became a dangerous beauty, a chameleon who can thrive in any circle or setting. One who rarely starts trouble, but isn’t afraid to finish it.
She first met her manager, drag sensation Latrice Royale, through a mutual friend when Royale was seeking a feature rapper for her song, “Weight”. “We instantly clicked like we’d known each other for years,” Epiphany remembers.
Royale fills a maternal role in Epiphany’s life. “She’s my own chunky but funky fairy godmother.”
One of Mattel’s biggest irks today is that she is often mistaken for a drag queen.
“I have nothing against drag queens. I count so many of them as sisters. It’s just not my reality.
“I’m not a character,” she continues. “I can’t take Epiphany Mattel off at the end of the night and find comfort in some other existence. I’m Epiphany Mattel 24/7/365. The way you see me on stage is the same way you see me when I’m off.”
Epiphany Mattel has big dreams. She aims to create a movement in sound; something similar to Neyo, The Dream, and Kanye West where other artists might create similar songs but fans will always recognize it as an Epiphany Mattel joint.
“What I hope fans take away from my music is that they are not alone,” she says. “That there is someone out there that goes through the same bullshit they do. I hope they hear a voice representing them and their experience. I also hope that by listening to my music, they learn how to finesse their way through adversity, and if not, that at least they walk away with some sickening reads and one liners.”