Hip-hop artist Mattmac continues to innovate with accessible clothing line
Braille featured on new T-shirts, hoodies
Manitoba-based hip-hop artist and producer Mattmac has unveiled his latest project: a line of merchandise that features braille.
Mattmac, also known as Matthew Monias, is a recording artist from Garden Hill First Nation who is blind. He kicked off his musical career in 2016, released his debut album 20/20 in 2020 and has now dropped his latest album Blurred Visions.
The merchandise — T-shirts and hoodies —promotes the latest album, which came out last July, on his online shop.
"I just thought that if I were to put out some merch that would be really enjoyable for people who can see, but also to have people who can't see enjoy it just as much," Monias said.
Braille Literacy Canada was excited to hear about it.
"Braille is an essential format for accessing information," said the organization in an emailed statement.
"Not only does it serve a functional purpose, but by having it on mainstream clothing items, it opens up conversations on its importance for people who read braille."
Toward the bottom of the hoodie, "Blurred Visions" is written out in uncontracted braille. According to Braille Literacy Canada, uncontracted braille is the simplest form of braille, also known as "Grade 1" braille.
"People who are blind or visually impaired will really enjoy that," Monias said.
WATCH | Mattmac talks about putting braille on T-shirts:
Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, Manitoba Music's Indigenous music development co-ordinator, said "It's a reminder that we need to be inclusive and make more room in this industry for folks from all walks of life."
Mattmac said he wants his music to reach people.
"To see someone either on the reserve or someone who feels like that can't achieve that goal or that dream just because of an obstacle, I just hope they hear my music, they feel good, they check out the story and think whoa that's so cool. If you can do it, I can probably do it too."
With files from Kevin Nepitabo