From International Supermodel To Singer/Songwriter, Meet “Mateia”

Celebrating Valentine’s Day might be the last thing on your mind this year, but supermodel, singer, and songwriter, Elena Matei, aka Mateia, is doing her best to get us in the mood.

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The Moldovan born supermodel has graced the covers of top International fashion magazines including L’Officiel Italia, Elle Arabia, Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, and Marie Claire Hong Kong. Elena, like superstars Nina Agdal & Irina Shayk before her, was the face of the Beach Bunny Resort 2020 campaign and hosted the launch party for the release of the line. Furthermore, she’s been the spokesmodel for Guess, following the hallowed footsteps of Claudia Schiffer and Kate Upton.

Before beginning a flourishing modeling career, Elena attended music school. Under the stage name “Mateia,” Elena has recently shifted her focus back onto her own artistic expression, gearing up to release numerous self-written tracks in 2021, while continuing to pursue her successful modeling career.

In February 2021, Elena will release her latest self-written single titled “Magic World,” which she describes as an emotional expression of the pure, innocent, and magical feelings felt while being in love.

The lyrics for “Magic World” were inspired by a dream Elena had, in which she quickly awakened, writing the words that swirled in her mind down onto her phone. The dream was centered around love; all of the love Elena felt in her life and the feeling of having “butterflies” for that special someone. The lush melody, combined with delicate lyrics and vocals, is almost hypnotizing, putting listeners in a romantic trance, similar to the feeling of being in love.

BELLA caught up with the supermodel turned singer on her life, career, and what lies ahead…

You have an impressive modeling resume and have graced numerous international covers. How did you get started in the modeling industry?

Thank you so much! I was discovered when I first arrived in America. I was scouted while I was walking down 5th Avenue in NYC and my journey got started from there.

What has been your favorite cover, shoot, or modeling milestone to date? 

Every shoot has been unique in its own way and I’m so grateful for my amazing team and their hard work through every milestone. One of my favorite shoots was with world renowned photographer Russell James for his book “Angels”, where I was featured alongside all of the other amazing Victoria’s Secret angels.

Your original passion, though, has always been music, which you attended school for. When did you first fall in love with singing and songwriting?

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to sing. Growing up I was so excited to attend music school. Even when I was focused on my modeling career, singing was still one of my greatest passions. Song lyrics usually come to me while I’m dreaming or from a sound I hear and then I build a line from there. I’m excited to release all the new songs I’ve been working on this year 🙂

2020 has altered, or halted completely, the careers and lives of people all over the world. How have you managed to remain positive and creative? Any advice for others in the industry on how to navigate these difficult times?

It was indeed a very difficult year as all of our lives and careers have been affected. Although it’s been challenging, I view it as a lesson from God to be grateful for what we do have and to learn from this experience. I have tried to stay hopeful during this time with the hope for a better tomorrow. I have managed to remain positive by reading, singing, and discovering more about myself and what I want to do and I would encourage others to do the same.

Modeling, singing, and songwriting must keep you very busy! What’s your secret to being able to juggle it all? How do you relax and practice self-care?

It keeps me busy, but I am eager to do more! I love what I do so it makes juggling it all a lot of fun. One of my secrets is to have patience and take the time to relax. I practice self-care by taking baths, going for walks, reading and spending time with the people I love.

In addition to the new single, is there anything our readers can look forward to from you in the future? How can they follow along with you on your modeling and musical journey? 

I have a lot of exciting projects in the works! A few special modeling projects and am also gearing up to release a music album. Check on my Instagram @elena___matei to follow along on my journey!

Watch a “Magic World” music video clip, here.


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