English translation of interview on Styx magazine
Last week, the Alizée Special of Styx Magazine was finally released and shipped all around the world. The magazine is limited edition, with 500 copies only sold. Here we have now translation of the 6 page interview on the magazine.
On the interview she reveals many things about her album and her past, as well as answers questions about her personal life and being mother while working as a singer.
The English translation was done by RMJ.
During the summer of 2012, we learned with a joy about the return of Alizée who announced her new single “A cause de l’automne”. A pop title with the sixties flavors, very representative of her album “5”, available since last March. The ex-Lolita, today accomplished artist and mother of a little 8-years-old girl, returns to the creation of her new album, her success in Mexico and also her passions and commitments…
Goodday Alizée! You have returned with a new album, titled “5”, and on which we find very pop beats. Why the choises of the style?
Simply because I wanted to return to the pop music. For the fourth album, I was far away by providing an album with electro-sounds. It was a parenthesis in my musical journey. So, I wanted to return to an album with catchy choruses, with fresh songs and light but also deep enough texts.
And why did you want to give a particularly sixties vibe for this pop music ?
It’s just a reference. The album is modern in sound, but I’m very influenced by France Gall who I listen to a lot. And as I had to give some basic ideas for the team whom I work with, I talked to them and they were on board!
You who loves France Gall, do you also appreciate Michel Berger and Véronique Sanson?
Michel Berger, for sure! Véronique Sanson, less. I’m more affected by France gall has done. We still talk about her a lot these days. Her songs are timeless. And I also admire the woman who she is, not just the artist. Therefor, I am more touched by France Gall than by Véronique Sanson, even though I like very much her songs.
What you particularly like in France Gall?
I like Frange Gall and Michel Berger and that she worked with Michel Berger. Be it in her her musical choices, or in her choices of the team… She has always surrounded herself and evolved. This really is an artist I admire for her career!
Returning to your new album. Even if it’s your fifth studio album, why to call it just “5”?
Simply because it’s exactly my fifth album, and the name is easy to remember. Why to overcomplicate always? People easily remembers a title like this. And it’s a good number! It’s international, it’s practical, and it’s easier to remember than “Une enfant du siècle”, for example! (laughing)
For this album, you surrounded yourself, among the others, by Adrien Gallo from BB Brunes. How did you end up working with him?
I sent him a message to ask if he would like to work with me. I met him at a festival and we sang together a song of France Gall. It went really great! I admire a lot of his work and I have always liked the person who he is. It’s a very nice person, one of those persons who we want to know. Therefor, when I started to think about the team I want to work with for the album, I right away thought about him. I expressed myself to him through a little message. It made him to participate with the album. He found the idea of using France Gall as reference suiting me well, so he was inspired.
“I was immediately seduced by the lyrics of “Dans mon sac”. I recognized myself there even though the song wasn’t written for me originally.”
You have also worked with Thomas Boulard from the group Luke. How did it happen?
With Thomas, it went different than with Adrien. My artistic director made some invitation calls to publishing houses. And then I got a song from Thomas which was called “Dans mon sac”, which is also the last song of the album. I was immediately seduced by the lyrics of “Dans mon sac”. I recognized myself there even though the song wasn’t written for me originally. So, I asked to meet him and to have more songs from him for my album.
How did you work with hom so the songs would be really part of you?
I told him about various topics which I wanted to address on this album. For his part, he wrote the lyrics. And as soon as I received them, I introduced changed in certain phrases which I didn’t feel like singing. So it was really a work of exchange. Thomas is very open, who accepts to have the lyrics modified. He stays open and available for all the discussions to ensure that the artist who sings the songs feels comfortable with the lyrics. We made changes to almost all the texts for to make it resemble me at maximum.
One day, would you like to write lyrics?
No, because I feel good as performer, like France Gall, Vanessa Paradis, and the others. I like this way of work, I like to surround myself, choosing the people who will write for me. And most importantly, I like to see the people who admire to write songs for me. It’s rather luxury to pay the authors and composers we love. Writing, it’s a real profession and a talent. And I do not really have the soul of the writer! (laughing)
Two songs for the new album was written by Jean-Jacques Goldman, which you did not keep. Is it indiscreet to ask you about the titles?
It’s a secret… because I’m saving them for the next album! (laughing)
You don’t, at all, want to use them for something else, like for a B-side of a single?
No, it would be a shame, because It would be really nice to start with the next album in the spirit of these songs!
Again, how did you get the idea of asking Jean-Jacques Goldman to write for you?
I see Jean-Jacques every year at the Enfoirés. I don’t remember which year, after the Enfoirés, I sent him a small message and asked him if he would have the time and the will to participate for my next album. At the very beginning, I had no songs for the album, so I didn’t know which way it would go. I just had this reference of France Gall. Jean-Jacques accepted right away. He game a title, then a second one. Later, when the other songs had arrived, I understood that the album was going another direction. This is why I put them aside…
Jean-Jacques did not feel bad?
Not at all! This is someone who doesn’t get offended, very accessible and very aware of what is going on in the music, so he perfectly understood.
“In fact, I wouldn’t like to have here the life that I have in Mexico. Because there, it’s out of this world. There’s plenty more people and I cannot walk on the streets peacefully.”
Just like Mylène Farmer, whom you have worked with, Jean-Jacques Goldman is a very discreet personality of the French music scene. Is there similarities between the two characters?
Ooh la! This is difficult to answer because it would get into the privacy of everyone! (laughing) But the both are two very talented persons of the French songs!
Besides the two songs written by Goldman, do you have any ideas of the people you would like to work with for the next album?
Again, it’s a bit difficult to answer. All depends on the meetings that will inspire me to work with one or the other…
And why not work only with Jean-Jacques Goldman for the next album? (lauging)
Because I think he does not have the time for it, and I don’t know if he would like that. But two songs already from him, it’s huge and it’s a great chance!
If you had to choose a song from your new album as your favorite, which would you choose?
It’s difficult to tell because it’s a bit like if I were to asked to choose, if I had four children, which is my favorite one. Each song is different and does not tell the same thing. They are consistent musically, like the brothers and sisters who reminds each others, but each has their particularities. Already, when I had to choose the tracklist, I had lots of trouble, because each title had it’s place. Every song told a story which suited me and which I wanted to defend.
What inspired you to select “A cause de l’automne” for the first single?
I think that it’s the song that represents the best what we can find on the album. It’s always difficult to release a song and to give the will for the people to listen to the entire album. It can also be disappointing, because when you listen to a song, and then the album, it sometimes happens that the other songs doesn’t resamble at all the first single. So, it seemed important for me that the people would like to listen to my album and not be confused later. For me, “A cause de l’automne” was the right choice to defend.
Your previous album (“Une enfant du siècle”, published in 2010, editors note) has been somewhat ignored by the French public. Is this a scar for you?
“Une enfant du sicècle”, in any case, did had success among the critics, even if it wasn’t the case in public. So, it’s not really a scar for me because the muscal journalists enjoyed it and found it well done. Therefore I don’t feel like doing it “for nothing”. It’s already a great satisfaction. And I think that’s part of life of an artists to take some risks. I wanted to take this one because I wanted to make myself happy.
You were high ranked with the first two albums (“Gourmandises” and “Mes courants électriques”, editor’s note). Was it hard for you that “Psychédélices”, your third album, didn’t sell so well?
I did not feel it like that, in fact. I sold almost 100,000 copies of the third album, knowing that there was the crises of the CDs at the same time… So, it was pretty good for the album that I even self-produced. It was either way very well received by the public!
You know the huge success in Mexico. Isn’t it a bit frustrating not to find the same intensity in France?
No, I don’t find it frustrating at all. In fact, I wouldn’t like to have here the life that I have in Mexico. Because there, it’s out of this world. There’s plenty more people and I cannot walk on the streets peacefully. Even at the time of “Moi… Lolita”, it wasn’t the same in France! I’m delighted with my French fans, and especially for their loyalty. But each country functions differently. I have traveled throughout Europe, Asian countries and Latin America. And everytime, it’s different way of being approached by the people. The public does not receive me the same way and doesn’t appreciate the music the same way. In Mexico, for example, they love the artists, the music, makes the festivals, the concerts… They do not ask the questions to catalog the people, which generally is the case in France. So, it’s not frustrating at all because they have different ways.
If you could sing a duet, with whim would you like to sing?
Vanessa Paradis! She’s someone I like very much. I love her universe, what she is and what she sings about!
Do you have intention to get back on the stage soon?
I hope so! It seems logical to me that if people don’t buy the album and don’t know the songs, they will not go to see the concerts. So, I really hope that the album will be successful so that I can go to defend it on the stage!
“I would love to make a duet with Vanessa Paradis! She’s someone I like very much. I love her universe, what she is and what she sings about!”
Would you like to have a date for Paris?
Yes, of course! But the album is very musical and ochestrated, I would prefer a smaller room, like Trianon, Bataclan or Cigale, for example. I would like to be close to all the people all the time.
Your daughter is now eight years old. How do you manage your life as a mom and a singer?
I live in Corse, in Ajaccio. I frequently fly to work. So, my mom, and my family in general, takes care of her, takes her to the school, etc., when I’m not there. I try to separate the things and spend time with her. I organize my schedule based on it and it works pretty well. And I’m not all the time on the road. It’s especially the times of promotion and the tour when it’s difficult. But I can pretty well combine my professional and personal life.
We recently discovered you on the magazine dedicated on tattoos, obviously one of your passions. Exposing them now, is it a way to get away from the image of Lolita that is glued on your skin?
I don’t expose them more but they are more visible, simply! It’s been 13 years I have had tattoos. I actually made the cover of the magazine dedicated for tattoos, precisely because they were visible a lot. I have nearly a full arm, which is not a common for a girl, let alone a female singer. But surely I’m not showing them more to get rid of the image of Lolita. Because it would mean that I do things for my image. While everything I do, I do for myself, in all cases concerning my body, like ma hairdo, my tattoos, my makeup, etc. It’s really because I like it and not to give “an image”. It’s just what I am today, what I love and who I am, simple as that.
Now, the era of Mylène Farmer is long gone. How do you now see the perioid?
I tell myself that I had the chance to evolve like I evolved, to reach the success very quickly and very young. And if I could do it again, I would! I don’t regret anything, whether the Mylène era or after it. I don’t regret the choices I have made, I stand by them.
We see you regularly on the Enfoirés. For you, is it important to participate a cause like this?
Yes! In my small scale, I will not change much. In contrast, the addition of all the artists together tells that the people are concerned. We are trying to mobilize the public, so it seems important to me to be there every year because unfortunately, there is every year more and more people on the streets. Les Restos du Coeur is a great cause and Les Enfoirés, a beautiful moment because we really have great time among us, we get along well and we make a beautiful show. It’s a very intense week, but it’s a week of laughs, all for the important cause!
What other causes do you support?
I’m very sensitive to anything that affects children. I feel concerned because I’m a mother myself. After, you don’t see me and I don’t talk too much but, for example, I visit the sick children, and I’m even very close to few of them. These are the things that are really important to me and I don’t use them for my image.
You are passionate about the fashion. What are you favorite designers?
That’s it! Isabel Marat is one of my favorite designers because, simply, I feel good in her clothes. After, I love Givenchy, Balenciaga, Chanel, and even if in everyday life, they are not easy to wear. I also like brands like Sandro and Maje, which are more accessible, always in fashion, and in which you feel good.
Your fans follow your dressing style. It touches you?
Yes, a lot! Frankly, they are very strong because sometimes, I put photos of myself on the internet and they recognizes all the clothing brands right away without talking about them or it being apparent. I don’t understand how the ydo it! (laughing) They find them all, fast and accurately! At least that way, if I see someday some clothes I like on some photo, I can ask them if they can find me the designer, makes my job eacier! (laughing)
What do you think of the recent events of the gay marriage in France?
I’m all behind the equal rights, so, I’m all for the mariage for everyone. Although, it’s adebate that will never end, I think…
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