[2010-01-05] Alizée in TECHNIKART Magazine
Mod edit - scans and translations as they become available:
Translation by Backinblack:
The summer of 2000, she entered into our homes. In winter 2010, she's entering into us.
Alizée: Like a Hurricane
Ten years ago was the Alizée tornado; more than two million "Moi... Lolita"s flew off the shelves of French supermarkets. The sizzling pop star is coming back with an album that'll set the trend for the 2010s: a creative and charming return to the mainstream.
It's cliché but true: unlike all the little hyped phonies, Alizée, a working-class artist, isn't the least bit snobby. We spent an entire afternoon photo shoot with her. The pop star turned out to be the nicest person in the room. Like an old classmate from our Jean Moulin high school; neither a prissy left-bank hip chick, nor a slutty showoff, Alizée symbolizes a current trend that gets talked about less and less in the media (which is too occupied with selling trash). Forced to tour Mexico with bodyguards, she gets hounded by paparazzi in France, has sold millions of records, but arrives ready to go and early for our meeting the following day, having just dropped off her daughter at a pre-school in the middle-class 13th arrondissement of Paris.
On paper, we weren't exactly fascinated with her new project, her fourth album, Une Enfant du siècle. A mainstream singer hiring a bunch of well-connected producers isn't that suprising anymore, but it could have been a slick move; she's buying credibility for cheap, and the clever little composers are plowing the postmodern terrain on a theme currently in vogue: the icons of Andy Warhol's Factory. Listening to the album brought smiles to our faces. Well, it doesn't have that bohemian or folk Habitat sound. The two parts are nicely harmonized. Chateau Marmont, Rob, and David Rubato, big-time composers and top-flight producers, carved out songs that are both modern and vintage, à la Kim Wilde or Valerie Dore; in other words, delicious, fresh, catchy, melancholic, spontaneous--sparkly on the outside, subtle on the inside. These days only Lily Allen, with her more beat-up look, sings similar-sounding jingles that are, paradoxically, more engaging rather than quickly forgotten. It's mainstream, as necessitated by Alizée's celebrity status. More than anything, though, it's pop.
It's snowing outside and it's freezing inside. Alizée's wrapped in her overcoat, but through this musical blind test, she turns out to be both easygoing and outgoing at the same time.
Madonna, "La Isla Bonita"
"I had the album cover of Like a Virgin in my room! My dad was a fan, and I grew up with her songs. I've liked her less since the Music album; she continues to work with the latest sound styles, which is great, but she's less authentic, and her sexy look is a little worn-out. I sang "La Isla Bonita" on a Madonna TV special on France 2, six years ago. I have a very active fan base on the Internet, and my performance was put on YouTube, and there were two million views, including from people in Mexico who went completely crazy over it. That's how I became a star in Mexico. My version of "La Isla Bonita" became number one on Mexican radio, and I performed in a huge stadium there. They have a more spontaneous entertainment culture, and I love to go there, but I need bodyguards with me."
Teki Latex & Lio, "Les Matins de Paris"
"Teki Latex, from the band Institubes. We were looking for remixers for the singles from my previous album, Psychédélices, and David Rubato sent me a version of "Fifty Sixty" that I just loved. So I met the manager of David's label, Jean-René Etienne. He told me that he could find composers for me for my next album. I listened to some samples from Chateau Marmont and Rob, and I was captivated. I'm not huge on electronica, but these musicians proposed some samples that I just loved. As for Lio, I like "Banana Split" and "Les brunes comptent pas pour des prunes." She's had a good career. Popular yet strong-willed. I don't know what I'll be like at her age. I'm a singer, so it'll depend on who I work with in the future."
Mylène Farmer, "Libertine"
"I owe her a lot, of course. It was a real opportunity to meet the two of them, her and Laurent Boutonnat. She was a well-known, established singer, who took me under my wing when I was 15, when they noticed me on M6, on the TV show Graines de star. She protected me a lot, until I separated from her when I was 19. Thanks to her, I've been able to experience some really incredible things and sell a lot of records. I learned a lot, artistically speaking, as well as in business matters--I'm now a producer on my albums. I didn't feel manipulated by the songs she wrote for me; I was 15, I liked the songs, the clothes I wore were fine... When I realized the double entendres in the songs, it didn't bother me, because the lyrics were very well-written. In the end, though, I did get the impression that I was a product, and so I started suggesting things that were more personal and less sexy, and that's where our differences began. We separated, however, on good terms."
Vanessa Paradis, "Joe Le Taxi"
"When you love pop music, you dream of a career like hers. She began even younger than me. Before "Moi... Lolita" exploded on the scene, I was warned: Vanessa got taken advantage of because of her young success. She had to clean up the mess, but I've been lucky that things have gone well for me. I didn't have a normal adolescence, but at least I had one. Despite my success, I still lived in Ajaccio. When I had to go to Paris, my mother came with me. I took classes by correspondence. But when I reached #1 in 22 countries with my first album, I had to stop my studies, while I was in 11th grade. You can still learn culture on your own, and in any case, even with a diploma, people still aren't finding jobs these days."
Julien Doré, "Moi... Lolita"
"A musician from La Nouvelle Star sent me a message one afternoon to tell me that he was going to do a remake of the song on the prime-time show that evening. When I watched him on TV, I didn't think he was making fun of me at all. I don't know if he was making fun, and I don't really care. I'm not a fan, and a lot of people thought he massacred the song. It got talked about a lot, and Mylène and Laurent must have made a lot more money. I sold two and half million copies of that single, the 29th-best selling French single of all time. I didn't touch any of that money until I turned 18. I even got to #9 in England and I did the Top of the Pops! In Japan, it was "J'en ai marre" that made the top of the charts. To release an album there, you have to do certain things, like associating the music to something else, so I did a TV commercial there for some Japanese cookies along with the song. That's how the song got big there, and people started listening to it in the streets of Tokyo."
Mika, "Relax (Take It Easy)"
"I sang this song at Les Enfoirés, with Christophe Maé, Patrick Fiori and Nolwenn Leroy. Les Enfoirés is very exclusive. I did it in 2001, when I was 16, and have done it four times since then. It's the exclusive club of French showbiz and French variété. A big change from Institubes. I want to make this big change, even though in France it can be complicated. Still, it's good to be interested in a bit of everything."
Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone"
"When I was little, I was sung to sleep by the Beatles, Aznavour, Joe Dassin, Simon & Garfunkel, but not Dylan. New folk, Carla Bruni? No. I listen to it, I mean, I bought Charlotte Gainsbourg, but I've done 15 years of dance, and I prefer music that really moves. I'm not so much into the bohemian culture. It moves a lot of people, but it's very French, very Parisian, and my culture is more pop, I'm from a more middle-class, provincial background. I lived in Corsica until I was 18. Dylan talks about Edie Sedgwick? Jean Fauque's the one who talked to me about her."
Bashung, "La nuit je mens"
"Here's one written by Jean Fauque. He wrote "Fifty Sixty" for me, inspired by the New Yorkers like Sedgwick, or Maripol, her stylist sister who rubbed shoulders with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Blondie, and also Madonna at the time. I met Maripol through Mylène, and she gave me some bracelets that Madonna used to wear. I then met Jean Fauque. It wasn't until much later that I learned that they were brother and sister! They came to dinner one evening at my place, where Jean told us some of his anecdotes, and I understood that "Fifty Sixty" was about these people from New York City. I liked the theme and the lyrics, so we said, why not make an album around Edie Sedgwick, from the Warholian universe? I'm not at all like them, with the drugs and everything, but it's still fascinating, not for their way of living, but for the excitement of that group of people and of New York City."
Taxi Girl, "Cherchez le garçon"
"This is one of the sounds that I love. Mirwais had worked with Madonna, and Daniel Darc worked with me. I met him at the Plan, the concert hall in Ris-Orangis (a suburb of Paris). I went to his concert because I liked his album Crèvecoeur, and I asked him to participate in the Psychédélices album with Fauque and Burgalat. So he wrote two songs for me, really dark ones, completely different from my own universe..."
Kim Wilde, "Cambodia"
"A big hit from before I was born. I don't think she had many hits? After the success of "Moi... Lolita," I was very afraid of disappearing from the music scene. I put my confidence in Mylène and Laurent, that they would write other hits for me, but when I left them, I was really worried; like Nena (whose song "99 Red Balloons" I sang in Mexico, by the way), being a one-hit wonder. So I'm trying to not do songs that are too complicated, but at the same time being ambitious artistically. Psychédélices was a disque d'or in France, but people had written it off as a failure. I was fortunate to be able to count on the Mexican music market, which was huge. I did a TV scene in a soap opera there, which was seen by 75 million people!
"when you make music for children, it's hard to disassociate yourself from that. I waited until 2003 to do my first real concerts, seven shows in a row at the Olympia. I didn't really know what my audience would look like, and I was even afraid that it would mainly be kids. But it was a very diverse crowd: kids, parents, gays, young people my age, 18-year-olds, everyone. My fans have grown up with me, whereas with Lorie, it's still pretty much young kids. I did see that she wanted to change, and that she's done some sexy photo shoots.
Chateau Marmont, "Diane"
Rob, "King Lover"
"I'm very glad to have escaped from the whole 90s showbiz scene with them, and the relationship I have with them is just great; it's a very human relationship. On "Coeur fendre," Chateau Marmont proposed several versions to me; some sounded very Nintendo-like, others sounded like Moroder. They have a large palette of music, and a very recognizable sound that I love. Like Rob, they are very good with melody, which is so important--that's what I love, and that's what the public gets hooked on. I don't understand why they don't sell very many records. Surely it's because they were slapped with a trendy label and not a bohemian one. It used to be, "the fewer records I sell, the more respect I'll get", so they got slapped with that label, when all they really wanted was to sell records, which they really deserved. I hope that with my album, people will get more interested in them. I'm proud that they are using me to reach a wider audience. As for me, I worked with them not to be trendier, but for the quality of their sounds and their melodies. If I become more trendy, that's fine, but I don't want to give up my mainstream status!"
Jeanette, "Porque te vas"
"One of Rob's favorite songs. He wrote "La candida" for me with this one in mind. I like to sing in Spanish, so if my Mexican fans like it..."
Lily Allen, "Fuck You"
"I was still listening to the album in the car on the way here! The sound could be a little better, but the songs are really good. Listening to her songs, I said to myself that that's something I could sing now; I see lots of things in common with my own tastes. And she's gotten a lot of exposure now, so it's a good comparison--even if she has a trashy side that I don't have, maybe because she's English. I've never taken drugs, I don't drink, I don't smoke, and at first, they wanted pass me off as a naughty girl, but no, I'm too modest for that. I don't know how these trashy people do it. That wasn't in my upbringing. Maybe it's holding back my image for now, but not for the long-term. I want to be here long-term."
Interview with the interviewer
This is Roman’s translation of the interview with “Rob” from the Technikart special magazine.
Wrapping it up with…
Rob, a composer of Alizée’s
In one hour, the 116 pages of this special edition goes to the printer. And Rob just send us a mail. Let’s include it in a retro-prospective report.
“I only compose hits. But, of another time it would seem.” (Brendan Benson, page 92)
Rob was 19 when he recorded, in 2001, “Don’t Kill”. “Satyred Love” was released the next year. Two admirable and ambitious albums inextricably entangled with the influences of major 70s composers: McCartney (II), Korgis, Alan Parsons, Kevin Ayers, Roger Hodgson... Result: flop. Mail from Rob: “I create, however, to speak to the world, to the greatest number. But, I choose the most sinuous roads, my personal works take an irregular form. I don’t expect to sell millions of them. I look to go to the heart of my sensibilities, not those of the radios.”
“To fully dominate, one must always be fighting.” (Phœnix, page 72)
After these two commercial failures, Rob became the keyboardist for Phoenix on tour. He sent us his message while he was in the United States with them. “Show business is a filthy beast. I’m am in the middle of learning the workings of the American system at the moment and the music doesn’t make much difference there, it’s much more about politics. The general level of music is not very satisfactory, it is very rare to be moved by our contemporaries, but the indie advances into the mainstream are a good thing. I am delighted to see my friends from Phoenix pierce the membrane.”
“Once an artist becomes publicized, he passes into the mainstream category.” (Valli, page 91)
In 2007, Rob found himself working on a Melissa Mars album with… Pascal Obispo. Only the latter is squatting on the tv.
“The quality of a work is judged according to it’s influence in the long run.” (Julian Casablancas, page 97)
Rob is recording until next June “The Dodecalogue”, which will be a collection of the maxis (dedicated to the twelve apostles) which he releases each month. Sébastien Tellier is participating in “Volume IV”.
“Reaching the mainstream produces collateral damage.” (Peter Hook, page 30)
There was a time when the image of mainstream was to scary, certain artists preferred to go “misunderstood”, with an altitude of sales that approached that of the sea. As a composer connected with the in crowd, Rob, have you had the impression of putting your credibility in peril by working with Alizée? “On the contrary, I don’t see any risk as long as the music is good…” [Alizée seemed to have a similar fear, a fear that she could not handle trying to enter the American market. I’m not sure that she no longer has that fear. Valli said, once one is publicized they are mainstream. I think I get that idea. It’s like, the display of desire to be considered mainstream may be enough to give a person the chance to participate in popular events and get their music played. If it gets played in the usual places, unless it’s really out there, I guess it can be called mainstream in a very shallow analysis. I think the public will be the ones to decide. Well, either that or the question is more about what they as producers have to deal with than what we as audience experience. Obviously, as is being pointed out, the benefit to having a mainstream status is that people don’t just dismiss the music and artist off-hand as not being mainstream and thus not being worth the time for someone who is dedicated to working in the mainstream. We were quite ready to say that Alizée had stepped out of the mainstream, maybe because of these hors-courant people she is working with and because she seemed to be changing or darkening her image contrary to greater popularity, (though opinions may differ). Funny, so it’s more the other way around now?]
“Still, it was something” (“Just an update” from Jackie Quartz, page 65)
“I come from the generation “moved” by the work of Mylène Farmer, but I prefer by far the videos to the songs… I continue to be fascinated by the video for “Pourvu qu’elles soient douces” ("Provided they are sweet”, Rob writes us. “Moi… Lolita”, it’s a theme that works so well, it’s proven, I thought “what nerve!”
“I thought the era to be over, I decided that I would write for others.” (Alain Chamfort, page 10)
“I love putting myself in the service of a singer, with Alizée I have the impression of not having to adapt my manner of working. She simply says “no” when she doesn’t like something. She is very sure of her tastes. I tried to make the most beautiful songs in the world, just thinking about her.” [He he, now he sounds like an Alizée fan. Mouahahaha!]
“I try to make ambitious songs. I want to last.” (Alizée, page 35)
Rob composed three bits on « Une enfant du siècle » (A child of the century). “She is at an enormous turning point in her career, in the middle of reconstruction. I think her image is going to change tremendously. So, the pressure is more artistic than commercial. The idea is that of a symbolic rebirth of an artist. Basically, to work with a mainstream singer is neither a dream nor a nightmare, it’s just good to work with people who are “habités” (talented or know what they are doing?). Alizée is that.
collected by Benoît Sabatier
From le post: http://www.lepost.fr/article/2010/01...diatement.html
Translation by Roman:
--- Original Post ---
Alizée as Madonna on the cover of Technikart: why her?
It's a cover that has causes a lot of gossip in the last 24 hours on Twitter: the singer Alizée choose the journal Technikart to make her media return for the occasion of the release of her new album, "Une Enfant du Siècle".
If the very presence of the discrete singer immortalized as Madonna creates an event, the choice of Alizée to represent a special issue of Technikart - the height of hype in print - has what it takes to surprise.
On Le Post, Benoît Sabatier, editor in chief of this issue, recounts his meeting with Alizée and the backstage of a frank interview.
We really didn't expect to see Alizée on the cover of a Techikart music special, how did you come to make this choice?
"It's true that at Technikart we have an image of being pioneers, and in music we often give the privilege to new-comers like Koudlam or VV Brown... But, what interests us in the first place is decrypting pop-culture, it's impact on our lives, on society.
Ten years ago, we had miss Britney Spears on the cover when I met her in Miami. Our cover has also welcomed big artists like Christophe, Justin Timberlake and Madonna, with long in-depth interviews!
Today, the choice of Alizée is not particularly incongruent, all the more so because 1) she produced her album with artists whom I have always particularly liked, Chateau Marmont and Rob, and 2) she corresponds ideally to the general theme that I chose for this music special edition: the mainstream." (note: the mainstream traditionally denotes the current dominant musical genres: rock, hip-hop and variety (variétés--it's a French thing).)
Alizée is an artist rarely in the media: did she accept easily?
"All throughout 2009, I regularly wrote about the connection between music of the "general public", mainstream, and artists top in their segment, confidential [underground?], noting that the border had become more and more porous throughout the 2000s.
Every year, in January, I run a music special edition. For this January 2010 issue, I decided to play this angle in 116 pages: there is an exciting development to analyze and I have a real devotion to popular music.
We needed an idea to cover. I immediately thought of Alizée, as I had known that she was in the process of working with the connected label Institubes on a new album.
I contacted the record company in November, not knowing if 1) they would accept 2) if the timing would correspond. The responses were positive to these two questions: straightaway my request was accepted with enthusiasm!"
How did your meeting go? The selection of disks?
"I first met Alizée at the shoot for the cover. I wanted her, in order to push the mainstream angle, to pose in a reproduction of an album label that marked the history of pop.
We sent some proposals, the choice stopped at "Like a Virgin" from Madonna. She lent herself to the shoot with pleasure, the atmosphere was very nice, and we agreed to do the interview the next morning, so that it would be a blind test, again to stay in the theme, with mainstream hits.
Blind, so she did not know the list, that I selected in a very professional manner, based on her life, based on what I wanted to know about her: a blind test is an excellent indirect method to gently bring up delicate questions and dig into the life of an artist."
Was there a response from Alizée that particularly surprised you?
"She lent herself to the game joyfully and had an answer for everything, speaking each time with enthusiasm and frankness with regard to the connection between the hit I played and her life: the anxiety of remaining a one hit wonder, the separation with Mylène Farmer, bad sales, the reprise of Julien Doré, being number 1 at 15 years of age, a star in Mexico, her connection with the elite, her coquettish image, her collaborations with Daniel Darc and the lyricist of Bashung... [note: to remind you, Jean Fauque also wrote for Bashung who is really big in France (see wikipedia)]
An hour and a half to listen to music and discuss in relaxation, joy and good humor."
Which other artists may one find in this special edition of Technikart?
"The special edition starts with 15 confidential [again, underground/unknown?] artists that we are defending (Hot Chip, Yeasayer, les Shades, These New Puritans…) who respond to a questionaire on the mainstream.
Some surveys follow, interviews, analyses and reports on the evolution of the general public music [note: I don't know how they can separate that from mainstream, to me they are synonymous], that goes from an article on Elton John's cocain years to a report with Camélia Jordana in studio in the process of recording her album while considering: the mainstream, the charts were yesterday, today are the niches (people, bobo, trash, cool, ado[lescents]...)...
The issue finished with this question posed to our guests: "Which hit marked a powerful moment in your life", responding to that question were: Frédéric Taddéi, Gaspar Noé, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Mathieu Kassovitz, Jonathan Frazen, Thierry Ardisson, Bertrand Burgalat, Moustic, etc…"
l'interview prévue pour le magazine a été faite ! En attente du nom du magasine et de la date de sortie de celui-ci. + Description du site officiel qui annonce "discographie, biographie, photos et téléchargements"
The scheduled interview for the magazine was made! Waiting for the name and date alongwith official announcement of site Description "discography, biography, photos and downloads"
This is what I found from Psychalizee.net.
I didn't knew that she has been interviewed. Anybody know about this.
Please help in better translation of this.