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Nues, in­ter­view with Brigitte

Brigitte conveys the im­age of lib­er­ated women with eclec­tic per­son­al­i­ties who make no con­ces­sions... Was form­ing this band a chance to show your chil­dren just how many pos­si­bil­i­ties are open to them?

Aurélie: Brigitte re­sem­bles us in many ways. When we formed this duo, we gave our­selves the right to be free, to dare to do what we’d never dared to do be­fore. In hind­sight, we’ve re­alised that it’s a fun­da­men­tal key to a happy life. We can­not de­prive our chil­dren of that chance. Sylvie: Brigitte is con­sis­tent with the women and moth­ers that we are. It’s not al­ways that easy. It’s a ca­reer that takes up a great deal of time, but is es­sen­tial for our per­sonal growth. Aurélie: What’s im­por­tant is to teach them to al­ways try and ful­fil their deep­est wishes. It’s sad to think that the mo­ment a woman has chil­dren, she should stop do­ing what she likes. We are not only moth­ers and I wouldn’t want my daugh­ters to one day feel that they are only moth­ers. I’ve never felt guilty about go­ing on tour, work­ing hard or hav­ing un­usual work­ing hours. I’ve brought up my daugh­ters prac­ti­cally on my own; we’re very close and the time that we spend to­gether is qual­ity time.

On two of the tracks on this al­bum, your chil­dren join you in singing the cho­rus. Are they cu­ri­ous about your ca­reer?

Sylvie: I don’t know if cu­ri­ous is the right word, for they are al­ready so in­volved in it. They know ev­ery­thing. The songs, melodies… Brigitte is part of their lives. Aurélie: I some­times catch them im­i­tat­ing us ( she laughs). Both of them com­pose and write songs. Shalom plays the ukulele and pi­ano; Scar­lett has taken up the gui­tar. What’s funny is that they’ve un­der­stood how im­por­tant it is for me to write about in­ti­mate, pri­vate things. Some­times when I hear Scar­lett singing, I re­alise that she is talk­ing about her own ex­pe­ri­ences. I find that very mov­ing.

On your lat­est al­bum, Nues, you re­veal a bleaker side of your per­son­al­i­ties, shar­ing some of your pain in lyrics that are oc­ca­sion­ally pretty caustic. Does free speech mean a lot to you?

Sylvie: Yes. Speak­ing as openly as one can, shar­ing one’s de­ci­sions, de­sires and ques­tions is what helps us move on. Aurélie: Artistes are brazen. Things be­come in­ter­est­ing when shame­ful things are re­vealed. But then stylis­tic ef­fects make it so that one never knows what’s true and what’s false, nor ex­actly how much the per­former has given away. When writ­ing lyrics about per­sonal things, one of­ten won­ders if one’s gone too far or if one’s bared too much of one’s soul. It’s when things are con­cealed that one’s in­de­cent, not when one opens one’s heart.

The track Le Goût du sel de tes larmes evokes a mother’s in­stinct to pro­tect her child. What do you want to pro­tect them from?

Aurélie: My daugh­ters are highly emo­tional. It kills me to see how lit­tle it takes to up­set them. I’d like to teach them courage and strength so that they won’t be scared and will know what to do. I know that tears can be pro­lific and that I can­not pro­tect them from ev­ery­thing, but, as a mother, I’d like to beat the liv­ing day­lights out of any­one who makes them cry. Sylvie: I try to make them strong and to arm them as best as pos­si­ble for life’s chal­lenges. Be­fore we founded Brigitte, we had a pretty rough time. Life wasn’t easy! Aurélie: I re­mem­ber one of the very first ques­tions Shalom asked me when she was still very young. Their fa­ther had just left me, I don’t know how I was still stand­ing on my feet when she asked me: “Mummy, you’re not afraid of any­thing, are you?” She was two and a half. I felt as if it weren’t so much a ques­tion as a need to be re­as­sured and so I told her: “I’m not scared of much and if you want, for you, I’m not scared of any­thing.”

What do you hope to pass on to them?

Aurélie: I or­gan­ise a lot of din­ners at home; we go on hol­i­day with a whole group of friends; I re­late strongly to the pack mentality and I can see that my daugh­ters are de­vel­op­ing this taste for shar­ing. Hav­ing a cir­cle of friends, help­ing each other, be­ing cu­ri­ous… th­ese things are im­por­tant to me. Sylvie: Be­ing kind, gen­er­ous and hav­ing fun! When I think of my son’s sense of hu­mour, I con­sider it a ver­i­ta­ble weapon.

Dozens of women of all ages ap­pear in the clip of the first track Pal­la­dium. What does this in­ter­gen­er­a­tional re­la­tion­ship mean to you?

Aurélie: Real life. I’m very close to my mother. I’m friends with some of her friends and she’s friends with some of mine. The chil­dren play when at the ta­ble with us… Gen­er­a­tions and cul­tures mix in my home. Sylvie: Be­yond the gen­er­a­tional as­pect, we wanted to bring so­cial strata, styles and eth­nics to­gether. This med­ley is what we find in­ter­est­ing. Aurélie: Yes, it’s in our DNA. We never wanted to be­long to a sin­gle school; we have al­ways mixed styles.

You are cur­rently on a tour of France which will last sev­eral months. How do your chil­dren re­act to see­ing you per­form?

Aurélie: They love it. Yet af­ter­wards they don’t see us as glit­ter fairies. It’s see­ing the at­mos­phere that Brigitte cre­ates that they find cool. Life on the road, all the peo­ple in the con­cert hall, the au­di­ence singing the words of the songs… that’s what ex­cites them.

The new al­bum Nues has just been re­leased and Brigitte is cur­rently tour­ing France. Check out the dates on brigit­te­of­fi­ciel.com

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