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