Why Q Awards nominee, Héloïse Letissier, likes to get high… on stilts.
At the start of the year, Q Awards double-nominee Héloïse Letissier was barely known. She ended it gracing the cover of Time magazine.
Although her debut album as Christine And The Queens, Chaleur Humaine, was released in France two years ago, 2016 saw Héloïse Letissier explode as an international star. Setting up residency in the Top 20, following a triumphant Glastonbury performance and winning over the likes of Madonna and Elton John. “This year I have an embarrassment of choices, but I’ve chosen the highs of the highlights, the top of the mountain,” she tells us.
Performing at The César Awards on stilts
“In February, I was invited to sing at the César Awards, it’s like the French Oscars. I sang It’s Only Mystery from the movie Subway by Luc Besson. It’s the first song I sang as a singer so it was like the loop was closed with that performance. I was on stilts too, so I was way higher – so that’s definitely a highlight. They were quite easy to manage, anything that seems to be difficult or dangerous I always seem to pull it off. For some reason, I can’t do really simple stuff like making an omelette, but I can walk on stilts. I didn’t meet any of the actors because I’m quite shy, so I did my thing and then I ran off. This is me, I’m doing my thing and then I’m running. You won’t see me at cocktails afterwards, I am far away – on my stilts.”
Going on the Graham Norton show
“I knew that it was a huge show to do in the UK and they really welcomed what I wanted to do as an artist. I did the TV and then what happened after was really impressive – it felt like England was discovering me. I couldn’t predict that. But what happened after really took everyone by surprise. Something was happening, my future was blowing up and it was a lovely moment. My father is an English teacher and he’s obsessed with England, so he’s aware of everything that’s going on in England. For him, Graham Norton was really something. He’s always listening to Radio 1. He’s like, ‘Oh! You were on Radio 1 again!!!’”
Getting onstage with Elton John at The Roundhouse
“I have plenty of highlights, but I’ve focused on the emotional motional ones, the ones that made me feel really warm inside and I think that moment with Elton John was one of them because, well, the idea of singing with Elton John. He made everyone feel really at ease and at home onstage with him. He doesn’t make you feel like he’s Elton John. He sang one of my songs with me, Tilted, which was amazing and I got to sing Tiny Dancer with him. It makes sense because I’m tiny and I’m a dancer. He arrives in full Elton John outfit, really impressive, but at the same time he cracks a joke and he’s really witty and fun, so you just want to be his friend. Since the Roundhouse gig we’ve kept in touch. Sometimes he sends me emails and I capture them every time to keep them on my phone as proof that he is writing. I’m kind of a nerd.”
Appearing on the cover of Time Magazine
“It feels like I’m bragging about everything, I’m sorry, but we never know if it’s going to last, so let’s brag. So I made the cover of Time magazine. I think my parents were frozen and they haven’t been unfrozen yet, the shock of the Time cover. It’s flattering, it feels like a photoshopped thing, it doesn’t feel really real. It feels like an achievement. No big deal, you know! Just chillin’ on the cover! At the same time I do have to prove myself even more because this cover came in my life really early. I feel I have to step it up now. I have to find a solution to global warming or something. Global warming, peace in the Middle East, not just have good singles.”
(Above, right) On The Graham Norton Show, 17 June, 2016; ( right) Time’s October cover star. “Really impressive”: with Elton John, Roundhouse, London, 18 September, 2016.