Why Q Awards nom­i­nee, Héloïse Letissier, likes to get high… on stilts.

My 2016

Q (UK) - - Contents - IN­TER­VIEW: CHRIS CATCHPOLE

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.

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