CookiesWe use cookies to make it easier for you to browse our website. If you, as a user, visit our website, it is our understanding that you are granting your consent to the use of cookies. You may obtain more information on cookies and their use hereOK
In a world of spontaneity and creativity, the French band Yelle is learning to slow down and “go with the flow.” Founded by namesake Yelle aka Julie Budet and GrandMarnier, the French pop music group has hit the pause button. Changing up their sound, Yelle debuted their fourth album in September 2020. Titled L'Ère du Verseau which translates to Age of Aquarius and released a remix of Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains' Coucou in July 2021. The latest album release encapsulates this pause, reflecting the current state of the world. The release sees her avant-garde persona unfold and evolve before us, coming to life as the band expands their sound with more electro beats and bops

Stretching their culture across continents, Yelle’s unapologetic sassy synth pop and electronic beat sound has reached the ears of audiences worldwide. Conquering the pop world, their music transcends language and cultural barriers. Through her irresistible energy and 80’s influences, Yelle weaves her attitude through the beats and lyrics of her songs, pushing the boundaries of their music beyond constraints to its ultimate individuality. Featuring a fashionable confidence mixed with layers of black fabric and a nylon bodysuit, Yelle’s latest music video Noir embodies this rebirth of sound.

First off, could you tell us about your relationship with GrandMarnier. What is the collaboration process like? How would you describe your dynamic?
GrandMarnier is my lover. We’ve lived together for 17 years now so things are pretty natural! We are constantly inspired by each other. Most of the time, he is the one who brings the first ideas, a beat, a melody, some words, and then we start the ping-pong process. Sometimes it's done in a couple of hours, sometimes it's years. There is no specific process, the only thing I can tell is that an exciting life makes exciting energy to create songs, and Covid [during the periods of isolation] turned life into something very unexciting.
You’ve said in the past that your sound comes from 1980s' influences. What are some other artists or sounds that have influenced your work?
It's not specific artists that influenced us actually, but the freedom and exploration of new instruments at that time. People within pop music culture in the 1980s, who were discovering electronic instruments, had fresh ideas. That freshness is my inspiration!
How has your sound evolved over the years?
We are slowly entering the less-is-more way of doing, which is actually the toughest way of creating for us. It's easy to layer ideas and sounds. It's way more complicated to make something strong out of it. Same for the lyrics, finding the right words, erasing some of them, repeating some others. At the end we still trust our spontaneity, we just want it to have a stronger sound result.

Recreation Center is the French music label founded by yourself in 2010. How did creating your own record label give you a sense of agency in creating your own music?
It's an amazing feeling to run our own label, it's also a lot of work. A lot of annoying work. But these annoying things let us enjoy creation as a great recreation! We love running our little company, being the craftsmen. It just makes you feel very good, very free. You follow your own vision of things, make mistakes, create success, but you’re always learning something. And maybe someday we will give this energy to some other bands who don't want to have their own label!
When asked about singing in English, you’ve maintained that you would rather sing in your native language. Why is it important for you to sing in French?
It's the language I grew up with, it's natural, so it just feels more spontaneous to sing in French. Spontaneity has to be cherished in a world of ‘concepts’ and ‘projects.’ I hate when a band talks about themselves as ‘a project.’
Your work transcends barriers. Regardless of the language your music is sung in, you reach audiences across the world. How have you been able to conquer the pop world and overcome language and cultural barriers put on what is popular in the mainstream?
It's kind of a mystery. I think it started with the sound of our music. We are impregnated with American music, so our sound and melodies and rhythms probably have a lot of hooks for international ears. Also, live shows have built a very solid relationship with our audience, and we have done it in the right order I think: clubs, clubs, clubs, connecting very closely with people.

You’ve performed at Coachella Arts and Music Festival. What does it mean to you to be a part of this? Do you feel like you are doing something important to stay true to French culture and act against the homogenisation of English in dominant culture?
Being invited 3 times to Coachella is a great honour. We are proud of it, and glad our culture is welcome there. We don't overthink this fact, we are just happy for it. 
How does your most recent album L'Ère du Verseau, differ from your previous work? How has it created a form of rebirth for yourself in your personal life as well as your professional career?
Making 3 albums feels logical. The first is pure naivety, the second is a big stress because you aren’t even sure you are capable of making a second album, and the third is a kind of climax. Creating a fourth album has not been an option for a while, and we just wanted to release single songs, as we did for Ici & Maintenant, Interpassion, Romeo, and OMG!!! Then we felt the need to produce something bigger than us.
It's a rebirth yes. We started recording bits and bobs and we realised there were great beats and bops! One day, GrandMarnier played the 10 songs we made in a specific order, and it was the right one. That day the album was born. Very naturally.
You’ve written about the pause on culture in France during the pandemic - before clubs re-opening. How did that pause affected you personally? How did L'Ère du Verseau speak to this?
L'Ère du Verseau pretty much says “take your time to make good things, no rush.” The pandemic is a pause, and the “good” thing about it, is people seem to have slowed down their minds, and are willing to relax and unzoom on their previously hectic lives. Personally, I feel frustrated because we cancelled so many shows for this album, but I have ended up accepting this, and slowed down too. I felt a bit confused without a precise plan but maybe that's actually how we should live our lives, “go with the flow.”

You must be thrilled to playing shows and festivals again so soon - September is only around the corner!
On the topic of being on stage - your vibrant stage outfits have been influenced by designers like Jeremy Scott, Andrea Crews, Jean-Paul Lespagnard and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Do you see a relation between music and fashion? How do they translate into one another?
Music and fashion have this one thing in common: attitude. Music inspires fashion, fashion enlightens music, it's a great couple. And when you meet open-minded and matching souls, it makes things pop! L'Ere du Verseau has been the beginning of a great collaboration with PA Hermet, who has created everything fashion related on this album. The artwork and music video are all styled by him. It was great to share so many ideas!
Speaking of fashion, your music video Noir features yourself, covered head to toe in nylon throughout. In other frames, you’re surrounded by gender non-conforming individuals dressed in black while you’re being dressed and fitted. What was the inspiration behind this music video?
Again: attitude! Play this song loud and see how it makes you want to walk in a very specific way. The narrative of this video is not important, the attitude is. We wanted to create a perfect match between audio and video, and I think we managed to do it, thanks to this marvellous team.
You’re constantly pushing the boundaries of your music and image to its maximum fun and creativity. What do you feel are the responsibilities of an artist to its audience? What are you hoping to achieve through your work?
We “deliver” when we are proud of our creations. That's why we are slow. There are big gaps between our releases. I don't think we feel like it is a responsibility. We want to love what we release as much as a lover would!

Paige Peacock
Marcin Kempski

ic_eye_openCreated with Sketch.See commentsClose comments
0 resultados