Belgian musician Angèle closes 2021 by offering her second album, Ninety-five, and is optimistic about the new year, even promising one or more concerts in Quebec as part of his next tour which will begin in the spring.
“What do we want for 2022? To really pay attention to others, to the way we behave with others, she replies. I hope that 2022 will be milder than it has been over the past two years… and, of course, that we get out of this pandemic as quickly as possible! “
“I wish us all good health too! Ah! but it’s true: you contracted it, COVID, didn’t you Angèle? “Yeah, I’ve been there …”, escapes the musician (vaccinated), who spoke to us last week by camera interposed from her hotel room, in Paris, where she wrapped up the promotional campaign around the release of her new album.
“Well, it was not catastrophic because I reacted very well [à la maladie], continues Angèle. I lost my taste and smell, I lost my voice a bit, but it was really bearable. Well, that messed up the planning for the release of the album, which is why we decided to release it a week earlier ”, on December 3rd. “I locked myself in my house for ten days, living the release of the album totally alone. It was really special to experience it like this, but I didn’t hate it. “
That’s all Angèle, that. The voice that radiates, a smile that defies the confusion of everyday life. See the bright side of life, even when it is coughing. Ninety-five, she says, is her “COVID album, written in recent months, like this period we are going through. Indeed, there is a very dark part in the album. It speaks of anxiety, it speaks of being afraid of the future, of the desire to find the public. I had started writing it when the pandemic started, and in that, it’s a record really tied to its time. But for all that, I put more personal, more intimate things there than on the first one. On brol [album paru en 2018], I sang a lot what I observed around me; Ninety-five, it is my heart that speaks ”.
A heavy heart, this is what we will remember from this new album written and produced with the French Tristan Salvati, reforming with the young star this golden tandem who had succeeded. brol, a record that has sold more than 500,000 copies in France and won the Victoire prize for the revelation album of the year in 2019. We do not change a winning formula, after all.
“For this second album, I wanted to stay honest about the music I do”, still very pop, dancing, but all the same more inclined towards ballads, in tune with the doubts and wounds that the musician gives us. sung. “I needed to go to the end of this process [amorcée sur Brol] ; for the rest, we’ll see. “
Ninety-five is an album of its time thanks to another theme explored in the texts: that of celebrity. Lorde and Billie Eilish also sang the other side of the coin of success on their respective albums released in recent months.
“What mattered most to me was to be honest about this album,” explains Angèle. Not feeling like I’m lying to myself or to others. Be as sincere as possible: on my first album, I was very spontaneous, without trying to create a character for myself. But as success found me, I sometimes felt like I had to create a character for myself to protect myself from others. So as not all the time, I, right away, to be confronted with the public, with criticism, with all this madness that comes with success. Sometimes I wished I had chosen a stage name for myself, rather than using his real first name.
Finally, Angèle will have “regained control over this” thanks to this album in the form of a logbook and thanks to the documentary, simply titled Angela, presented on Netflix for a month, and with which she shares her daily life and those who inhabit it (her parents, her collaborators, her endearing grandmother, her little dog Pépette) by retracing her journey with archive images . “This is what allowed me to show myself as I am. “
There are many images of her beloved city, Brussels, to which she pays homage in a song that is as catchy as it is engaged. She admits it, Brussels I love you, first single from the album, is his own version of the classic Dick Annegarn song, Brussels, which she sang on stage for a long time.
“It was important for me to offer my own song about Brussels,” comments Angèle. Of course, before me, many artists had done this – my brother [Roméo Elvis], Damso, Jacques Brel, Annegarn -, but I wanted to sing it, my city, and pay homage to it in my own way, by telling the duality between Brussels and Paris and the fact that, ultimately, they are two incomparable cities , because so different, but where anything is possible. “
She even dares the political commentary, Angèle, by showing herself for the unity of Belgium: “And if one day she separates and we have to choose a camp / It would be the worst nightmares, all for one history of languages ”, she sings on Brussels I love you, before putting on a few stanzas in Flemish.
It was important for me to offer my own song about Brussels. Of course, before me, many artists had already done it, but I wanted to sing it, my city, and pay homage to it in my own way, by telling the duality between Brussels and Paris and the fact that, ultimately , they are two incomparable cities, because they are so different, but where anything is possible.
“I couldn’t talk about Brussels without speaking Flemish, and above all, I couldn’t talk about Brussels without talking about the fact that it is a very absurd city, just like Belgium. The city is at the heart of the debate since it is surrounded by Flanders ”, part of the population aspiring to separate from Belgium.
“However, Brussels is a bilingual city; it does not belong to Wallonia [francophone] nor to Flanders, but somewhat belongs to both. I had to be able to talk about this. “
“It was important for me to claim where I come from”, to claim his “belgitude”, even in the title of the album, Ninety-five, “My year of birth. There is something very symbolic about this album which speaks of emotions, of what we go through in our lives, and of the questions that we ask ourselves when we are twenty-five years old. It’s all in the title. “