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“This is the first time that I make a singer album”

Bénabar is an actor, but also and above all an author, composer and performer. His songs are part of the respect for popular song, often humorous, which he claims moreover. He often describes everyday life and we owe him in particular: Butterfly Effect, Maritie and Gilbert Carpentier, or Dinner. Today he is releasing a new album: We won’t let go.

franceinfo: We won’t let go is it the continuation of the conversation you started with the previous album Happy rebellious ?

Bénabar: Exactly. I like this idea of ​​conversation. The impression that it is the continuity since my first album. A conversation with people who are willing to listen to me. So, it’s a conversation where it’s only me speaking, it’s not so balanced, but in any case, me, I really live it like that. Not necessarily giving news, but picking up on that thread.

For the first time you also interpret the words of another, co-author on this album.

Yes, Pierre-Yves Lebert! When you are an author yourself and you take another’s words, there is something very, very intimate. So you really have to sniff yourself for a long time. You have to trust yourself. We must not betray the author. And at the same time, you shouldn’t have the feeling of dressing up either.

The title Monogame is a huge declaration of love to women, especially to the one who shares your life.

It is the desire to pay homage to the “couple” over the length. We often talk about love stories, love at first sight, early days, passion, etc. There is also the length. I don’t know what life has in store for me or my wife, but I’ve never been afraid of routine. That’s why in my songs, I’ve never been afraid of everyday life. I have sometimes been criticized for it, but I find that there is poetry and grandeur in it all.

There is a lot of poetry in everything you have ever done. Has this poetry really accompanied you since your first steps?

I have always had a somewhat singular outlook. It’s pretentious to say it like that, but it’s quite personal. I realized belatedly that it was poetry, that I loved poetry and that what I wanted was to become a poet. It happened to me a bit in spite of myself. It’s like the status of an artist, these are things that I kept away a lot out of modesty, out of fear, because of my bravado side. It is surely protection, ultimately. I realize that I put poetry, in particular, where it is not necessarily found, as in a rupture or the beginning of a love story.

“I realize, with hindsight, what to do with poetry, that’s all I’ve always looked for in what I’ve written.”

Your poet’s soul is found at the end of this album. It was already present in the previous album, but this is the long version. We also realize that you are first and foremost an actor. Did this journey, before in the cinema, to act or to realize, help you?

Yes. Cinema and theater have really helped me. I recognize how privileged I have been to be able to get away also sometimes from the song and then also from the middle of the song, never to be jaded. I think it serves me a lot. I never needed to take a step back from that, surely.

We hear the pleasure you have today in singing.

I resumed singing lessons. I sang more and more badly. I was breaking my voice more and more. I started from zero with the basic singing lessons and I continue very assiduously. And I think it’s the first time I’ve made a singer album. It took me ten albums, it’s never too late!

And then, there is a hindsight on a lot of things. In particular, your extraordinary collaboration on the song Among the Corsicans with Renaud. The story is incredible, he is someone who is doing very badly, who is depressed and who will see someone who is doing even worse than him. It’s a nice nod to life, isn’t it?

Yes. It’s really a friends song. In addition, it’s a true story because Chez les Corses is a restaurant that exists in the south, near Gordes, where I am often. And it was Renaud who introduced me to the Corsicans, who had become friends. It is not a storytelling, as we often say in our sometimes artificial jobs, it must be said. And then in addition, the music is by Thierry Geoffroy who works with Renaud.

“I am really proud and I thank Renaud again for agreeing to sing the song ‘Chez les Corses’ with me”.

This album, is it you today?

It picks up on what you said about the conversation. I tried to do this on each of my albums, like I was leaving a message on people’s answering machines.

Does it feel good to apprehend less, to trust each other, to move forward, to smile, to laugh?

Yes, it will be good as long as it takes. There are ups and downs, but it’s true that you have to take advantage of these moments in any case. Yes, you have to laugh quite simply, smile and try to move forward.

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