A French touch of "class" for "vulgar" Eurovision?
Black-bearded long-haired stylishly-dressed electro sensation, this month triggered a wave of outrage in his fiercely proud land for planning to sing in English.
Electro-pop star Sebastien Tellier, himself somewhat of an icon of the hip Paris scene, aims to bring a French touch of class to next month's Eurovision contest, an event he says can be "so vulgar" at times.
Tellier, a 33-year-old black-bearded long-haired stylishly-dressed electro
sensation, this month triggered a wave of outrage in his fiercely proud land
for planning to sing in English at the popular May 24 event, being held in
Belgrade this year.
Backing down just a tad before the critics, he told AFP that "there will be
a little bit in French" in his song "Divine". "It will be like a wink, less
than a verse and not a chorus."
Like France's model-turned-musician-turned first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy,
a host of other top musos in the country at times use English lyrics, partly
because of the heavy influence of the English-speaking music scene, and partly
because English helps the albums sell.
Of the 40 countries taking part in the televised contest, at least 25 would
be singing in English, his producer Stephane Elfassi said.
"There is a French way of life and no little song can change that," Tellier
added. "I have absolutely no contempt for the French language."
Tellier's Eurovision song is taken from his latest disc 'Sexuality,' an
album that unsurprisingly is about sexuality and follows a first 2001 disc
themed on the family, "L'Incroyable Verite", and a second politically-oriented
2005 album, "Politics".
"I've discovered sexuality is more important than both the family and
politics," he said. "I am seeking the truth, I am on a master-quest."
Marrying R'n'B-pop a la Justin Timberlake, disco-style Giorgio Moroder, the
Beach Boys and Jean-Michel Jarre, Tellier's music is best described as
"I always begin from a concept, the subject that seems to me to be the crux
of humanity, to try and produce a very personal disc," he said.
Produced by one of the two masters of the so-called French Touch, Daft
Punk's Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo, "Sexuality"'s sound is inspired by the new electro sound of US R'n'B as well as the theme music of Italian erotic TV
soaps from the 1980s.
"Sexy music that you listen to with your hips is very difficult to
produce," he said.
But there is more than erotic kitsch to Tellier. There is also melancholy.
"Perfection is being in the in-between. If you're bling-bling it's sterile,
if you're deep, it's boring," he said.
But at Eurovision, Tellier is planning to bring "lots of beautiful
creatures" to accompany the Beach Boys tempo of "Divine."
"I want to recreate an artsy-style beach-like atmosphere with black
bikinis," he said.
"I want to bring a touch of class, sometimes Eurovision can be so vulgar
that it's sad."
(AFP - expatica 2008)