Maxim Meyer-Horn

11 Sep

Interview: Pitou Took Big Steps This Summer Ahead of Her Debut Album

Not many artists have blazed a trail this summer like the rising Dutch singer Pitou. Even before releasing her debut album, she was able to put her talent to the test at the biggest Belgian festivals. This undoubtedly brought her a lot of new fans, and she can count us among them. We spoke to her at the Belgian festival Rock Werchter after her show and were particularly curious to see what she has in store for us on her first album.

It’s your first time performing at big festivals like Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop. Did you expect these milestones to happen so early in your career without having a debut album out?

Absolutely not. It came as a surprise to every one of us when these bookings came in. We really looked forward to this and thought, “Let’s go!”

How do you prepare for such big opportunities, knowing you only have one chance to impress people for the very first time?

We talked a lot with the band. We were thinking about how we can set an atmosphere, and how we can enforce the sentiment we want to create with, for example, lights and music. We did some tryouts a couple of weeks ago in the Netherlands and joined Eefje De Visser as a support act on her Belgian shows. We were able to do the set a lot in the month before Rock Werchter, which helped us. We were really looking forward to the shows and enjoyed them a lot.

At the beginning of next year, you’re releasing your debut album. How did you approach the creation of this important project?

If you start thinking about the pressure at the beginning of the process, you kill yourself. I tried to collect as many ideas as possible, and COVID was a good period because there was a lot of time pressure before. I had released an EP and had to come back with music soon. COVID helped me to take a step back, and it resulted in the album that I’m releasing, which will be better than the album I was going to release.

We’ve read that you were able to travel a lot as a kid with your parents. How did that inspire your music since you went to places with very different cultures?

The combination between classical music, which I loved to listen to a lot, and the world music my parents always brought with them … the agreement between that inspired my music. The way pop music is often structured—verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus—and specific typical melodies, were not really present in my musical upbringing. That influenced my music and prevents me from thinking too much about boxes.

Music has been present in your whole life. Was it difficult to find your sound, or was it even easier?

I have never thought of that, to be honest. I don’t know if it’s necessarily because I’ve been making music for a long time, but it was quite logical for me what kind of music I wanted to make. I never really thought of the sound I wanted my music to have, but it just happened.

What’s the main emotion that inspired your upcoming debut album?

It’s about finding light and comfort, which is actually not the main focus of the album, but I would be happy if it does that to people. I hope the project can feel equally meaningful to some as it felt to me when I made it.

Is there something specific you want people to know before they listen to the project, or would you like people to listen without too much context?

I think the second one.

Why do you think that?

The beautiful thing about music is that it can touch you without any words. Personally, it’s one of the purest ways to get close to a person. The more context you give, the more it takes away from that experience.

Pictures by Robin Joris Dullers

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