Maxim Meyer-Horn

12 May

Interview: Vendredi sur Mer Showcases Another Side On Her New Album ‘Métamorphose’

French is the language of love. Or at least, that’s all we feel when we listen to Vendredi sur Mer’s refreshing pop music. The Swiss singer has set the bar high with her debut album ‘Premiers émois’, which belongs to the most celebrated body of works in French music in recent years and has brought forth hits like “Écoute Chérie” and “Les filles désir”. Luckily, the follow-up ‘Métamorphose’ is at least as enchanting as her debut and was the perfect opportunity to invite Vendredi Sur Mer to Brussels for a new digital cover shoot in the iconic ‘Palais de la Bourse’, which is currently under construction.

Métamorphose is your second album. How have you changed as an artist since the last album?

Many things have changed. I decided to trust myself more, to get rid of my fears, for example, singing. I left my previous tour wanting to go further, especially on stage. I wanted something more sincere, more direct. With techno sounds first, but then I went for everything I hadn’t dared to do before: a voice piano, intimate and difficult. But also texts that are more present and firmer. That is the initial idea and how this album was built over time. It was also very quick to do. I met Sam Tiba—with whom I produced the album—and who was (and still is) my pillar for the rest of my career.

The new project sounds quite different compared to Premiers émois. What has inspired the shift in sound?

It was a will, after my first tour, as I said. I had time during the first lockdown to think about what I wanted to do next. This time was very important now that I think about it. And then, the period meant that we were all very anchored in the present. It necessarily changes the way of seeing things and, therefore, of creating.

Laurian Opdebeeck dress. Essentiel and Izabo jewelry.

Was it a conscious decision to change the sound of your music?

I listened to a lot of music during this period. When I started going to the studio with Sam, I was faced with someone who had other ideas than me, sometimes more technical than emotional. I attached myself to the creation of the sound, to the choice, to the different sounds, to the different instruments … I discovered a lot of things and even my voice! Throughout this album, I sometimes let myself be guided toward corners that I did not know well, which weren’t my first ideas. It was the best thing that ever happened to me! (laughs)

The album is fronted by the lead single “Le Lac”. Why have you picked this song as the lead single?

Because I thought it was the perfect song to link the two albums. Like a small boat that lets itself slide by the current from one bank to the other. And it’s a song that was close to my heart. I also knew that I wanted to make a video clip that was very different from anything I had shown before. So it was the perfect track to show the person I truly was and start a new story—a new chapter.

Visually, the album is a bit darker too. How did you approach the visuals for the project?

It was difficult at first to project myself into the picture. I was finishing the album, and I had no idea where I wanted to go in terms of artistic direction, but I met Large (the people who helped me with this research and these achievements). We talked a lot about what the album said about me, who I wanted to be, and especially who I did not want to be anymore. I believe that my decisions were so radically opposed to what I had done before that I was a little lost myself. The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to look pretty on the cover, at least not sublimated. And then, this evolution from the tadpole (1st single) to the album via the frog (2nd single) was very logical for me. I didn’t really know who I wanted to be because I didn’t know who I was, so I was born again! As seaweed. (laughs)

Florentina Leitner coat. Laurian Opdebeeck dress. Essentiel and Izabo jewelry.

Was it a stressful experience to release the album? 

Not at all! It did me the most good. I believe that when we are in tune with what we do, and we do it not to please—or to make others like us— nothing is stressful or scary. I was in perfect harmony with what I was doing. I couldn’t have done it otherwise, or else it would have been a lie. And I had really touching feedback, so I can only be overwhelmed! Of course, it’s not for everyone, but that is always the case. So just do what you want to do and have no regrets.

You’re going to tour with the album. What will the live show be like?

Mad! I can’t wait to find the stage, the public. This is how songs live and are shared. I am accompanied by talented musicians who bring this album to life. It’s exciting to see these songs take over the stage and mutate to become almost alive.

You’re making music in French. Is it easier for you to sing in your mother language? Would you ever consider singing in English?

I am very attached to French because it is a language that I know by heart and with which I can fully express what I want to say. I tried English at the very beginning of the conception of the album, but I think it’s not for me. At least not for now. And what is very funny is that I am listened to a lot beyond the borders. French is a language that many other countries like, so why do without? (laughs)

What have you lined up next?

I am working on the sequel. I still have a lot of cravings! I’m working on the next tracks with Sam Tiba, of course, and Myd too. We’re a nice family now … To be continued.

Vendredi Sur Mer’s new album ‘Métamorphose’ is available on all platforms. Tickets for her current tour are also available.

Photography by Robin Joris Dullers
Photography assistant by Wout Enis
Styling by Anna Carina Schoeters
Styling assistance by Britt Claes
Makeup by Lora Vanpee
Hair by Pelle Storm
Production and interview by Maxim Meyer-Horn

Special thanks to Louise Mailleux (Five Oh), Alma Dahan (management Vendredi Sur Mer), MAD Brussels, Matías Battalé, and Dries Vriesacker

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