Maxim Meyer-Horn

31 Mar
Music

Yseult: “I’m Always Searching for My Identity”

You don’t always need to understand a language to feel a deep emotional connection to music. The French singer Yseult has proven that with her impressive EP ‘Noir’, which was released last October and led to sold-out shows across France, Belgium and Canada. Days before the Corona crisis hit Belgium’s capital, we had an interview with the independent artist.

You lived in Paris for a long time but came to live in Brussels. Why did you move?

I had the feeling that I didn’t have the space to breathe in Paris. Even when I have all these emails and projects to catch up, I know that I live in a healthier environment now where I can be more ‘zen’. Paris is just too much energy for me and I wouldn’t feel good there.

You’ve participated in La Nouvelle Star, a French talent show on TV. Was it difficult for you to find your way in music after participating?

I wouldn’t say it was difficult, but it definitely was a rather long process to discover who I am and where I want my journey to go. I think we’re all like Pokémons who develop along the way and I see myself as a person that evolves 24/7, so I’m always searching for my identity. Looking at that, I don’t think it was difficult and think that it pushes me to go even further.

Yseult by Robin Joris Dullers for Enfnts Terribles

You’ve already released an album in 2015, but it took you nearly four years to release another bigger project. Why did you take your time to release new music?

I think it’s very important to slow down and to sort things out. It’s like scrolling through your feed on Instagram. You can follow hundreds of people, but out of all these people, you may only see two people in real life. It’s important to take your time to accept that you have these two people and say to yourself that even when you’re in the worst case all alone, that’s fine as well.

I think that I needed to walk alone and reconstruct myself alone. I really had to create a new family around me and start being independent by starting my own label, company and crew around me because I wanted to come back with a project that showed who I am. It took me a long time and I’m still creating my team around me, so it will take some more time. We’re not there yet, but we’re on the right path.

 

There’s quite a difference between your EPs Rouge and Noir.

With my EP Rouge, I wanted to make a project that makes a separation between the early Yseult. The Yseult that’s doing what everyone wants from her and the Yseult that is in transition. Noir is an EP where there isn’t a transition and is a project where I talk about things that really get under my skin. Noir digs a little bit deeper and is a bit more intimate, which is something I’m also trying to develop for the next EP. I will not go back to the music I made in the beginning and will develop the newfound style more in the future.

 

Noir is a spectacular EP and has the incredible song “Corps” on it. What’s the importance of “Corps” for you as an artist?

“Corps” is the song that made me become at peace with myself and what I represent. It also allowed me to come in peace with my family and is a song many people can identify with. We don’t accept ourselves entirely and it’s good to see people around you that try to accept themselves more. I think we really need that because I know a lot of people that aren’t confident, but feel better when they listen to my music or watch my videos. In the end, I’m someone who likes to share her happiness and her sassiness.

“Corps” is a very important song for me because it’s a song that touches me and I’ve written myself. While sitting in the taxi earlier today, I realized that I’m not sure if I’m able to write something better than “Corps” in the future.

We also love “Rien à prouver” from the EP. Is there something you still want to prove?

What I’d really like to prove is that I’m able to succeed just by trusting my instincts. I really want myself to believe in my gut-feeling and say: ‘Giiirl, didn’t I tell you it would work?’. It’s important to listen to the opinions of others, but sometimes what’s even more important is to listen to yourself and move forward.

It’s difficult to find, for example a job or live in our society in general, but you really have to believe in yourself and even hang on the things that don’t make it easy. I still have a lot of things to prove myself on the level of success, accepting myself and running a business. I never know where my projects will take me so I still have a lot to prove.

You tell a lot of personal stories in your songs. Do you only write about things you experienced yourself?

For me, it’s hard to tell a story I didn’t experience myself and I couldn’t write a song about a feeling I didn’t go through. It’s the same with singing a song you’re not feeling emotionally, because I really need to feel the music in me.

Do you think that the Yseult puzzle is coming together at the moment?

I really need to pay attention because I’m aware that it can all go wrong. If you’re an artist, it’s good to have confidence in yourself but it’s very important to have a little doubt, too. I think there’s an equal chance that I can become successful and that all goes wrong.

Images by Robin Joris Dullers for Enfnts Terribles

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