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Charlotte OC / Careless People Interview – sensuous pop!

All about Charlotte OC, our new angel of British music!
Her second album, Careless People, has obsesses us since several weeks. Sublime songs like Shell, Medicine Man, unforgettable like Darkest Hour.
Beyond the stunning voice, we discovered an irresistible smile during our interview at Le Pigalle Hotel, in Paris.



UsofParis exclusive selfie

UsofParis: When did you start to sing?
Charlotte OC: I started singing the first moment I’ve realized that I loved it. It was when I was about 6 years old. I was enquired I think it was the first class music I’ve ever heard and we were singing and learning the song and we just finished learning it and we have to sing all together to the class and thinking singing was like « holy fuck! ». I’ve felt like « how great! », like I could do it, I’ve felt like i knew I could do it. That was a quite strange feeling when you are 6 years old. It was quite profond, just like really knowing. I am not sure if it was because I was doing just a bit of show off or genially just to know just to do it.
I knew I wanted it to do as a career like when I was 15. But then I’ve started to take it serious when i signed my first major company when I was 16. And when I was got signed to a record label when I was 18 and I took it properly seriously.

And when you have decided to write?
It was when i was 15 years old. and it was my dad who’ve booked guitar lessons for me behind my back but I didn’t really want to learn guitar. We had this thing together by using chewing gum together. I still love chewing gum, I don’t know why but and I still do, it’s my trick. One day, we were in the car and I was used to have all the chewing gum I wanted, and it was literally two steps away from home and he told me that « we ware not going in that way and I will drop you here and you are going to have guitar lessons. » And the guitar was in the car and I was just thinking: « it’s the worst fucking day of my life! »
And I became obsessed with guitar, I’ve felt confortable with the instrument.
Then as I started to get play with it I started to pop melodies all over the cords I was learning and it was how I started writing.

Did you thank him?
Yes. Even mentioning him in the interviews now. I think it’s thanking him in a way. Because what he did was the best thing he’ve ever done for me.

Airplanes, hotels, promotion, showcases, were you prepared for this in your life?
Not when I was younger. Now I feel like I am. Before I wasn’t ready for it.
I knew I’ve create a vibe or something but not created a world. So I wasn’t quite ready to talk about it. But now after making a body of work, a few world, I lived for that long, I ‘ve spend that long marking it and now I am ready to talk about it.

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Release an album is a relief, an heaven or a big stress?
Making a record: it’s all of that, it’s everything. I find being in a studio quite scary, there a lot a pressure because you are there to really project yourself and I don’t know, I found it quite stressful and I don’t find yet a confortable space in the studio so I did find it stressful. But it’s also really rewarding, I’ve learnt a lot and I’ll quite love produce my own album one day and I am learning how to use logic and things like that, so… maybe I could do this all my own one day.

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It’s your dream?
I would love it. 🙂

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The first track Darkest Hour obsessed me. I love it. What is the story?
I wrote this song in a tree house/studio in Los Angeles. I wrote about watching somebody having a really toxic relationship and what you can do about it. And when it’s somebody you really care about, it’s not only them going through, you’re going trough as well. When you care about somebody you feel the pain that they’re feeling. I quite needed to write a song about how me and my family fell about what she’ve done and put herself all through. I was a bit a therapy for me writing this song.

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What about the track Shell?
That’s about this guy who was older that me and he was quite manipulative. He was bad ache, the guy who was not very nice in general. When my mum first met him, she was: « no! i do not like him »
I was basically a child and he completely swept the life out of me and I completely lost who I was. And it was me realizing: « I dont know who I am anymore and it’s because of you ».

About your music, some journalists describe it as an alternative pop, dark, also black paint… Do you agree?
Music is interpreted by you own. You create a mood, whatever the mood it is. And it’s totally personal to each, it’s individual. I guess there is a part of dark in it but there is also a lot of warmth.

Lou Reed is a major influence for you generally. And in this album?
Let me think… Maybe. No, I just think it’s someone i admire, I think he is just amazing. I love the ton of his voice. I don’t channel anything of his.

Which song of him do you prefer?
Pale blue eyes. This song was when he was in the Velvet Underground.

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Funny or strange story during one of your shows you want to share?
My uncle passed away about 5 years ago, he used to come at every show that I did and he was a really important part of my life and I’ve dedicated the album to him. Whenever I went on stage, my guitar used to break, and somebody would always be there to lent me a guitar and it never worked and every time I’ve gone to the shop I would be like: « what the fuck it’s wrong with my guitar and why it keep doing this? ». But I’ve realized there was nothing wrong with this. I did’t realized I get in touch with those people and basically my uncle came through and I was very skeptical about all this but this all kind of all things about me and my family that nobody would know. And he basically said: « I know that you know that I have been there with you on stage, I am sorry for breaking your guitar ». That’s something a kind of weird. After that, true or not, it was really nice knowing that he was there.

How do yo feel when you are on stage?
There are moments of little bit of incertity and sometimes real euphoria and moments you’re thinking a little bit much about stuff. There’re so much many feelings when you are on stage, it’s not a common experience. You always can tell about he first note that you sing if it’s going a good show or not.

Do you enjoy?
I love it! 🙂 It’s a part of me.

Charlotte who chose Los Angeles to make her album, spent 3 days in Paris meeting web media and blogs. Respect!

Interview by Alexandre
Thanks Leila Lamnaouer for the translation

Charlotte OC
New album: Careless People
(Harvest Records / Capitol Music France)


Wed 19 April, LONDON / Omeara
Wed 26 April, PARIS / Badaboum
Thu 20 July – Sun 23 July, HUNTINGDON / Secret Garden Party 2017


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Frances a star is born / from Coachella to Paris – Interview !

Frances is one of the most talented emerging artists of 2016. Her differents EP have made a hit in the USA and in the UK. Her debut album Things I’ve Never Said will be released in March 2017. She was on stage at the Cafe de la Danse for Pitchfork Avant-garde, we met her on the first floor of Barbès the next morning to review the past year with her and speak about the one coming which is full of promises.


Exclu #USofParis
Exclu #USofParis

USofParis : Your first album will be released in March, It’s called… Things I’ve Never Said. Why didn’t you say those things before?
Frances: I don’t know. I think that’s kind of.. a bit… what I worked out while I was writing it. And that’s how I came up with the title because I was kind of writing songs and going: « Why is it the first time I said these things?« . You can find the lyrics for what you want to say on a song but maybe not the words to speak in person, so.

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You start writing music at 12-13. On your album, is there a song from this time?
No. I think the earliest one was when I was about 18.

Which one?
It’s two: one called Drifting and one called Sublime, that I wrote when I was in university, like 18, 19.

What inspires you to write?
Everything, everything I see around me, the people I meet, obviously personal experience… or it might be, you know, someone I’m close to who says they’re going through something and I kind of write a song about that. But whatever it is, I have to relate to it, it kind of has to make sense for me.

Do you have any influences?
Yeah, so many. Everything you hear… everything I hear kind of ends up in there somewhere, but I love Radiohead, Björk, Coldplay, and then more modern like Ed Sheeran, he’s great.

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One of my favourite songs on your album is Don’t worry about me, could you tell us more about this song?
Oh, thank you. It was great because when I first wrote it, I didn’t really think that it would be released. I thought it was a bit strange, because it started with a cappella… and it didn’t feel like it had much of a structure, it was almost like a hymn, it was weird. And then I kind of listened to it a few times and it was like : « Oh, it is actually making more sense », and I played it to some other people and they were like « Oh my God » and they loved it. I think it was interesting because I wrote it exactly how I wanted to write it, because I didn’t think anyone else would even hear it.  So that kind of taught me a lesson, that I should just do what I want to do, and not think too much about what other people are going to think of it.

You used to play only with your piano. Is it difficult for you to play with the whole band on stage?
Oh no, I love it. I really like playing on my own as well because it’s very intimate… but when you got lots of other instruments behind you, it just going to add extra depth. And now what I do is play on my own imagining what they would be doing.

You played at Coachella, SXSW, some of the biggest festivals in the world. Isn’t it crazy for a young girl?
Yes, especially to be in America, as I had never been to America before, and my first time going to America was to support James Bay on tour, and it’s like : « This is so weird« .  And I did my own show in New York, in LA, and then I went to Australia and New Zealand, which is completely on the other side of the world. Which is really cool because I don’t think I could ever get to go to those places if I wasn’t doing music, so it’s pretty cool.

But Coachella is very special…
It’s kind of weird, because you’re in the middle of the desert, in a kind of manicured polo field, and there are lots of celebrities, Instagram models, and… I just thought that it was kind of hilarious, but it was very beautiful, it was very pretty, and the music is amazing, and because of the drinking laws in America you can’t hold a drink and watch the gig. Which is actually kind of cool because it means the crowd is not crazy, they are not getting bare and trying to jump on you, everyone is really watching music.

Any friendly meeting, anything unusual at Coachella?
I was watching Disclosure and then this woman came in… pink hair and like a jumpsuit with clouds on it… and I was like : « Hmm funny outfit » and then I looked up and it was Katy Perry. And I was like : « Oh only she can pull that up« , and then she was dancing with a guy and I was like: « Hmmm I wonder who that is« , and then he had this hat and he looks up and it was Orlando Bloom. And I was like here and I’m just kind of watching Disclosure. Then The Weeknd came in with about eight of his crew, it was mental… and apparently a Kardashian came into the dressing room a little bit, but I can’t say… So it was a very kind of strange place, pretty cool, though.


You supported James Bay when he was touring around the US, did he give you some advice?
Yeah, he said to me: “Enjoy everything » because he was like: « You know, it’s gonna get really crazy busy, and really crazy, so you need to make sure that you’re enjoying every little bit » and « Don’t take it too seriously, remember why you’re doing it« . So that’s nice.

Imagine now you can sing with someone. Who will you choose?
Probably Ed Sheeran. Only because he plays the guitar, and I really want a guitar. And I think maybe our voices would go kind of well together. I’m imagining that.

Does he know?
No, he doesn’t. There hasn’t been enough interviews…

He would know now!
That would be kind of cool.

Yesterday during your set, you said that you want to live in Paris. Why?
I love it ! The buildings! It just looks like nowhere else, I think. It is so stunning. And I think, it is so vibrant every day of the week.

If Paris was one of your songs, which one would that be?
Oh, that’s a pretty good question! Probably one of the more kind of uptempo ones… maybe  Under Our Feet.

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So what’s your project for next year with this album?
I just think I’m just gonna be touring it along, which is going to be great. All the songs are really going to come to life.

Alone or with the band?
With the band. Probably with the drummer as well. And maybe some more string players. And I’ll keep, I think, on writing, I just write all the time. I will probably finish the second album before I finish touring for the first one.

So maybe we can hear some new songs on stage during the tour.
That’s a good idea.

What was your last music crush?
Probably it would be a girl crush… like Beyoncé, her last album is incredible. The best!

What was the last artist you saw on stage?
Birdy. I was there in London on Friday. So good. She’s on tour.

Do you have a good spot in London, a restaurant?
A fair restaurant in London, it’s called The Pollen Street Social, it’s amazing. It’s not too expensive but it’s really good, and there is a fire…

Venues for concerts?
Actually where I saw Birdy, the Hammersmith Apollo, that’s amazing. Brixton Academy, probably the best, I think. The small ones are very cool like Koko, which is only 1,500 places. It’s a kind of old theatre with red curtains and red carpets.

What kind of relationship do you have with your first fans?
I mean, some have been there since the very, very beginning, and they’ve kind of stuck with me all the way. It’s still really early, and they’re really patient. But they’re so lovely.

Interview by Joan and Alexandre
Thanks to Fran



First album Things I’ve Never Said
(Capitol Music)
released in March 2017


CIWY : Discover a different Paris with locals

“Welcome to our Paris” could be the motto of CIWY, literally Can I Welcome You. Since a few months, this community of Parisians wants to give another image of the inhabitants by creating new experiences for tourists and travelers.
Welcome CIWY Party, guided walk tours, app, discount and shopping tips. With CIWY, it will be the end of the adage “Parisians, hammer head”.

CIWY Welcome Party

First trip or returning visitor, you can live your own journey in a different way.

Every Wednesday, enjoy the CIWY Welcome party in a bar or a restaurant with the CIWY ambassadors and other foreign tourists from all over the world.

Ciwy Can I Welcome You party tourism trip journey paris holiday locals Blog United States of Paris
In a friendly atmosphere with drinks and food, you will build your first links with the locals.
After some discussions, you will benefit from their pieces of advice and secret places to have a good time in the City of Light, love and culture.

Discover Paris with locals

If you’re bored of traditional guided tours, the CIWY ambassadors should please you with their own.
Created by them, you can be sure that each one is unique: Montmartre, stroll along the river Seine, historical visit of the center of Paris…

Ciwy Can I Welcome You tourism walk discover paris trip journey travel holiday Blog United States of Paris
But experiencing Paris as a Parisian is not only visiting! You have also to take part in events like picnic under the Eiffel Tower for example, a night in a bar, sales in Le Marais or a group visit of a museum.

And to do all this stuff, you have an ally: the CIWYGUIDE!

The CIWYGUIDE, what’s this?

It’s an app (available soon for IOS and Android) to have all the CIWY tips in your pocket.
With it, of course you will find the walking tours imagined by Parisians – that you could do with an ambassador or on your own – the schedule of the CIWY events, a daily tour that helps you discover the news of the city and also the good deals from CIWY partners, daily or permanent.

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You are Parisian? Be a CIWY ambassador!

It is open to anyone who lives in Paris -or its surrounding area, French or not. If you like to help people, to share your way of living in Paris, you can join the CIWY community.
To highlight territory, you just have to join the association.

Ciwy Can I Welcome You tourism trip journey advice paris holiday locals Blog US of Paris
As an ambassador, you will enhance visitors experience by creating walk trips or recommending your favorite spots or your secret places in Paris. You could meet the world without traveling. And especially, you will make live a Parisian community who wants to better spread the richness of Paris.
And just for you: some VIP benefits like private visits of cultural places, special events and other tips.

Kindness, curiosity, authenticity, wonderment and sharing: the key words of CIWY to make Paris and Parisians more inviting and unique.Ciwy Can I Welcome You paris tourism lunch trip journey holiday Eiffel tower Blog United States of Paris

More informations on the CIWY website

All photos © CIWY


Lindsey Stirling: selfie-interview & message for her french fans

Lindsey Stirling is a violinist of a new kind. In 2010, she arrived at the final-quarter of the famous show America’s Got Talent ’s, but she lost in front of an uncompromising judge who said : « I don’t think what you’re doing right now is enough to fill a theater in Vegas. »
Since then, she has more than 8 million of subscribers on YouTube with a billion views and filled theaters all around the world.
After several sold out dates in Paris, she returns with a new album Brave Enough, a concert for La Fête de l’Huma, the 9th of September and a France tour in 2017.


Lindsey Stirling selfie original exclusive for usofparis blog Brave enough new album © united states of paris
Exclusive selfie for UsofParis


UsofParis: Your new album Brave Enough is an album full of emotions. What was your state of mind a few days before the release?
Lindsley Stirling: All kinds of emotions: Nervous, excited, scared, love the album… then I think the album is no good, then I love it again. I’m so glad it’s finally out.

What is the best memory that you have about America’s Got Talent in 2010?
I made some nice friends with the other contestants.

Did your experience there open some doors for you?
This is how I feel about America’s Got talent. It was Horrible; the single most Humiliating moment of my life. After I got kicked off the show, no doors opened for me, and the world forgot I had existed. My 15 seconds of fame had been just that… 15 seconds and then it was over. However after I got over the shame and fear of getting on a stage again (which was hard to do) I realized I wasn’t ready to give up. I had this inner strength telling me that I could do it and nothing anyone said was going to change my mind. To be honest I dont think to have that same inner strength any more but it was given to me when I needed it. I believe god gives us power when we are standing alone on a journey that we are meant for. My fear and hurt turned into extreme motivation. I wanted to prove America’s Got Talent, and Piers Morgan wrong.
I’ve learned that any time you chase after your dream you are accepting the fact that you will fail at some point. People don’t succeed because they never failed, people succeed because they learn how to rise from their falls. My career started to take off when I discovered Youtube.

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You have millions of views on YouTube! Is it easy to keep in touch with your community with the success and your tours?
I do my best. I think touring helps because I get to meet my fans and see their faces. Also, I do my very best to show my fans the real me through social media. My instagram feed is full of silly pictures and non edited photos of me being me. I do my best to respond to their comments and like their pictures. I have so many amazing supporters that do so much for me that I feel like I could never do enough to thank them all but I do my best.

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Disney chose the song Something Wild to be on the soundtrack of Pete’s Dragon. I imagine that is something huge. How did you learn this good news and how did you feel when you heard about it?
Disney approached me and asked me if I would be interested in seeing an early version of the film and writing a song for it. I have always wanted to work with Disney so this was a dream come true for me. When I found out that they liked it and wanted to use it I was exstatic and I immediately went out and got a chocolate milkshake to celebrate.

Did you say yes without any hesitation? Have you seen the original movie?
Yes, I grew up watching the original.

If you had the opportunity to be writing music for another Disney’s movie, which one would it be?
It would be one of the cartoon remakes like Aladdin.

You’ve done a lot of featurings with a lot of artists. Is there any other artist you would like to collaborate with?

You did a lot of shows in Paris. Do you have an anecdote, a funny story to share of something that happened here?
We did a live song on the spot on stage one night. The audience was doing the “Olay, olay olay” chant and my key board player and drummer just started jamming along. I joined in and we had a fun jam session with the audience.

Do you know a secret place (restaurant, street, shop) you love or is there anything unusual that you may like about Paris?
I love l’As du Fallafel!

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Have you ever thought about playing your music in the Parisian subway?
That’s a fun idea. Maybe I’ll do that.

You have a big fan base in France, do you have a message for them?
All the time. My French Facebook fan group is amazing and I love them and hear from them. I have many french fans that I recognize there faces and I look forward to seeing them every time I come to France. They often even dress up in costumes from my music videos when they come to the shows.

Who is your latest musical crush?
I love Classic by The Knocks

Interview by Joan & Alex

Lindsey Stirling Brave Enough new album cover Capitol Music

Lindsey Stirling

new album Brave Enough
(Capitol Music)

France tour
9 sept: Fête de l’Humanité Festival

23 march: Zénith, Lille24 march: Halle Tony Garnier, Lyon
25 march: Zénith, Paris
27 march: Zénith, Nantes
29 march: Zénith, Strasbourg
31 march: Zénith, Toulouse




Kendra Morris: selfie-interview about Babble, Paris, her fans

Kendra Morris was back in Paris to promote her new EP, Babble. Radiant, generous, she shares with no filter the secrets of the composition, while confident about her special relationship with our city and Frenchies more loyal than ever.



UsofParis : Are you still the same artist, the same writer, the same singer since your beautiful love story and your baby?
Kendra Morris: I think maybe even more like, you have so many more experiences and I think about things in a different way now. You really start to think about life in other terms. I’m just thinking more about suddenness of things. Definitely more responsible, ’cause I have to be.

But, are you still optimist?
Definitely an optimist. Yes, there’s new challenges and things are different but there’s always another path, there’s always another way to get to where you want to go. I’m definitely even more so open to try new things, working with other people, like… taking chances.

Do you have time to think about your music, your new songs when you have your child to take care of?
Yeah, actually something I’ve noticed about having a child is that even though in some ways I have less time, all of my free time I am so careful about, I take all of my free time and I really focus. I’m more focused than I’ve ever been and you know…

In your work?
Something that I started doing since having her is, I started editing videos. I’m creating this visual, like visual videos that go with each song. Because the way I write is a very visual thing. I see colors and the moods of the song. I grew up around visual arts, my dad being an illustrator, as well, so that’s always been a huge part in music for me. So I started finding these old videos and different clips and editing them to the songs, and then when we play live we have a projector where we do our projections.

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So, Avalanche, the video clip was your idea?
That was one of the visuals I did and then I had my friend come over and I have an old like, 1950’s projection screen in my apartment and, like I said, my idea was to film myself in front of the projection screen and use that footage that I put together. And so I’ve been putting the Woman visual that’s up. That was one of the videos I did also and I’m going to put all of them up like, Cry Sometimes has a lyric video. That was one that I use old footage of skyline.

When did you write these new songs?
It spanned… It’s weird, I know, like with Banshee I wrote Banshee about a relationship, over the course…
I think I wrote it over a year or two and this was the same. I think I wrote it over two years. I started really writing because something I always take time is make sure to go to the studio two or three times a week to write. Always. Even when I first had Opal, when she was weeks old I would go to the studio. As soon as I was healthy enough, and I was spending two… a few hours a day there, just writing, working on these songs, but I started on these songs probably around the first tour, here. Because Le Snitch was influenced by France.

No? I want to know!
That was written around the time of the tour we did where we played at Café de la Danse. I think we, maybe, might have played it then. We wrote it right between that November show that was played in, ’cause this was a song where the whole band had to do the instrumentation on.
The sound, everything sonic in it, is very much influenced by France and Paris.

What about Woman? I love this track.
I wrote that one so fast ’cause I felt so strong about it. I wrote it in the studio one day. I call it the “Instagram lab” at home. I was on my phone and I had started obsessing about this other woman.
She was a beautiful…You know, girls on Instagram that took all these selfies and look right in every angle and I was just looking at her and I had started being like: « She is so cool… » You know, – he was my boyfriend at the time, now he’s my husband – « If he ever meets her, what if he falls in love with her? » Crazy thoughts.
It was just me comparing me, like finding… comparing myself to her. It’s not just this person. I do this all the time. We’re always feeling inadequate and then I started Instagram is a monster. It’s become this whole cultural obsession with vanity and these things that are all gonna fade.
The chorus came to me, like, in two seconds. Jeremy was fiddling around and I was like: « What about this chords and why don’t we try and find the lyrics? » and the chorus was: « Always gotta be a woman making me feel like shit. »
I actually felt so much better when I left the studio that day. I was like: « Even if I keep comparing myself, I got a really great song out of this.

Did you learn something, or what did you learn by coming to France, for the promotion, for the shows?
Each time I come back here, I feel more and more comfortable, here. I pick up a little more of French, of the language each time. A bit of understanding the culture more. I feel like more at home.

Only for #UsofParis
Only for #UsofParis

What kind of relationship do you have with your French fans, and with the French audience?
I think it’s bittersweet, like, I love them and yet we’re so far away, in some way but, like, after the Paris attacks I remember, I was, like, in tears that day because I know how much you guys… music is such a huge part of Parisians’ life and the French’s life.
Every time I do any sort of post on line, I have my French fans say: « Come to Paris, come here! »

What is the best place in Brooklyn, where you live?
I’m in Greenpoint. Sometimes it’s just riding the subway. As weird and bananas… but sometimes it’s nice to get on there, especially in the summer when there’s air conditioning. And you just kind of zone out, people watch and there’s all kinds of everything, everybody you can think of. You just can sit there, and your phone doesn’t work, you’re just underground and whizzing through the city. The New York subway is another, like, you would get off on the platform and someone is playing amazing music, you get off on another platform and someone has crapped their pants…

What the French audience does not know about you?
I love smelling things. I love… I have a great sense of smell, I don’t know if it’s because of my nose…:-)

You have a beautiful nose!
Everywhere I go I smell things, and then I think I store them in my head because that’s where I drop all my experiences. Sometimes, like the smell of perfume. I’ll recognize the cologne from my high-school boyfriend. If I’m walking down the street, and it takes me back to being in the time period. I just forgot his name, but, see, I always remember the smells.

Interview by Alexandre

Kendra Morris Babble EP cover woman avalanche album Boombow Amerika

EP Babble


Thanks to Aude Saucey for translation


L’Esprit Français: French box for Paris lovers!

A box for lovers, curious and passionate who dream of Paris, want to visit the city and to plan the best stay of their life.
Dreaming of Paris? L’Esprit Français is made for you!
With this original and connected box, we have found the best way to share a little taste of Paris, a kind of amuse-bouche so Frenchy!

L esprit francais gift box collection Paris City Guide discover french style the best way experience the parisian lifestyle arc de triomphe photo usofparis blog


L’Esprit Français, Paris is a box!
Do you want to become a Parisian, for one day, one week?
Before your trip, try the lovely box: L’Esprit Français. We are French, and even we were surprised by the gifts inside. Of course, we can see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacré Cœur every day of our Parisian life. But discovering tasty and cute high quality gifts all about Paris has excited us.

Le Chocolat des français chocolate L esprit francais gift box collection Paris City Guide discover french style the best way experience the parisian lifestyle photo usofparis blog

Full of French gifts
Chocolate! A good one, made in France with a nice graphics and a lot of good ideas.
A delicate 3D view of famous monuments. Gold and black: more original than a plastic Eiffel Tower!
 A bracelet « Vive la France », because of the French flag colors! We wear it on our wrist. Looks great on the subway.
A tote bag, high quality! Not the one the brand offers for 2 purchased products.

L esprit francais gift box collection Paris City Guide discover french style the best way experience the parisian lifestyle photo usofparis united states of paris blog

Connected box
And a guide full of good tips, addresses…
Two versions: a nice glossy booklet or digital with a QR code for exclusive contents. So 3.0!
We find a chocolate quenelle, we have to taste it urgently at Miroir Restaurant (Les Abbesses subway stop). Emergency again with the carrot and goat cheese glam made by Le bio d’Adam & Eve, organic address (Louvre Rivoli stop). We have to shoot and taste it now!
Bateaux Parisiens, in the Spotlight on Famous page, is our favorite boat run on La Seine river. Close your eyes and follow the guide.

L esprit francais gift box collection Paris City Guide discover french style experience the parisian lifestyle chocolate candle postcard bracelet photo usofparis blog

For more information and shop :

Coffret L esprit francais gift box collection Paris Pop Card carte postale french style the best way experience the parisian lifestyle eiffel tower lovers Notre Dame photo usofparis blog


“Oh My Gad” (Elmaleh) and the American Dream…

It was an exciting night at Joe’s Pub in NoHo, Gad Elmaleh, the number one French comedian has been performing there since September and it is a full house tonight. The tickets here tonight are 20$, ridiculously cheap for one of his show but he is a rookie here and needs to get his American audience hooked.

Oh my Gad Elmaleh show Carnegie Hall New York february 11th 2017 humor spectacle
It is not the first time Gad has performed in New York, he was, a few years back, at City Winery with a show geared toward French speaking expats. It is however his first time doing it in English. Joe’s Pub, with its dimly lit room and cozy atmosphere has everything of a Comedy Club and a Café Theatre. In this intimate atmosphere, all the tables in the half moon shaped room are facing the stage allowing a pretty good view from every angle. And despite the many waitresses twirling around the room with overpriced drinks, it an intimate atmosphere as well.

As one would expect, a lot of nationalities are represented tonight. Lots of French and Americans of course but also a few people from Morocco (where Gad is from), Egypt, Canada and Monaco.

Gad Elmaleh is the one!

So here we are, his first show in English, his American Dream or as he puts it “performing in front of people eating burgers”.
Gad’s show is mostly about pursuing his dream to move to New York to be a successful comedian in the US and to do so in English. It is about how hard it has been to learn to be on stage, with a new show, in a foreign language he has yet to master. How he has received help from his friend Jerry (who we know to be Jerrry Seinfeld, one of the leading comedian here), how strange it has been to enter the dating pool with his “couscous belly”, apply for a “Stand Up Comedian Visa” etc…

And let’s face it, he is funny! There is reason why he is so popular in French speaking countries and has been for years.
Most of the audience can relate, you are either a non-English native speaker who has been faced with the same ordeal or an American who has met French speakers going through it…And whoever you are, wherever you are from, you have heard French people argue about directions in the streets of New York City.

Gad is comfortable and seems quite in his element, his English is good and the show is a well-oiled machine. He is even able to come back from an awkward moment when a spectator yells that she is from Monaco. “Monaco?” he says, “I have been there…” before asking the French audience to explain the situation to the Americans who may not know that Mr. Elmaleh was dating Princess Charlotte of Monaco until recently and has a child with her. No biggie…
Follows a very funny moment when Gad talks about explaining to his son who his great grandmothers were. On the maternal side, Grace Kelly, Hollywood Star, Princess and style icon, on his paternal side, a simple woman from Morocco.

Before the show ends, he has conquered the heart of the English speakers as well who are laughing all around me.

He tells us that he will be in Carnegie Hall starting February 2017 (where the tickets won’t be 20 bucks). The American Dream is within reach indeed…

by Emilie S

Oh my Gad Elmaleh show US Tour 2016 Boston Washington Canada Toronto Chicage Seattle Los Angeles Carnegie Hall New York february 11th 2017

OH MY GAD – Gad Elmaleh

March 15th @ Joe’s Pub – NYC
(last night)

US and Canada Tour, 2016 :
Northampton, Boston, Washington, Toronto, Chicago, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco

February 11 (2017) : New York – Carnegie Hall


Astotel 34B Hotel Paris: a unique concept for France lovers

We see blue, white and red everywhere! A Unique experience in the city of Paris, close to Grands Boulevards, Folies Bergeres stage and the restaurant Chartier. Astotel 34B Hotel, 3-star, is a lovely address with space, light and a lot of good spots around.

Hotel le 34B astotel paris 34 rue Bergere duplex room king size-bed booking french design tricolor curtain photo usofparis blog

Le 34B hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere blue and red butterflies duplex room king size-bed booking french design photo usofparis blog

Even for Frenchies like us, the Astotel 34B Hotel is original and adorable. Of course, we are used to the French flag. And finding it as our room curtains could be a nightmare. Surprisingly enough, it was fun for us to see it morning, afternoon and night.

Hotel le 34B astotel paris 34 rue Bergere 75009 blue white red facade french design booking photo usofparis blog

Believe it or not, we took the glass elevator several times to see the facade of the inner courtyard. It’s kind of the main attraction of this address, along with the wide breakfast room.

Le 34B hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere 75009 tricolor corridor french design photo usofparis blog

Le 34B hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere 75009 stairs view from above french design photo usofparis blog

The decor is tricolor. Close your sensitive eyes when you walk down the hall to get to your room. Colors can scare your retina. You will need an adaptation time. After that, it’s only fun and perfect for an original selfie.

Le 34B hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere duplex room king size-bed booking french design photo usofparis blog

Our room?
Spacious, airy and comfortable.
So comfortable, it was impossible to go to the theater as agreed, the evening of our arrival. No desire to move. Just enjoy the quiet and our surroundings.
The beds are comfortable. We have two in our deluxe room, a bed on each floor, same for the toilet.
And although the area is very busy, sound insulation allows a peaceful night and no surprises.

34B Hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere lobby breakfast french design booking photo usofparis blog

34B Hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere 75009 bastille day stone in the wall french design booking photo usofparis blog
Our breakfast?
A lot of space and a large selection.
The tables are not close to each other. Perfect for having some privacy before facing the crowd outside.
Large buffet with mini pastries, breads, juices, eggs, cold cuts, sausages, fruits… Difficult to take everything and therefore difficult to make the right choices.

34B Hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere lobby breakfast with hot chocolate french design booking photo usofparis blog

Astotel 34B Hotel is:
– ideally located to visit the beautiful streets of Paris, on foot or by bike. Metro stations nearby: Grands Boulevards and Cadet …
– a welcoming smile, friendly and bilingual.
– a library with lots of books if you want to discover Paris differently
– a design that you won’t find anywhere else or it would be an infringement

34B Hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere 75009 vintage porcelain fake phone french design booking photo usofparis blog

Astotel 34B Hotel

34, Rue Bergère
75009 Paris

34B Hotel astotel paris 34 rue Bergere vintage kids ride on toy car french design booking photo usofparis blog

4 good spots around for food:

King Marcel
Forget Louis XIV, our new king is Marcel!
To continue your unconditional love for France, go straight to the point with a good French burger made with good produce from the Paris region. A little glass of red wine with your sandwich and your fries, is the last « chic ». Unmissable!

Camion qui fume restaurant
Since this famous food truck was created, a few months ago, by the American Kristin Frederick, you can eat, comfortably, her tasty burgers.

Boullion Chartier
A real movie set! A crowd of tourists at night who wants to discover this place. Our advice: prefer the lunch to see what the French really eat.

Japanese cuisine to introduce you to a specialty: the Gyudon. A hot bowl of rice in fragrant broth, with tasty meat or tofu.
Look at the Oïshinoya bowls closely, with their special design. Only in Paris!


Thanks to Happy City Blog & Emilie S!


NEXT THING YOU KNOW : a lovely musical in a Scottish pub #exciting

Anything is possible in Paris! Even an American musical theatre show in the cellar of a Scottish pub.
The Franco-American company American Musical Theatre Live! Paris (AMT) caters for expats, anglophiles and other spectators looking for new horizons and love stories. it doesn’t take much to believe you’re somewhere else, several miles away from Paris.
A night or two per week, the insiders meet up at the Highlander Pub in Paris’ 6th district. Low key setting, just a chalk board in front of the pub letting customers know there’s a show taking place.
Next thing you know american musical theatre live paris american Pub Highlander Bar écossais rue de Nevers 6e photo by United states of paris usofparis
Next Thing You Know, by Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, is a joyful mix of Friends, When Harry Met Sally (minus the orgasm scene) and some pearls from « Made in New York » rom-coms.
photo Christine Coquilleau - Naït Sidnas
photo Christine Coquilleau – Naït Sidnas
On stage : an inspiring actress who struggles to shine, a new and hopefully upcoming theatre writer, a lesbian singer ready to move to LA, and a womanizer. Four characters for a nice, spicy yet sensible and uplifting show. When the young couple lives a perfect romance, questions about the future, commitments and compromises come to shake up their daily lives.
Will the pretty Waverly accept a position in a law firm, to the risk of giving up her artistic aspirations? Does Darren have time to give attention to and comfort his beloved girlfriend while being torn between his (casual) job and his writing?
Another strong point is that the cast is international. We have the Franco-American Quentin Bruno (Luke), a Brasil-Belgian mix with the young Vinicius Timmerman (Darren), the « Charming French » caution with the spicy Marion Preïté (Waverly), and finally 100% US with the with the high-spirited Miranda Crispin, Devon Graves (playing Lisa in alternance) and Lauren Berkman (alterning with Marion Preïté as Waverly).
Next thing you know musical by AMT Live Paris Marion Preite Vinicius Timmerman Quentin Bruno MIranda Crispin Tolgay Pekin Mathieu Becquerelle Pub Highlander Bar photo usofparis
The lively score and the songs manage to make us forget how small the place is. Tolgay Pekin’s staging is inventive and plays wonderfully with the (real!) bar and the proximity with the audience.
The 4 artists sing in your ear and don’t hesitate to get up close and personal during the evening.
We’re far from the grandiose of the super-production of Singin’ In The Rain that plays at the Chatelet. Here, we jump a few blocks to go Off Broadway, where you can talk to your neighbour, sip on a beer before, during and after the show. Andwhen it’s time for the bows, you’re so full of energy that all you want is sing along with these characters who feel like your friends already!

Music : Joshua Salzman
Lyrics : Ryan Cunningham
direc : Tolgay Pekin
musical direction : Mathieu Becquerelle

@ Pub Highlander Paris
8 Rue de Nevers
75006 Paris

Next shows : March 14th, 15th, 20th and 21st

And @ Théâtre Blanche de Castille
Place de la République
78300 Poissy

april 15th and 16th


Interview: Lauren McQueen, revelation of the movie The Violators & of the Dinard British Film Festival

At the latest Dinard British Film Festival, she was one of the 2 revelations, with her partner Brogan Ellis, who brought both viewers at the theaters and photographers on the red carpet head over heels.
It was the first time in France for Lauren McQueen in order to present The Violators directed by Helen Walsh.
A strong movie that stays with you. An impressive acting performance that did not leave anyone indifferent.
Before the release in France, let’s meet the young actress.

Lauren McQueen & Brogan Ellis
Lauren McQueen & Brogan Ellis

UsofParis : If you had to describe Dinard, in a few words, to one of The Violators cast member to make him/her want to come here, what would you say?
Lauren McQueen : I’d say, It’s a beautiful town, with really nice beaches, cause Liverpool does hardly have nice beaches. It has beaches, but not as nice as these. And the food is really nice!

What made you want to become an actress?
Well, I started of the Musical theatre on the stage and seeing a play when I was younger and I kind of looked up to them and I wanted to be like them. I always used to watch a lot of films when I was younger, Annie. That made me wanna looking a lot of TV and films set. When I was 11, I went to acting classes and just went on from there.

Who was your inspiration?
I absolutely love Angelina Jolie!

I love watching her, she’s so… you can’t take your eyes off her when she’s on the screen. She always plays strong female roles, which I really like.

Actress Lauren McQueen The Violators movie director Helen Walsh Dinard British Film Festival 2015 competition Grand Hotel Barrière France photocall photo by usofparisAt what point in your life did you decide to become one?
It was when I was 11. When I went to the acting classes when we started to do a lot of improvisation, a way to make me confident. I started to go into castings for TV and film. I think that was just the drive and enjoying and, you know the scripts.

It’s very young!
Yeah, I know. I’ve always enjoyed performing arts.

Lauren McQueen Brogan Ellis The Violators movie actress director Helen Walsh red carpet dinard british film festival oprining 2015 france competition photo by usofparisHow much did you learn about your profession while shooting The Violators movie?
Steven Lords who plays Mikey, was important important for me. Cause it was my first feature film, so he kind of really helped me when we were in the scenes like, he was very natural, yeah he really helped just with the conversation in the scripts to be very natural and intense as well and Helen kept us both apart, until day one of filming because on the schedule the first scenes were the lock scenes, they were the really hard, like intense scenes. It really came across, it was like true intensity.

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

What kind of advice did the team give you?
« Shelly» is like a motherly role. She has to look after her younger brother. I have a younger brother so I could use that, with Shelly; a vulnerable side as well. That’s quite similar to me.
But advice, just keep it natural because the film is natural.

How does the director, Helen Walsh work?
Because she was the writer and the director, it was very beneficial because sometimes if you’ve got directors who’s not the writer they can’t change anything in the script. But because Helen was, we kept putting all new ideas into the scenes and I felt really involved in the story.

Did you change anything?
It was a year ago now! We could suggest things and Helen was really open to…, yeah.

How did the movie change your personal and professional life?
I was still at school while I was doing it. I had to take seven weeks off school. I was doing A-levels. After, when I got back to school, I found everyone being dead immature, because I had worked with adults for seven weeks, so I was like: « This is not what I want to do, I want to go back on the set ».

Can you name one very emotional moment you lived on a set?
The moment in the car. The rape scene. That was my first time doing a scene like that. I was a bit nervous for the other, for that compared to the other scenes. That was the main one. The more emotional and especially the scene after, when she is in the bathroom, and she can’t believe what she’s done. She’s done it because she wants to get out of this life. She’s traumatized.

Next step of you?
I’ve got another feature film at the end of this month. It’s a harder film. The name is The Wasting. It’s a writer from Canada. She’s also director for the first time. So it’s kind of a link again first time directors!

Thanks to Emilie, Aude & Joël