Archives par mot-clé : music

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.

SELFIE INTERVIEW

 

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.

BONUS 
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)

Shows 

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.

FRANCES / SELFIE INTERVIEW

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.

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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

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FRANCES

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

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Aurora interview-selfie, a strange and touching meeting

Aurora is one of these complex artists that we love to interview and with whom we could talk for hours.  Young girl of 20 years old, Aurora enchants its audience at each concert, with his lyrics and his music worthy of a singer who already have 10-year career. We met her at Barbès, the day after her venue to Rock en Seine. A meeting that we were waiting for over a year, after his concert at La Boule Noire.
We are very happy to share our Coup de Cœur, author of  the wonderful album: All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend.

AURORA / INTERVIEW

Selfie exclu pour #UsofParis
Selfie exclu pour #UsofParis

You seemed very surprised by the public to your concert at Rock en Seine. What did you feel?
Aurora:
For me, it was one of those perfect concerts because when you start it is luminous. There is still daylight and there were many people, but not much. I like when it starts like that and it becomes darker, and the public continues to arrive. At the end, it’s completely dark, it’s magic.
I always said that I loved playing in France, I did a lot of concerts and it was always amazing for me. I feel that here the public understands me. They understand my music and my words when I speak, the audience laughs even when I do not want to be funny, but I like it, it relaxes me.

You had a crazy year, between the release of your album, concerts, the Jimmy Fallon show in the USA (huge!). It is quite unusual for a young girl! How do you live this success?
I know!
In Norway, we use to go swimming in the ice in winter, we make a hole in the ice and plunge into it. When you’re in, you’re so cold! This is the worst and the best thing in the world. When it’s over, you forget that you were so cold, because you’re outside, dry. It was really intense when you did it but it’s the past. It looks like this when you do all these amazing things. It sounds really incredible when you do the list and it was of course. I just do my job and what I should do. I’m not really nervous when I sing because it’s the music.
It is a fairy tale for me when I do it, but once it happened I do not really think about all of this.

Was it your dream job?
I did not dream about this before. I wanted to be an astronaut, maybe a dancer, a writer.

You’ve already written 43 songs, is that true?
Yes, I write songs all the time. I always wanted to write. Even when I was a child I thought I could write songs for other artists. I did not really want to be on stage. But it happened. And I like it ! It was not a dream, but it became one.

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The New York Times compared to Björk, what do you think about this?
I don’t know. I like Björk. I never really listened to her before. Once my album came out, I thought I had to listen to new kinds of music. I bought and listened to some of Björk albums.

So it was not a part of your inspiration?
No, because I didn’t know her before. I had heard of Björk. I don’t have iTunes or Spotify, I don’t easily discover music. I love Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Enya, classical music, soundtracks, I like music without word.
Be compared to Björk now, I don’t really understand, because my first album is a little bit electronic but also organic. But I think we are really simple in how we connect things in our mind.
When I see a man with a guitar I think about Bob Dylan, but Dylan is Bob Dylan and the man with the guitar is the man with the guitar. I think it’s good in the minds of people to remind something that exists, but also be something new. I want to be something new, that’s why I’m here.

Joan: I really like Murder Song
Alex: Me Conqueror...
Joan: I love Conqueror too, but you did not write this one, right?
This is the first song I wrote with others. In fact, I wrote it with two people of my group: Martin, my bassist and Magnus, my drummer. They had this incredible eye when we produced the album.

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Joan: I wanted to talk about Murder Song …
Oh yes ! I have many sad songs, that’s why they said me « try to write with other people to have happy songs. »
Murder Song which I wrote myself, is a very sad, a bloody one. I’m very morbid. I’m fascinated by death and murder.

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Is this something you lived?
Well, maybe…
I just think it’s fascinating how people can be the same people, how you and I need oxygen, can have children, need to be embraced, we need food, water, that we smile at us … we need the same things because we are people. And it’s just fascinating that some people can have in them the desire to kill while some people cannot pick a flower without feeling bad.
That’s about this I wrote Murder Song. How can a man kill someone he loves and it happens often in the world. But he doesn’t really understand what he did, it’s a very complicated story. Her, she didn’t want to be in this world anymore, and she knew that this man would do anything for her. She asks him to kill her and he said : « Ok, I love you, I would do anything for you. « After he killed her, he became sad because she didn’t move anymore and he didn’t understand where she went. He didn’t understand why she left and he start crying. And it is sad, because for the rest of his life, he will not understand and he will be sad.

How old were you when you wrote that song?
18! 🙂

You have a very large fan base, you call them Warriors and Weirdos. In France, they are a lot. Do you have a message for them?
I have so much to say. I love my fans. They are amazing! And I feel that they understand me. I know who my real fans are, who see more in me than I do myself. We are the same, maybe a little different. I write for them. I thank everyone for supporting me, because I need that to be able to do what I do. My fans are the nicest people in the world. In France, I always get gifts, which is really lovely.

What your fans do not know about you?
They know a lot about me, I think. I like to shower with cold water. That’s why I don’t like the showers because I always use cold water and a bit of hot water at the end. It’s good for the skin and it wakes me up.

Aurora music eyes closed portrait live concert Rock en Seine 2016 stage photo united states of paris blog

Do you often meet your fans before or after your gigs, as you did yesterday at Rock en Seine?
Sometimes. I love meeting my fans before the show and also after the show. Sometimes it takes an hour, even two hours. I don’t always have time, sometimes I have to leave directly after the concert. But if I have time, I’m going to discuss with them.

Is it easy to sleep after a concert?
It depends. Sometimes I‘m so tired after a concert where I gave all my energy, all my emotions, it’s very easy to go to sleep. And I sleep like a baby. But if I know that I’ve done something bad, it keeps me awake for a week.

Aurora music original exclusive selfie polaroid for united states of paris blog interview

If you were a fairy tale, what would it be?
I could be a part of the Lord of the Rings. But I’d like to live there after the ring is destroyed, not before, obviously.

If you were a song?
I think I would be a quiet, sad song.
Children of the River, Secret Garden.

If you were a singer?
Iggy Pop. I love it !

If you were a film?
Fantastic Mr. Fox, I just find this movie and I love it.

If you were a word?
In my room, there is a poster with insects and there is a word below: Libellula Depressa. I think it’s pretty. I don’t know what this means. (N.D.R: it is the name of an insect Dragonfly depressed)

What are your future projects?
I’ll do a cooking show! 🙂 No, I don’t even know how to cook. I even burned spaghetti.
I’m on tour until 19 December. And the next project is to make a wonderful second album.

You also auditioned for film, isn’t it?
Yes, Yes. I would like to try. Everything is possible. I auditioned for a movie but I wasn’t inspired by the role. I would like to play in a fascinating film, maybe a possessed woman.

If Paris was one of your songs, what would it be?
I think it would be a romantic song. I think Paris is the city that people dream about with beautiful people,red lipstick, wine. It is also the city of love. I think that I would write from the perspective of a man in the street maybe, how he sees the city where he lives.

Interview by Joan et Alexandre

AURORA
All my demons greeting me as a friend
(Capitol Music France / Universal Music France)

Concert: 
La Maroquinerie, Paris, October 24th

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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 INTERVIEW

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?
P!nk

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

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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.

INTERVIEW / KENDRA MORRIS

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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.

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

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

KENDRA MORRIS
EP Babble

 

Thanks to Aude Saucey for translation

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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!
 

NEXT THING YOU KNOW
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

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KELE Okereke interview in Paris – new solo album Trick

Few days ago, Kele Okereke was in Paris to present his new solo album, Trick, after a last tour with Bloc Party band. He shared with us the genesis of these new sensitive and rhythmic songs.

Kele Okereke Trick new solo album bloc party music band singer musique indie record photo

United States of Pari s: Do you often look back on your past career ? Do you have special memories of some things that surprised you as a singer, as a musician ?
Kele: Yes, but to be honest I don’t spend much time, I don’t spend any time looking back, with nostalgia or anything like that. I’m far more concerned with looking forward but yeah, there have been cool things that happened, of course, over the 10 years I’ve been doing it. I remember the first time we played in Paris with this show, at Pigalle, Les Inrocks Festival. The kids were just going completely crazy. At that point, I’d never seen anything like it for us. I also have lots of fun memories of coming to Paris.

When I listened to your first album The Boxer, I felt that you were a sensitive, or even a very sensitive man. Am I wrong ?
Kele: No. I feel that I am a human being and I have more than one side. There are different aspects to my personality. You know I am a sensitive guy but I can also be a douche bag, I can also be a jerk, so I am not just like a wet lettuce , I can also be funny.

But you share your feelings with the audience in these two albums.
Kele: Yeah. I share certain feelings. As a songwriter I’m really only concerned with telling stories. These records are not entries in my journal, or my diary. I’m telling stories, I’m obviously projecting aspects of my life in these songs. I don’t want people to feel that this is what I am. This is what I’m choosing to share.

About Stay the Night, can you tell me few words about  ?
Kele: Stay the Night is one of my favorite songs on the record. I like… it was a different type of start of singing for me, and it was a different kind of subject to me to sing about. I like that idea of me as a spurned lover.
To me the lyrics seemed very kind of sad, melancholic, more…It was a different type of song for me to write.

Do you remember where and when you wrote this song ?
Kele: I recorded the record over 2 years from 2012 until the start of 2014. I started to work so I was touring, so a lot of these songs I’ve been working on for 2 years. Stay the Night was one of the first ones from this session. But it started off in a very different way. I had a lot of different lyrics, it really took a year for it to tend to what it became.
I was listening to an Usher song called Climax that he released a few years ago. I wanted something that has the same kind of emotion, that is romantic, kind of pretty sweet somehow.

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

Do you suffer a lot because of love, or did you suffer a lot ?
Kele: Yeah, I guess so. I’ve always been quite a romantic person. The thing is, I always fall very quickly into love with people that maybe are not really deserving. But I haven’t had my heart broken for a long time. The last time I really had my heart broken was probably when I was a teenager and it really, really hurt. And there was nothing else I could think about, that kind of crazy feeling of… you can’t get it out of your head. That was the last time I felt that and I think because of that I’ve always quite well insulated myself in oncoming relationships. I was more, not pessimistic, but I’ve always reminded myself that at some point this isn’t going to be there, which is kind of a self-defeating attitude perhaps, but it’s realistic.

What was your first desire or wish for Trick before writing and recording it ? Did you have an idea or a direction for this album ?
Kele: Yes, I wanted it to feel like it was a night time record. I wanted it to feel like it was slightly underdone, like there weren’t too many ideas in the songs, like there wasn’t too much happening. That there was a real, clean, minimal, sense of space in the music. That’s what I wanted from the op cit. Because I’d spent a lot of time over the last years doing Dj’ing and I think playing house music or techno music on loud speakers you become very aware of the separation that needs to occur. The softer sounds you can get in the music, the sound is good when it has very few elements in it . Whereas in the past with all the records I’ve made, I’ve always fixated on getting as much happening in the space as possible. And I thought this is the time maybe to try something different. That was the only thing I had going into making my record.

Did you try something new during the writing or the recording of this album ?
Kele: I guess the lyrical matter was something that is not really an area that I’ve been so confident about writing. I’ve never really written about desire, I’ve never really written about expressing that. I’ve written about love or heart break, I’ve never really written about that feeling of getting an erection or something, or that kind of feeling. I don’t think that it’s like coarse or smutty but I think that desire is a very important part of pop music.

Do you remember what mood you were in during the writing process ?
Kele: Trick was recorded over two years. That’s a long period of time for a sustained kind of mood, but I guess initially I was touring with Bloc Party for the first half of that. The initial sections were very kind of furtive, I didn’t know yet what was going to happen but I wanted to create, to express myself. And then we stopped touring and I started DJ’ing. I DJ’ed for a year and a half, every week-end I went to the States, Australia, Asia, Europe. I have just been DJ’ing for the last year and a half. And to be honest I’ve really enjoyed that rhythm.

But for the most part I was just DJ’ing on the week end so I was busy and the week free and I’ve never really had that kind of routine of travelling but then also being at home. And I realised I actually prefer it because you can still have a semblance of a normal life when you’re at home in the week.
It took quite a long time actually I remember, making this record, I had it at the end of 2013 and they were : « Oh no, we need more songs. « Oh great« , but then I wrote Coasting and Humour Me and a whole bunch of songs which turned out to be my favorite songs on the record. I’m glad that I had that period, I think it’s good to have people around you that you trust, that can bounce stuff off . But as for the mood I don’t remember being in an especially anxious need, and if I was making this record or something that I had to make me feel good, so I don’t feel that lead into the music at all.

Is your relationship to the audience different when you’re alone on stage from when you’re with Bloc Party ? Do you have different sensations or relations to the audience ?
Kele: I’ve done five or six shows as a solo artist for this run of shows and as I said I’m only doing it on the week end, so I think personally I’m still finding my feet a lot with the act of performing giving that there is not a band and it’s all about the visuals and stuff. Personally, I feel it’s still a relatively new experience for me, but that said, standing in front of a room full of people, singing to them, it’s the same emotion that I feel when I stand on stage and I sing in Bloc Party. You’re expressing yourself and you can feel the crowd. But it’s about how I feel and I still feel that sense of joy about performing, so yeah, I think it’s the same.

Kele, new album Trick
(Kobalt)

Twitter : @KeleOkereke
Facebook : www.facebook.com/kele

Interview réalisée avec  l’aide d’Aude Saucey

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Music : interview with CHVRCHES about scottish pop, concerts, touring, The Bones of That you believe

Met a few hours before going on stage at the Trianon for their concert event in Paris, members of the group CHVRCHES talk about their influences, the atmosphere tour and the evolution of their live music, their latest album – The Bones of That you believe – and the next one, ready to be recorded.

B & G: We’d like to know what you think about several Scottish bands, starting with Glasvegas ?
Iain Cook: I really loved their first album. When it came out, there were a lot of people that we are friends with who were a bit suspicious of them because of the way they were using the dialect and the accent and stuff like that… But it’s a nice kind of blending of styles: shoegaze, 50s-style rock, genuine Glasgow confessions or stories. That’s a really interesting band and their new album is also really good.

B & G: Primal Scream ?
Martin Doherty: This band is not entirely Scottish but they have a Scottish front man [ndlr: Bobby Gillespie]. I’m a big fan of Primal Scream. From a personal point of view, two records are considered to be very important: XTRMNTR [2000], at least because Kevin Shields was involved, and Evil Heat [2002].

B & G: Belle & Sebastian ?
IC: Belle & Sebastian have been around for… as long as I can remember. I remember being at school and one of my friends had got a copy of Tigermilk [Belle & Sebastian debut album, 1996] which at the time was not released properly, it was only ever released on a very small pressing of vinyls, so it was really difficult to come by. It was just the time when The Boy With The Arab Strap was blowing up. My friend came at school with this copy, on a tape he got from somebody. It was a really big deal! Their importance remains. It’s not the kind of music that I listen to, but I have a lot of respect for a band that has a career as long as they have.

B & G: Has any of these Scottish bands been an inspiration to you ?
IC: We grew up listening to all of the bands of Glasgow that we were into at the time. All of the bands of the Chemikal underground [an independent record label set up in 1994 by Glasgow Scotland rock band The Delgados] were really important to us, forming our musical landscape. We loved the Delgados, Arab Strap, particularly Mogwai for me. Those are the bands I still listen to and still think they’re really important.

B & G: Do you think there is a Scottish pop with a Scottish specificity ?
MD: There are different styles. Maybe Scottish bands have in common a certain level of self-depreciation and humor. That’s what, I would say, would be the “Scottish element” (laughs).

Synthpop

 

B & G: You said in an interview that synthpop suited better groups like Depeche Mode because you think you use more modern production techniques, especially in the rhythm techniques, and the focus on melody can make your band more unique. What’s the Chvrches’trademark ?
Lauren Mayberry: I think that synthpop implies a certain time period… We are not really part of that. But I don’t really know, does anyone want to help me? (laughs) We don’t want to be a pastiche band nor a chart pop band. We are just writing primarily on the synth instead of the guitar.

MD: Synthpop refers to a period in time and a synthpop band appears to be a retro band. We don’t really subscribe to that. There is a small element of what we do that is in the technology that was used at the time and that we use. But to describe our band now, it’s just “song focused electronic pop music”, somehow influenced by yesterday but it’s not really definite. When you tie something to genre, you immediately impose rules on yourself and I consider that to be a negative thing. I don’t think there should be any rules.

Touring

 

B & G: About the concerts, are you more anxious with the venues getting bigger and bigger as your success is growing ?
IC: I think that initial nervousness comes from the fact that it was a studio based project. There were no plans to take it live. Technically, it was a difficult exercise to translate our songs on stage, to translate it well in a live environment. We played our first show in July 2012, that’s nearly two years ago, we played a lot of shows, so I feel like that kind of nervousness about playing live is way gone. Now, every time we play, every tour we do, we thrive to be better.

B & G: You did a lot of concerts in 2013 and you are touring a lot around Europe still now in early 2014. Do you still manage to appreciate waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning to take the bus and go from one place to another… ?
MD: I don’t think I’ll ever appreciate waking up at 4, even if it was to get a million pounds! But, I mean, it’s hard to complain about this job. There is a lot of worst things that we could be doing with our lives. And I love all our songs. About the evolution, to us, it’s not about being more comfortable on stage, it’s more about feeling better.
IC: The only time I can get bored with playing a song is when we’re not having a great gig for technical reasons. But the most important is that people have a good time and enjoy and sing along, and when it means something to them.

B & G: How would you sum up, in a few words, 2013 ?
LM: I feel like we covered a lot of ground, it was a lot of ‘first times’ of things [first album, first shows…]. We learned a lot, but we are still learning a lot, I think. So, yeah, it was good!
MD: It was good, that’s the word!

B & G: And in January 2015, how would you like to sum up 2014 ?
MD: In one word? (laughs) I would like to achieve satisfaction and success, in the way that I want to.

The next album

 

B & G: You said in an interview that you were “looking forward to getting back to the studio”. Do you know where your second album is heading to ?
IC: We play in some festivals during the summer but we have some breaks that we will use to make a proper start. We’re looking forward to getting back to the studios. We have many ideas.
MD: We would not be very good musicians if we had no ideas! (laughs)
IC: Let’s say we want to finish the heavy schedule for September…

B & G: Which colour would you choose to describe your first album? And the next one ?
MD: I’d say the first album is dark orange; the second album will be red.
IC: The third is going to be purple.
LM: That sounds good. Red and blue, that makes purple!

by Baptiste et Gérald PETITJEAN
http://ljspoplife.magicrpm.com

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ASGEIR : #interview about his album In The Silence, Torrent, songwriting, Iceland and Paris

Maybe, you don’t know yet the incredible voice of ASGEIR. On stage, this singer from Iceland shines. Last concert in Paris sold out – Nouveau Casino –  and a endless world tour to share his music with everyone.
Asgeir Trausti surprised us, his songs touched us all in different ways. We wanted to learn more about his album In The Silence, his inspiration and thes songs, King and Cross and Torrent which haunt us from the moment we first listen to them.

United States of Paris: What surprises you most since Iceland and the world listen to your songs?
Asgeir: First, it was just how people reacted to the music and how fast everything happened in the beginning, because I never believed in what I was doing. It still surprises me that more and more people are liking the music everyday and also the fact that a lot of people outside of Iceland seem to prefer the Icelandic version of the album, witch means that although you don’t understand anything in the language people can still connect to the music.

What was your first desire or wish for this album, before recording it?
My desire was just being able to record some of my songs with good sound and in a proper studio, and then when it was decided to release something I was hoping to sell maybe 300 copies to the people around me.

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

We want to know everything about Torrent. The writing, the recording.
The emotion of singing it for the first time for yourself. And after, on stage.
I wrote the song about a year before we started recording the album and at the time I was working at a hotel in my hometown and had recently met a girl, and I wanted to try and impress her by writing a song for her, well mostly just that I could play a few instruments, so I went home and started playing the piano and this is what came to mind first. Then I recorded the piano, drums, guitars and then the vocals, in that order ! Once the demo was ready I gave it to her. Then a year later we started recording the album and this was one of the songs chosen for the album. And like with most of the songs I had the help from a lot of great musicians that really gave the music what it needed to be complete. Like with all of the songs the songwriting and lyric process was quite separate, and in this case my dad wrote the lyrics, which are about inner war that you fight in your own mind and is the toughest in cold and dark nights, when we did the English translation the American musician John Grant translated the song.The song is really wide vocally and has a lot of strong harmonies that make the song of what it is. Its one of the most difficult songs to sing live, and the harmony part is backed up by Julius Robertsson who sings backup vocals with me.

What can you tell us about the track King and Cross ?
This is a song that was originally called Leyndarmal, Secret in English, and it was a song that I never thought should be on the album because I didn’t think it fitted to the atmosphere of the record. In the end it made all sense and it was the second single released in Iceland. It really helped with the success of this project in Iceland. It was the first single released outside of Iceland and has been getting the most attention of all the songs on the album. When we recorded the song my dad wrote lyrics to two verses and the chorus, but when recording the vocal parts I felt the song needed another verse, and at the time no one knew about me in Iceland and I felt it didn’t really matter what we were doing, so in the process of recording the vocal parts Julius (the other lyricist for the album) was in the studio and we just sat down in the kitchen for ten minutes and wrote something down that could fit to the rest of the lyric to be able to finish the song, and in the end that was the lyric that was used. So the lyrics is written by both my dad and Julius. Again, this song was translate to English by John Grant.

During the recording of your album, did an accident happen? A good accident? Something strange which became essential?
One could be that Leyndarmal (King and cross) was chosen to be a song on the album, because it has played a big role for this project. Also there was a synthesizer, a Korg Delta in the studio that I had never played before and some songs were written on that synth, like the first song, Higher.

When was the greatest emotion you ever felt performing music?
It’s hard to say, and really no way to point any one thing out.  It’s always changing and the things you are hearing can be so different. I remember going to church as a young boy and listening to my mom controlling the choir and being blown away, also going to Sigur Ros concerts when I was younger and being really inspired. Also just different musicians that you hear along the way.

Which singers inspire you?
Jonsi (Sigur Ros), Al Green, Jeff Buckley, Justin Vernon, Thom Yorke, Peter Gabriel. More recently Viktor Taiwo, Thundercat, James Blake.

What is the best lesson you got from your father?
His biggest part in my life is probably that he has always believed in what I am doing and encouraged me to keep working on my music.

Is this one of your fans told you a story about his or her special relationship with one of your songs?
What comes first to mind is just a lot of Icelanders that live outside of Iceland and when they listenhear some of my songs, like Going home they really miss being home (in Iceland).

ICELAND

Iceland is a dream for many Frenchies. What amazing things can happen in Iceland?
Many amazing things can happen in Iceland, The things that move people the most is first of all just the nature and the energy it brings. Also the northern lights that you can see in the winter time when its really cold, weather conditions and that its bright day and night in mid-summer and dark both day and night in the winter time.

Our team will be in Iceland, for the first time, this year. What is your best advice for exploring your country?
Just to see Reykjavik and find out how relaxed it is there and easy to go around, maybe see some concerts? The most beautiful place in my opinion is my home area, in the north west side, drive around Hrutafjordur and midfordur. It’s also really nice in the east around Egilsstadir, Neskaupsstadur. If you have a car, just drive around the whole country, it’s all beautiful!

PARIS 

May Paris inspire you to write a song? Which song?
Well maybe in the future but I haven’t really had the time to explore the city as I would have wanted. I’ve been there around four times already but always just stayed for one or two days, and been really busy on those days. But after a few weeks we’re planning on going there again and hopefully get some more time to see the city.

What is the craziest thing you did in Paris?
I’m not sure about the craziest, but we went to see Jim Morrison’s grave at Pere Lachaise Cemetery.  That will always be a lasting memory.

ASGEIR, album In the Silence
Because

 

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