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AURORA:’music is a driving force’ #Interview in Paris

AURORA is really our musical crush from the last two years. It is always a big pleasure to see her on stage, and since we discover her we cannot stop to listen to her music. It is kind of an addiction. We met her a second time just after the release of the first step of her second album called Infections of a different kind. She talked with us about her album recorded in France. She tend to be more political, more activist with this new record and we discussed her vision of the world. Time is always too short with Aurora, she is so passionate! 

INTERVIEW / AURORA 

Aurora

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USofParis: You released your second album, the step one, why did you split this album?

AURORA: Well, because I want people to have time. I would like to split my album so people will have more attention on each song. I wanted every song to feel special.
My first album is a kind of a process about our own demons, about fighting for your healing and giving yourself time to become better. This step is kind of a quite natural continuation to the first album. It is about making choices for yourself. Like if you are unhappy with someone you should leave, if someone is treating you bad, you should leave her/him. You can change how you feel about, every day. You can decide how happy you are. I want people to be happy.

Why?

Because when I have many happy people, I have people who are a resource to the world. When you are happy you can actually do something. You can create, you can help, you can fight for the people who can’t fight for themselves. That is why it is so important to me that my friends, my supporters, my family are happy.

How many steps do you plan to release for this project?

That is so exciting, isn’t? It will have more than one. 🙂
I know! But in my team, they don’t know yet. I am in a kind of a long journey.

You chose France to write and record this album. Why?

Because on my first album, I can hear that it is kind of cold, it is sharp, kind of dark. I am really affected by where I am. Everyone is, you know. I write all the time, I write on tour, I have many songs, maybe 200.
I wanted to go to a different place, where no one can reach me like I was on a different planet. So I went to France, to a place called La Fabrique which was beautiful. I love the people there, they have a dog, Paula, and Ginger, the cat, they are married. It was fabulous. During the recording days, they were in the studio with us, I can hear Paula and Ginger on the album. The album is warmer, I really wanted to try to be more organic. I recorded some organic sounds and making them sound ‘otherworldly’. I really explored because I know more about myself now than I did.

Aurora

For your first album, in an interview, you said that ‘My first album is like the old AURORA’. In this one, is it the present AURORA?

Yes! 🙂

Who is she?

My perspective is bigger because I sing so much more than I thought. I met so many people from Brazil, Australia, Asia, France… I learned a lot. Now I know more about what I think the world needs from me. I want to make the music I feel the people need because music is a tool, music is a driving force that can change so many things and inspire people. I hope that my music can be the kind of friend people need, now. That is why I’ve gone quite political, I feel now is the time we need to be a bit more political.

Why do you have this commitment?

Aurora: Things are happening in the States, in France, in Brazil, in Norway, all over the world. We may think that they are in control but they are not. We are! Because we are more people than they are. But they have more power. I just feel like now is such an important time to be political. If you are ok here then you have to go there and help, show them support. It is so sad, it is really heartbreaking. I just really want people to be a warrior for the ones you need it. We can choose what to do now, we can choose to do something good about it or not. We have done worst before in History, and we have come very far. I think with the right attitude we can have big History again. We have to remember that we can and we should care even though it is not about us.

Do you know why you are a singer?

It changes from day to day. There are so many things I don’t understand about humans. Why we do so many strange things, and why we are so clever. We are the most intelligent species on earth, we say. But it is so weird what we choose to do with this intelligence, so many stupid things. Horrible. We also do so many good things. Most of the time, I really feel inspired to be apart. You know, my words mean nothing when no one is listening to them. It is not the same if you scream in the forest, because no one is taking the words. I am so honored to have people listening to me. We are more than an artist and fans, we are like a community. It is very inspiring and scary, but good, to see how quick, things, can change for so many. I really feel that is my biggest purpose now, to kind of just remind people that they are so important, even though they may feel small.
And sometimes I think I just want to be free and I like to be on stage because I feel like I am a free soul. I just dance and I can make stupid gestures and I don’t care about it.

Aurora

Infections of a different kind is the only song you wrote alone, right?

Even though there are names on the credits, because even if you are in the room you still get your name as a writer on the song, because everything/everyone affects the song, I do all my melodies and the lyrics myself for all of my songs. Because I’m quite selfish and I know what I want. I am very busy, I tour all the time, I write all the time. It is hard to finish things alone because my mind is so all over the place. I have a thousand ideas at once. It is so nice to be with friends and to make something together. Normally I just put out songs and I record them in with these people and we build up the universe and I usually take it with me and do it again my way. It is nice to create something with people that can teach me something and help me.
It is a really personal thing, that is why I like to do the lyrics myself because I don’t want people to know what they are about. I want them to have the same experience than anyone else. It is an all-new experience singing the songs when you write them yourself.

The connection is strong with your songs! 

I do two covers sometimes on stage (Life on Mars, Nature Boy), it is very nice because you can help keep a song alive. Some people may never hear, some people may forget about it. It is an all different thing when I know where the song comes from. Every one of my songs is not personal, but they’ve come from some things I’ve seen or heard, on my journey to who I am now.
Infections of a different kind is the only song I wrote when I was completely alone in a dark room. It was in the middle of a night, I woke up. But I still write all my songs myself just because I like my own ideas.

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We adore Forgotten Love. We think that is so sweet of you the way that you sing about love. You are always touring, do you have time for love?

Aurora: I am always touring and even if I am home, I choose myself first. I need to make sure I have the right energy for my next trip because I will meet a hundred fans and I want to give them all that I have. I need people in my life who understand that right now. We are small pieces of a big world and that is how it has to be.

A sound that makes you happy?

She imitates a bird.

A song that makes you cry?

Most of the songs by Edith Piaf

A song that makes you dance?

You can call me Al by Paul Simon

A song that makes you think about home?

The ocean (she makes the sound of the ocean)

A song that makes you think about your childhood?

Susan by Leonard Cohen

A song that makes you fall in love?

Also every song by Edith Piaf

Interview by Alexandre and Joan

AURORA
Infections of a different kind – Step 1

 

BONUS!!!!! 

AURORA: I love going to rave parties, alone, sober. You should never go to a rave party alone and drink alcohol. That’s a no-no. I like it because I listen to music and dance until 6 am, then I like to go home and meditate until the next day.

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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.

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

frances-music-things-ive-never-said-album-cover-capitol-music

FRANCES

First album Things I’ve Never Said
(Capitol Music)

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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

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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

Kendra-Morris-selfie-interview-Babble-EP-exclu-united-states-of-paris-blog

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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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 : lespritfrancais.com

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

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“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

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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
(3-star)

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.

Oïshinoya
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!

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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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