INTERVIEW – Christophe Willem returns: “Slimane told me to drop the armor”

Christophe Willem returned to force. After the failure of his last album Rio, he revealed PS: Je t’aime, a pop title, frankly, in which he spoke to his audience, but not only. See you.

Christopher Willem came back stronger than before. While his latest album, Rioreleased in 2017, with no expected success, the singer is determined to win back his audience. PS: loved tika, the first single from an opus to arrive in September is already on the airwaves. What to reboot it. During this cash interview with migratoryChristophe Willem speaks frankly about self -acceptance, askand its place in the current music scene.

Gala.fr: You came back with PS: Loved tika. We avoid making puns with titles!
Christopher Willem
: (She laughs) I read a paper which was wondering if I supported Anne Hidalgo because there was a mention of “PS” in the title. Besides, I received a tweet from PS saying to me “PS, we love you too, Christophe”. Like what they have a sense of humor.

Gala.fr: You may have a lot of reads on your new single, right?
Christopher Willem
: There are three readings. The title is aimed at the public, a feature “why did you zap me, did you move on?”, Since my last project, Rio, released in 2017, didn’t meet its audience accurately. Have a reading of a love story. And the final reading is about self -love. In the sense that I know and I feel that I have changed and I need to leave the person before to move on, in the future.

Gala.fr: Is public frustration a permanent fear?
Christopher Willem
: It was a fear, but fear could not prevent danger. My previous album, Rio, is harder to carry because it doesn’t find its audience. The tour was very good and it comforted me, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t understand the album.

Gala.fr: Exactly, in PS Loved tikayou speak frankly about this feeling of sadness.
Christopher Willem
: And I had a hard time at first. For my team, that was the return title, and for me, it wasn’t decent. For me, it’s hard to say that, with a weakness, and to say that it’s violently rejected. Slimane told me that the public was looking for a closer connection with me and that the armor had to be dropped.

Gala.fr: In the clip on PS: Loved tika, we will see your family. Is this to avoid paying the actors?
Christopher Willem
: (He laughs) Actually, we have to pay everyone for insurance stories. There is no salvation.

Gala.fr: For this new album, you call Slimane. Artistic crush?
Christopher Willem
: The meeting with Slimane was like resetting what was going on. Everything I did for the album was put aside. I rely on something of the soul, and some English titles. It has nothing to do with what happened. Slimane gave me impetus for the future.

Gala.fr: Has this collaboration led to multiple titles?
Christopher Willem
: We tested a lot on other titles, but on the album, PS: Je t’aime that we decided to keep. The other tracks are just too far from the rest of the album, and I don’t want to tell myself ’I put the titles on Slimane because it’s Slimane‘. I want it to make sense. On the album, I didn’t write or compose, because I still had this trauma on the album before where if I didn’t understand what I was saying, I didn’t want to write. (He laughs) There, I wanted a very raw, very straightforward album, and when I was writing, I put up barriers, I put it down, so I let others write down my feelings, while doing involve myself with them.

Gala.fr: Streaming has improved since your last album. From now on, songs are rarely longer than three minutes, for example. Is this something you thought about during the making of the album?
Christopher Willem
: Make shorter titles, yes, because we’re talking about the stream, but radio formats have also evolved. We’re thinking about these parameters, but I don’t want to cut the titles to fit them into a format. At worst, if the long titles become single, we will edit on the radio. For example, on my album, I have a title called In the eyes of others and that lasts about five minutes.

Gala.fr: After New starZazie led your first album Inventory. Is he there for it?
Christopher Willem
: On this album, there are only teams I haven’t worked with. Just a new band. It’s always a pleasure to work with him, but it’s important to get out of your comfortable place.

Gala.fr: I read in an interview that you thought of doing another job during incarceration. Really?
Christopher Willem
: Yes! I would love to do architecture. I would have liked it. In fact, during incarceration, I came out of the difficult stage of the album Rio, I was with my parents because I moved. 15 years after my debut, I found myself in my teenage room and I think, there was something very special. I went back to my passion for music, not my job, which is the record industry. Me, I get into music through a TV movie, and you get into an industry, and that can weaken your love. And I, through the force of the circumstance, it was able to catch up with me at some point in my life. Music, it’s complicated to say it’s a job, because you can’t control the parameters. If you make an album, you send it wild. And the architecture is concrete, you see.

Gala.fr: Health crisis, presidential election, war … As an artist, how do you manage it all? We wonder if music has a place in this news?
Christopher Willem
: I think I can wait for the invasion of aliens too. (He laughs) For three years, we’ve been in a much more complex global context, and for me art is essential to allowing people to escape.

Gala.fr: A coach of The Voice Belgium and you are comfortable there. Will we see you in the French version one day?
Christopher Willem
: I will do it with pleasure, but I have not been contacted to make The Voice in France. But I really like it The Voice Belgium. I don’t know if you still remember when I was still a coach X Factorin 2009, I was immature where my legitimacy was completely flawed, while at The VoiceI’m really into the human talent relationship, and we have it when we’ve overcome the highs and lows of a career.

Gala.fr: On this album, there is Slimane, with whom you seem close. Do you have other business friends?
Christopher Willem
: Jenifer, whom I have known for many years, even before the New star. There is also Amel Bent whom I love unconditionally. I like it. Vitaa and Slimane are kind people. I saw so much of Zazie. Carla Bruni, who I find enjoyable in life and I will discuss many topics. I am also very close to Sophie Marceau because she is that, and I am the godfather of the Arc-en-ciel association.

Gala.fr: Besides, you never thought of making a new duet Jenifer, whom you have known for almost 20 years ?
Christopher Willem
: Funny, but not. We never thought of a duet, or even a project like Vitaa or Slimane, or Vitaa, Camélia Jordana and Amel Bent.

Gala.fr: Sa New star, you are nicknamed ‘the turtle’. Is this still the case?
Christopher Willem
: At least. Those who still call me are the people who follow me from the Nouvelle Star. And there were those who discovered me and asked me why nickname. And there, we took a shot at the old. It’s funny to realize that a part of your life has passed, and a part has begun.

Mask Singerit can be fun to do “

Gala.fr: You are very smart about your private life. If you see articles announcing your marriage, or your future fatherhood, how do you react?
Christopher Willem
: I cried with laughter. I found out that one day I was with a pregnant woman, after I had a boyfriend and we were going to adopt. I saw things, and my teammates laughed. In my youth, I was the stigmatized guy, now, someone trying to wait for me with assumptions, it fell on me. It all makes me laugh. My private life, I can’t say this because I want to preserve the people I love and this intimacy, which I consider sacred.

Gala.fr: You’re funny, so we thought you were good Mask Singer in the future!
Christopher Willem
: Mask Singer, it can be fun to do because it’s something about the sound, the music. Dancing with the stars, for example, I never find myself there, because I don’t know how to dance.

Photo credits: @Pierre & Florent / Sony

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