[MUSIC/Acoustic ~ France]
by Adrian Miller.
French French pop folk superstar Tété was a big hit at Womadelaide in 2012, and has returned to play at the So Frenchy So Chic festivals in the Eastern States, but is also including a performance in Adelaide this Sunday at Trinity Sessions in Goodwood. The Clothesline caught up with him via email to find out what we can expect:
Welcome back to Australia! What is your best memory of playing at WOMADelaide in 2012?
“My best memory is getting to talk with this man who told me his life had no meaning anymore, until he heard my music, which made him want to strive and thrive again. Such a humbling blessing. Will never forget this moment.”
You have been touring a lot since then. What is your favourite part of touring?
“My favourite part is all of it. From the moment you hop into the van, to the chills right before getting on stage. There’s so much at stake. People moving out of their way to come see me perform… Can’t believe how lucky I get to be.”
Do you have any difficulty getting non-French speaking audiences to relate to your songs?
“I think it’s important to connect, establish a relationship, whether by explaining the story to the song before singing it, whether with energy of the music. I think melodies have a language of their own. Whether sad or uplifting, one often gets the emotion to a song, even if you don’t grasp the exact meaning. I think it’s the universal magic of music.”
Have you often played in churches, as you will be doing this time in Adelaide?
“It has happened at times. Whether you’re religious or not, it’s all always such an experience since churches are often built on ancient energetic sites. So powerful.”
Rather than just a collection of songs, your new album Fauthentique seems to be asking a lot of questions about the current state of the world. What are the essential issues you want to discuss with this album?
“My album talks about our perception of reality, and how easily it can be altered if we don’t pay attention.”
What has the reaction around the world been to your approach on this album?
“Very positive I have to say. These topics and issues are ironically so much part of our lives.”
Do you think songwriters have any opportunity or responsibility to help people understand or improve their world?
“I think my responsibility is to tell stories. Stories define and unite us all. They are a great vector of culture, and values.
“Stories help us make sense of what happens around us.”
Will you be bringing a band to Adelaide or are you performing solo?
“I will be performing solo, just the way I started 20 years ago when busking in the streets of Paris.”
What do you anticipate people will like most about your performance?
“Looking back, people usually talk about the melodies, the emotional charge and the uplifting energy when they walk out of my shows, whether they can understand the language or not.”
You have interviewed many songwriters and met a lot of musicians over the years. What impact has this had on your approach to songwriting?
“It was as humbling as empowering. You always have something to learn from the world around you. Also it has helped how hard it can be to interview people. So I’m doubling my efforts to be twice as nice when being interviewed ever since.”
Have you begun to think about your next album yet?
“I always have new songs brewing in the back of my head, but this year I’m going to release an acoustic version of my album and a side project dear to my heart. But don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret for the time being.”
Tété performs at Trinity Sessions, 318 Goodwood Road, Clarence Park, from 4pm on Sun 19 Jan, with special guests Louise Blackwell and The French Set.
Book at TryBooking on <trybooking.com>. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Jerome Juv Bauer