“In my songs, I cheat a little, I round off the angles with my feelings”, says Angèle.

A documentary on Netflix, available this Friday. Then a second album, which will be released on December 10th. What do these two cultural news have in common? Both are the intimate work of Angela. The singer engages in the exercise – now almost a ritual for artists like OrelSan or Billy Eilish recently – documentary on a streaming platform. But the Belgian singer with the double diamond disc for Brol uses it to give keys to the songs of his new album, Ninety-five.

“Sad banality, it’s stupid to cry. And yet since that day, it’s easier to write, it’s more beautiful to sing things that I don’t admit ”, she sings in Right words, penultimate song of his album. From her youth as a daughter of (her mother and her father are famous in Belgium) to her media overexposure, through her painful debut on stage and a depression in the heart of the hurricane of success, Angèle tells, via newspaper extracts intimate friends that she rediscovers, her vision of her dazzling journey.

20 minutes met comet Angela, in a rare moment of calm, on the eve of the documentary’s release. Barely interrupted by the attempts to deconcentrate her dog Pépette, the singer tells without dodging where she is in the face of success, two weeks before the release of her second album.

We feel that this film also serves you a little to clear up misunderstandings… Do you have to have seen the documentary to understand your new songs?

At first, I never imagined making such an intimate and personal document. I did not have perspective on what I had lived for three years and therefore I did not know that it was being told. I thought we were going to make a documentary on my early career, but we quickly realized that it was going to be uninteresting. Everything had already been told, but from the point of view of the public. When we started to be interested in the fact that I was writing – even before writing songs – in notebooks, it started. I discover these notebooks in front of the camera, I read these passages and there I dive back into feelings that I had forgotten …

What is written there is your feeling of suffocation, of not being in your place, of being empty… Looking back, do you think you have had a depression?

I was worried anyway. It was better as soon as I had time to digest, as soon as it calmed down. Before making this film, I hadn’t realized what was wrong. It was therapeutic.

You often say that you want to be sincere and true. Is writing your truth?

This is a writing that I really needed. The words we write are louder and truer than the videos. In writing, pure thought is engraved. Unconsciously I wrote all this down so as not to forget.

And in the writing of the songs, is there this same truth?

I always cheat a bit in songs. I smooth the angles with my feelings and use metaphors so as not to speak too directly about the topics. I also reserve a part of the mystery … But for it to do me good, it has to come from the heart.

At the end of the documentary you say that you will always remain the young girl from Brussels who tells love stories. Don’t you like playing a character?

I tried. On the first tour, the person I was on stage or on TV was a bit different from me. But in real life this is not quite possible. This singer, she has my face, she has my first name. It’s complicated to create a character… And that’s what makes my music I think, the sincerity, the heart.

You talk about your anxieties at the time of the release of your first album in the documentary, and this second album is enough …

Sad ?


These songs may be like the last few years, so a little sadder. Not only for me but also because of the anguish that reigned in all of our lives.

The documentary shows you in confinement. And you are quite happy there …

Nobody went through this period without anxiety I think, and nobody lived it in the same way But for me, he helped me. The fact of no longer being in the media and in representation helped me put the scale of serious things back in life. Where before I could be worried about disappointing or not being up to par, the confinement calmed me down and I realized my chance to do this job.

Did you plan to compose during this period?

Not at all ! Containment allowed me to stop. If it hadn’t been for the confinement I think I would have traveled, I would have… fled.

Run away from what? The music ?

Flee my life, my fears. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to realize why I do what I do. The confinement forced me to find myself facing my desires. It allowed me to work on myself, to confront myself with what had damaged me.

It is in this context that you composed this introspective album. But you could have kept these songs a secret, like your diaries.

At the end of the tour I said that I didn’t want to release anything for five years, I needed to put the deadline for this second album very far and to make music for fun. I did a lot of songs without thinking about it. When I started putting them together, I took stock of what I had. The most engaging songs, I found a natural place for them in the midst of the more personal songs. And that made this album.

The committed songs of the album, which deals in particular with violence against women, are very far from Balance your what.

Balance your what was kind of a first draft on feminism and sexism in a hyperglobal way. But this song was written at a time in my life when I was not very deconstructed and not very familiar with a lot of things. I had a deep instinct that I had something to say about it but I had not delved into the subject. The feminist songs on this album are pretty harsh, and not pop songs. Besides, apart Brussels I love you, which is the lightest song on the album, the others all have a sadder, more anguish, or something darker grain

Same Taxi, the love song …

It’s a song about the end of a love, of a couple. Even if we do not really know… This song, it does not tell ONE story but appeals to many stories that I have lived. Love songs have the particularity of being able to tell the stories of many people.

In the documentary you say that you had your coming out stolen and that you, as a young woman, lacked a role model for lesbian women. Are you ready to embody this model for the young women who listen to your songs?

I don’t know how I would have handled things if I hadn’t had this coming out stolen from me. It’s unfortunate, but we are in a world where it happens like that. It’s ugly but there are a lot of ugly things related to my job and my notoriety. I had to accept it, my private life generates a lot of fantasies and fictions. But it was important to be able to talk about it in the documentary, to say that it’s not nice to have been photographed with my girlfriend, but also to ask the question whether it can help me. ‘speaks. I think it can be useful if it happens when I have chosen.

Has this moment come?

I do not know. A photo of me with my current girlfriend isn’t a problem in itself, but it happened at a time when I wasn’t ready. My coming out, I did it later when it seemed more comfortable, with a photo on Instagram.

Have you considered devoting a song to your homosexuality?

I already did it a little unconsciously on the first album with Your queen and You’re looking at me. It was my way of being able to talk about homosexuality without talking about it in a completely clear way. If people didn’t know they couldn’t necessarily understand.

Now the audience will listen to them with another ear. In your love songs on this album, the adjectives agree with the feminine.

Yes, it’s discreet … There is also the song Solo which speaks of the couple, of the vision we have of a couple, in a more general way. But between the lines, she talks about the social obligation of being straight. Finally, I believe that in all my songs I infuse a little of that. It’s my way of talking about it.

This quest for authenticity also involves the end of self-mockery. After Brol, this album is more serious.

Self-mockery, I would always have it. But I also wanted to go elsewhere. As I was young when I started out, I was afraid of being too quickly sexualized. Humor allowed me to put it all at bay. But this self-mockery also prevented me a little from expressing myself artistically. The second degree creates an offset which is not suitable for certain subjects.

Like the hair under the arms for example?

(Laughs) But there is no song about that in the album!

No, but there is a long streak in the documentary, and the subject seems serious to you.

It’s nothing but that sums up my problem quite well. It turns out that two years ago I was invited to sing at the Cannes Film Festival. Me, it pisses me off to shave under my arms. That day, I did not want to take away part of my identity, my personal and private choices to enter a code that I do not validate. But if we see that I have not shaved my hair, we will take it as a political act … In short, the puzzle and the risk is that we will talk more about my hair than my performance when I would like it to be. ‘we leave the women alone with their hair. In the end all is well since no one saw that I had hair under my arms.

But the problem will remain the same at the next Cannes Film Festival.

Yes, and we come back to the question of coming out and its power, its usefulness. I didn’t want to hide anything, but at the same time to say it… When you touch on subjects that make you talk so much, you risk no longer talking about my music.

Lots of people follow you for what you represent, and not just for your music.

I know. But I don’t know if it’s a good thing. People see me as an image that is not who I really am. There is a part that the public doesn’t necessarily need to know, that I don’t want to give.

But you still have to give enough to be sincere.

Yes. It is complicated.

source site