Your new album is driven by the taste of others. Where does this joy of meeting come from?
I noticed, over the years, that reaching out to others made me happy. Confronting myself with difference and adapting made me progress. For this album, I wanted to move towards the collective. I love writing my own songs alone, but I feel even richer when I write music with another. I also believe that the path to excellence always leads to encounters. And makes it better.
Is music first and foremost about sharing?
Music without transmission has no meaning. I don’t write songs for myself. Melodies are even more accessible than cinema or literature. A few notes, and the emotion can spread. Whether we listen to it or make it, music is made to be given.
Did we sing in your family?
When I was little, I often heard winner Mistral in the passenger compartment of my father’s car or in the living room of the apartment. This piece by Renaud which sings of unconditional love, pure love, is undoubtedly the one that moves me the most. Generally speaking, music has always been very present at home: classical from my mother’s side; French song and blues for my father. We always sang a lot with my brothers. We also always loved instruments.
You have made the decision to no longer go on tour to take care of your son’s education. Which father do you want to be?
I aspire to be a loving but also present father. The children do not belong to us. I’am aware. My son will not necessarily follow the path I want for him. But I will endeavor to be at his side, to accompany him and to help him in whatever he wants to do. I would like to be a ferryman for him.
What place do your brothers occupy today in your life?
Our backgrounds are very different. They didn’t always understand me, but they always supported me, always gave their point of view on the paths I took. Our relationship, I would say, is that of four boys. Energetic: you have to deal with each person’s personality. I am content to fall asleep each day in peace with the people I love.
With your brothers, you were scouts. What memory do you have of this experience?
Scouting gave air and space to my adolescence. The connection with nature that I discovered there armed me. I learned not to fear the cold, to deal with the elements. But above all I discovered the sense of community, the team spirit, of living together too. There is nothing we can do alone. In a way, I learned to need others. The greatest lesson in scouting.
You are participating in another collective adventure: the initiative of the diocese of Paris, Solidarity Winter, which helps people on the street. What do all these raids teach you?
I formed relationships there that nourished me, established friendships among those welcomed and those who welcomed me. This solidarity chain is run by discreet, generous people, who do not advertise it. I like these human relationships where there is no hierarchy, no competition, no profitability. This selflessness is precious. Deep down, I need to be close to these people more than the people in my world. This keeps my heart balanced.
Participate in the jury of The Voice, is it giving young people a chance?
Of course. I love passing on what I have acquired. I get this taste from my father, a messenger of his experience, who always wanted to help, to give advice. It also gives me the chance to discover projects in progress, to learn from new generations. With The Voice , I made a lot of progress thanks to the candidates. It’s a mutual exchange.
How do we manage to support these budding artists who seek to make their voices heard?
Our mission is part of a concern for truth. We are here to help them move forward, and this requires a frankness that can sometimes be destabilizing. It is therefore necessary to do it with kindness. But I do not compromise: I put the truth above everything. This comes from my own story. I have never cheated, neither with my voice nor with my looks. I assumed what I represented.
In fact, you have often been given the image of a well-bred teenager, of a Catholic with a bit of an old French feel. Did this label make you suffer?
Frankly ? No, I didn’t make a drama out of it. I never tried to be someone else. I grew up in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, I dress quite classically. It’s easy to label me. No matter, I force myself to always go beyond the image that can be given to me. I do not look at others through the prism of their origins, I do not place myself in a class struggle. I find it so beautiful to say to others “I admire you, I appreciate you, even if I am not like you”. The most valuable advice my parents gave me can be summed up in one sentence: “You must adapt to others without ever betraying yourself. » I learned to claim my difference without attacking others.
Do you make a link between music and spirituality?
Spirituality is not necessary to make good music. Many great songs were composed by people who did not believe in any god. But for everyone, music is a refuge, a moment to refocus, whether it is sacred or not.
Can music and art bring people together where geopolitics fails? Especially with current news?
They have a role to play. “Especially with the current news”: I have the feeling that this phrase is sadly repeated. Each era brings its share of misfortunes, with its wars, its tragedies. But artists must hold on. Culture is the oxygen of our civilizations. Without her, life would be too hard. More than ever, we need to talk about love.
You have agreed to be, this year, the sponsor of the Telethon, which will take place on December 8 and 9. Why this choice ?
I have always had a close relationship with disability. My parents wanted my brothers and I to join classes welcoming children with Down syndrome. I was able to measure some of their daily difficulties. So I’m going to give all my time and energy to this cause. With the Telethon, in the space of a weekend, people confined to invisibility become stars. I like the idea that sometimes the last take the place of the first.