Aloïse sauvage up and coming french speaking musician
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Aloïse Sauvage
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November 2, 2022
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Aloïse Sauvage, leader of the pack

Aloïse Sauvage will play (with Kaky and Silance), on Friday, November 4 at the Docks, Lausanne.

This interview was made by Vagin Pirate For 360 Magazine: here is the original article.

Your new album starts with Montagnes Russes. It seems like you set the tone for the rest of the album. What is the main message of this album?
This album is a lot about love, whether it be self-love, love for others, love in romance, or love for the collective. It's a theme that I deal with a lot, even if I haven't been making music for long. But above all, this album, speaks a lot about rebirth, metamorphosis, transcendence, and this passage from darkness to light, of this constant chiaroscuro. In any case, I went through a lot of personal and professional phases, little stunts, a little disappointing, a little violent, and a little complicated to live, but I made songs out of it.
I read that you said this album was like a second debut album. What is the difference between these two Aloïse?
I mainly say that the first album didn't live, well it didn't live physically, there were no tours. I was at the Victoires de la Musique as a revelation on stage, I released my album, and three days later it was lockdown. It was a first stumble that forced me to step back and reconsider what I wanted to do, and what I was. After several postponements of concerts, I made the choice to cancel the tour, in part because the team had changed. I had to take back the reins of my professional and artistic life. So my feeling about this 2nd album is: "Now we're there!" Before, it was the introduction and now we can start!
I'm very proud of the tracks Dévorantes and Jimy, but there was an effervescence around me at that time and I took less of a step back. However, for this album, I had the time to build what I wanted to do, I managed to regain confidence in myself, assert myself, and to find the light in things again. All this has impacted and nourished my approach to this project. This album, I co-produced with my sound engineer, I was from A to Z in the process, and I invested myself completely. It's not meaningless that this album is called SAUVAGE, I'm back as the leader of the pack, with my strong core, with the people I really want to work with, with my values, and zero compromises. SAUVAGE is this very stone that I'm adding to the building.
There's always an optimistic aspect to your songs, even when you are talking about sad situations. Is this important to you?

Yes, it is true! Three days ago, I was on a shoot with my best friend Zenzel who directed my last two videos, Focus and Crop Top. So, there were four of us in a car, driving around, Zenzel asked us: "What are your flaws and your qualities?" We got to my qualities, and I asked him, "You who know me so well, what's my quality?". I was expecting a lot of answers, but he said, "You have faith, not religious faith, faith in life, in transcendence, in ethics, faith in the human being." And for me, this relationship to faith, is linked to hope, and I try to transmit that in my songs. It is this light that I always try to have in conclusion, even with darker themes. I feel that people reflect that back to me, that it makes them want to live, to do things, that it gives them hope and for me, that's royal! It means a lot to me.
In your incredible second single, Crop Top, a hymn to consent, you repeat « Nan c’est nan c’est nan, quand on dit nan nan » (translates to “No is No is No, when we say No No”). Aren’t we tired of having to take time to educate our good men after a while?

Well, I’m totally sick of it, except you know, we’re not really given a choice. I wish I didn’t have to, but I can’t just say no, it pisses me off, and just not do it. I took a step back from that. At first, I didn’t know how to do it, I was also on my path as a young woman, a young citizen, and a young lesbian, I didn’t necessarily feel legitimate. But I realize now that I am obliged to take this stance, I am obliged to do pedagogy because there is a small limelight that makes me visible.
When I see the comments I get on a song like Crop Top, from a majority of men who probably feel concerned, but don’t see where the problem is, I feel like there’s still work to be done. I would like these people to take responsibility and educate themselves, but we are not there yet.
 Afterward, when I do this kind of song, it’s not to do pedagogy, it’s above all to express what I feel. I have anger that comes from lived situations, it turns into images and becomes a song.
In your songs, you talk about feelings and everyday situations that most people can relate to. But the fact that you express them through your prism of an openly queer and lesbian artist makes you de facto into an activist artist. What do you think ?

I certainly accept that it is a responsibility, but it is also an honor. This is important.
Where I struggled at the beginning of my journey was that I was constantly asked if I was an activist. I had a hard time with this question because I wrote from my couch about my discoveries, my heartaches, and I did not feel legitimate to be labeled as such. Today I can say that yes, I am an activist, I am a white lesbian woman, it is a minority. It is important to me that queer artists be flag-bearers, the more we number, the more there will be no need for flag-bearers. So I guess I don’t have much choice. Whether I like it or not, what I do is political, I’m emotionally engaged, but being an openly queer young woman, I’m politically engaged too. I think my path speaks about me, we can’t make generalizations out of it, but it also speaks for everyone else who may not have a voice. 
However, I also know that these questions will always be asked first. Because journalists need to define, to put people in boxes: Aloïse Sauvage is a touch-to-everything artist, feminist and lesbian. So, I answer the questions that are asked, and I think that it has accelerated my process of deconstruction and reflection. I try to educate myself in order to have sensible answers that make the discussion go further. All this makes me accept being seen through this prism, and I will continue to claim my queer identity loud and clear!
Were there any instances that allowed you to understand the importance of this visibility?

A personal impulse for me was to do the Coming Out podcast on Spotify, which was released in February 2021. It was a big step, first of all, because I didn’t dare before, I had been offered this opportunity a year before, and I didn’t feel ready. So I was already proud to do it. At that time, my coming out was public, but talking about it like that, intimately, was different. And then I had…it’s impossible to explain… a wave of messages, lasting all year, from super different people who felt helped, touched, celebrated, and understood. And that’s when I said to myself, from now on I’m going to shout it out loud, it’s essential! 

There are totally dyke songs on this album, it’s really great! As you said, you feel lesbian today. How do you feel about the use of this word which, in the not-so-distant past, had a rather negative connotation?

I define myself as a lesbian, and I have no problem using it. So that energetically our inner affirmation is expressed outside and thus expressed to the world, which is not predominantly lesbian, I think it is appropriate that we be proud of the words used to represent us. But I also had this internalized homophobia before, I wasn't really comfortable using the word, «lesbian». But on the other hand, today’s Aloïse finds that it is a very nice word and thinks that we should not be ashamed to say it!
While we live in a super prosperous era of references and representations, how do we manage to find ourselves, without falling into mimicry, the search for cool, or the expectations of others?

The fact that there are so many things coming out, it’s pretty scary. Sometimes I dread it, I haven’t put anything out for two years, I say to myself that after three years people move on. I find it difficult to exist when you are not yet established. Then for mimicry, I don’t feel it in the studio. I make the music I like, and it evolves. We could call it urban pop, or French wave with rap influences, but I like
 hip-hop and rap and I try while working with producers who come from that universe, to do something that belongs to me, with my writing, my sense of melody, and my artistic vision. So I don’t feel like I have to mimic, besides when I’m in the studio I don’t listen to a lot of music, I’m really in my own bubble. At my level, what I’m looking for in music is also to go further in productions, to find sounds that are not expected. For example, recording instruments organically, string quartets, and drums; I had fun fiddling around. And I hope to go even further in the future!

You like to express yourself through your multiple talents, music, dance, circus, an acting career… Are there still other forms of expression that titillate you?

Well first, I would like to succeed in developing what I have in my head with the strings I have to my bow. Typically for the staging of concerts, as for what I want to develop, we are still at the aperitif. I still have a lot to do to incorporate dance, contemporary circus, a theatrical aspect, or video or scenography. I’d really like to focus on that first.
But in the future, I would love to write, poetry or something more fictional. But first, I’m gonna have to calm down and focus on what I have!
We’ll have the chance to see you in Switzerland on November 4th at the Docks in Lausanne. On social media, it's teased a lot, with a setup that looks crazy. Can you tell us a little bit more about the show?

Lots of energy! But I also hope – for a unique show that will highlight this new album. Kind of everything I am, actually. There will be Venues where I won't do everything because of the stage space, but don’t worry, wherever we are, it will be beautiful. I’m finally gonna be able to roll out my story and be myself. I am really looking forward to starting a real tour and being able to defend my project. I like being on stage, I think I was born for it. And besides, I’m looking forward to coming back to Switzerland, because I finished my festival tour this summer in Estavayer-le-Lac and I promised the Swiss that I would come back stronger than ever in November!

Photographic credit goes to Flo Pernet, Emma Cortijo and Valentin Folliet

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