Sandor New album Medaille Queer person Duality Teacher Singer Les Docks
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February 23, 2023
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Everybody On The Floor With Sandor

Sandor’s new album "La Médaille" just hits different ! We met the Swiss pop artist at home and talked about her powerful lyrics, activism against patriarchy and her upcoming gig at the Docks in Lausanne.

Naïma Stark - Your new album is out and your concert is coming up, it’s so exciting, how do you feel ?

Sandor - I've been working on it for so long, it's been 3 years... Now it's the final stretch. Everything is ready. It's exciting but scary at the same time. When you make music you do it for yourself, but when it's time to release it, you realize it's going to be public, so you get stressed. Especially because this album is very different from the first one, so I wonder if it will be appreciated and how it will be perceived.

NS - In 2018, I saw your name a few times. A lot of things were happening and I feel like it's picking up now…

S - Yes indeed and that's the point (laughs). I'm releasing an album but I really want to do as many concerts as possible. My next live show is almost ready. I'm really excited because it's at the Docks and it's probably one of the most beautiful venues in Lausanne for this kind of music. I can't wait because I’ll share the stage with Corinne ! Our styles match well together, we have the same 80s inspirations.

NS - I listened to some of your old sounds but also the new ones and the two universes are very different. Does the next album take a different direction, or is it a logical continuity?

S - In my life, I really want to make a lot of albums. And I'd like them all to be different from each other because I'd like to explore and try many things. The lyrics are the common thread of my music. The melodies are quite different. The first album is smooth compared to the new one which is more pop. But the lyrics remain in the same progression, with a kind of seriousness. That's my signature (laughs).

NS - In your music, there’s sometimes this melancholy, with heavy texts. But on the other hand it’s always counterbalanced with festive and joyful sounds. Is this how you are in the difficult moments of your life ? How did you find this balance ?

S - It's my personality, I'm a very joyful person when you meet me. But like most of us, I also have a darker and nostalgic side and it's often this side that comes out in my lyrics. For me, writing is an outlet. On my first album, there is the natural outlet that comes out and at the same time the desire to celebrate because we were in lockdown and freedom was missing during this period. There are a lot of themes related to activism like death or politics. Like when you go to a protest, it's a festive atmosphere but it concerns important causes. My first album was quite introspective. I started writing it when I was 17 and finished it when I was 30. I have this desire to bring people together. The first album was more self-centered and a lot of people came up to me and told me that it was exactly what they were going through. That was crazy, because the things you live and that you transcribe in your texts, many people live the same things. I thought it was powerful and that I should take the same direction for the second album and continue to talk about causes that mean a lot to me.

NS - And for this second album, did you surround yourself with the same people as for the first one ?

S - With the first team, it worked great but I needed a new breath, new energy. It all started with the Inouïe agency, when I discovered them I knew I had to work with them. So I contacted them and it matched. Then, I worked with Vincent with whom I worked on the first EP and I really appreciated this collaboration. I’ve known him for a long time so I wanted to work with him again. He did all the arrangements for the new album. When you collaborate on such intimate things, it's very strong. I really wanted it to be a queer person like me. In this team everyone is on the same wavelength.

NS - Knowing that you are a teacher on the side, how do you manage your professional life and your musical career ? Did you find a balance ?

S - It's a bit of a schizophrenic life (laughs). I dedicate my free time to my music. When I have a lot of gigs, it's complicated. Depending on where I play, coming back with jetlag and having to wake up on Monday morning at 7.30 is not easy. On the other hand it's cool, because it keeps me in a certain reality. I'm a person who needs to be active to get inspired so I'm fine with having a busy life. So this duality is very nice.

NS - Is Sandor a character, or is it the real you?

S - It's really me. The person I am at school is what I show to people. But Sandor is who I really am. I think a lot of people have a very strong inner personality but they can’t express it. Thanks to music, I have this chance. I can't say that I allow myself the same things when I'm Sandor as when I'm Virginie. At school, I'm quite joyful but discreet. On stage it's the opposite, I get into a character. But Sandor is me when I write, when I compose, when I dream, when I think. It’s my inner self.

NS - Is there a particular song you want to share with us?

S - I would like to talk about "Les limites de ton intelligence" because it's a political song and it's an anthem for me. This album is a lot about what I felt during the protests, especially on June 14th 2019 in Lausanne. At that moment, something clicked in my head (laughs). When I wrote this song, I was thinking about all the songs that are sung in the protests. Like an anthem, there’s this melody at the end that is easy to sing. The sentence "est-ce que tu sens les limites de ton intelligence quand c’est toi qui décide mais que c’est pas toi qui pense" is this idea of saying no to dependence and submission to the patriarchy.

NS - What will come next for you?

S - I’d like to talk about the Docks because I feel like I'm going to play my life (laughs). I’m under pressure because it's a big venue and I want it to be crowded. The first live is the most intense in terms of emotions. There are all the people I know who are coming and it scares me a lot because I don't want to disappoint them. I’m counting on you, March 4th at the Docks (laughs), it will be really cool.

Images courtesy of Olivia Schenker


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