interviewEmma Peters: “I quit my job before signing with a label”
The 25-year-old singer is known for her guitar covers and counts -M- as a fan. She opens the Francomanias de Bulle on Wednesday.
Known for her covers of K. Maro and Claude François, 25-year-old Emma Peters from Lille is gradually establishing her upbeat pop at the top of the charts. She grew up in a family of music lovers, where we listened to a lot of French songs. She started playing the guitar when she was 7 because her grandfather used to play it. “I realized later that he wasn’t very good,” she laughs when we met at Montreux Jazz this summer. The singing follows, of course.
After several buzz on YouTube and two albums, she continues her tour with around fifty appointments this Wednesday, August 31, for the opening of the Francomanias de Bulle at 8:15 p.m. at the Hôtel-de-Ville.
Her first video was successful three years after its release. You should never lose hope…
(Laughs.) Exactly. You need patience… I posted this cover of Lartiste after a trip with friends. We heard this song many times and I sent this to them Home page as reminder. They loved it and gave me the idea to put it online. I released it on YouTube, but at the time I didn’t have many subscribers and I didn’t dare share my music too much. The title circulated discreetly. Three years later, DJs in Russia remixed the track club-style, and the post quickly garnered millions of views. People sent me videos of the song being played in a box. The radios are also interested in it. The craze started in Eastern Europe, then France, and then the United States.
You never thought of a career as a singer?
no I come from a family of musicians but not professionals at all. We listen to a lot of music at home or in the car. My mother loves Véronique Sanson, she passed this passion on to me. She also likes Michel Berger and Michel Jonasz. My father appreciates Philippe Katerine, MC Solaar and Camille… Lots of French singing and variety. We all learned an instrument. On the other hand, I was never introduced to music as a profession. On the contrary, it’s a subject that freaks out a little. I had to study for my parents. I have a Bac+5, I studied in London, then I worked in Paris. On the side, I recorded my covers to make myself laugh. I then have an album by covers online and labels started knocking on my door.
How did it feel to have the choice between several labels?
Since I was very independent, I turned down their offers several times.
Didn’t want your work to be distorted?
Exactly. I didn’t want us to take control. It scared me to drown in a system that is completely foreign to me. I thought, “It’s dead. I’ll never sign it.” Until I met Philippe Ascoli, who has a rad CV. He contacted me on Instagram in a somewhat casual way and I liked it. We then organized a Zoom. He was quite direct and childish. He explained to me that he wanted to start a label and have fun signing new artists. I thought he would quickly offer me a deal and quit my job on a whim after meeting .
I freaked out my race! When I went to the second meeting, Philippe Ascoli listened to my models and was not at all enthusiastic. He said to me: “Your covers are cool, but in your lyrics we can’t find what you do on the internet.” I went home to my parents and told them the whole story. It inspired me to write the song “Fous” which is about not having to try to please everyone. I sent the audio to Philippe anyway out of pride and he replied: “That’s exactly why I’m putting a little pressure on you.”
“23:02”, the last song from your album released this year, is a bit like a UFO. The lyrics are open and the sound doesn’t resemble the other tracks.
It’s normal, I created this title very quickly. (Laughs.) The album had thirteen songs. I’m not superstitious, but for this project I told myself that we shouldn’t take any chances. I didn’t want to delete a song so I created another one at the last minute. Everything was done at my home. As for the lyrics, it’s because I ask myself a lot of questions about what’s going on in my life.
They sing, “Do I really have talent or is it beginner’s luck?”
Difficult. There is always a doubt. Is my first album really good? can i make a second one You are very young, you are very fresh… Am I living my best moment?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I have no idea what I want to do in two days, so five years from now…I would still like to make a living from my music, do bigger venues and meet more and more people. I also hope to have two more albums out.
have continuous work. At the moment the whole team is tired, but it’s worth it. I met a fellow artist I like not long ago and she said to me, “I’m on vacation.” I popped up automatically, “Damn, you’re too lucky!” She then told me that her schedule was empty for the next four months.
Is that why you decided to release a new track for the summer, “C’est bon”, instead of promoting your album? Don’t want to stop working?
We are smokers. (Laughs.) I wrote this song on a whim and my teams told me it was super cool. They offered me to go to the studio, I had one day off a month. Everything went exactly how I wanted it.
You count Matthieu Chedid among your fans. Tell us about your first interaction.
This story is driving me insane. I was in a van to play in Marseille. I get a call from a number I don’t recognize and I’m like, ‘Oh shit! Nobody told me I had an interview. I pick up and hear: “Hello, this is Matthieu Chedid.” And then I make big gestures so that everyone stops talking. The emotion is rising – I’ve been a fan since I was little, I’ve had posters of him in my room, I’ve listened to his albums on my iPod Nano and I’ve been to some of his concerts. I shyly answer, “Hello sir.” He tells me that he heard my voice on video and that he very rarely makes such calls. We chatted for ten minutes and he asked me to come and play on one of his dates – which I did. I nervously asked him to do the same for me. And he came!
This year, the Friborg Festival returns to its original form in downtown Bulle, with four days of festivities at the Hôtel-de-Ville, the Cour du Château and the Place du Marché (free). From a total of eight paid stages, three concerts have already been reported as sold out: the classical pianist Sofiane Pamart (August 31), the rappers Scylla and Dooz Kawa (September 1st), as well as the evening with 47TER, Lujipeka and Youv Dee (September 2nd).
We look forward to hearing about the rest of the programming Julia Armanet (September 1st) who had already seduced us during his visit to the Paléo. Without forgetting the soul Sela Sue (August 31), the rock ofAxel Bauer (September 2nd) and the electric of vital (September 3).
As every year, the Francomanias are also dedicated to discovering the local and Swiss scene on the Place de Marché, which is accessible free of charge. With a capacity of several thousand people, it will above all offer space Danitsa (September 3), Olympic Antigua (September 2nd), wolfgang (September 1st) or the young talents of The Gustav (September 1st and 2nd).
Francomanias, Bulle, from August 31 to September 3, 2022. Information and tickets: francomanias.ch
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