The pop elegance of Belgian singer Pierre de Maere at Montreux Jazz

Pierre de Maere, a young 21-year-old Belgian singer, made his name earlier this year with ‘Un jour, je’, his debut six-track mini-album in a sleek pop style. This self-taught Brussels native with an acrobatic voice can be discovered this Saturday evening in a concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

His songs include “One Day I’ll Marry an Angel”, “Regrets” and “J’aime, j’aime”. So many titles that are not really wrong on Pierre de Maere’s favorite themes, namely love and its disappointments, which he sings in a voice that is as sensual as it is acrobatic, alternating between a deep voice and a head voice. He’s also just released a new piece, “Roméo,” in which he continues his sentimental chronicles to support his summer tour, which passes through the Montreux Jazz Festival this Saturday.

“Love, but also pretense and ambiguity are themes that are close to my heart, as is the disillusionment on this EP ‘Un jour, je’. But now it’s better…”, smiles the Belgian singer. I was searching for an impossible ideal. Especially with the title “One Day I’ll Marry an Angel” which I wrote a little over a year ago after watching a series where a character had enchanted me. I then thought to myself that I often fell under the spell of art figures. So this corresponds to the search for a completely unattainable ideal, since all the criteria on which my love ideal is based do not really exist”.

Self-taught artist

In this song, all pop crescendo and vocal androgyny, Pierre de Maere sings his desire for a less conceptual and down-to-earth love: “Doctor / One day I will marry an angel / We will make love in the clouds / Pray that nothing will happen changes / Here love is much too superficial / We only tell you one day it will fall from the sky / And it’s always the same speeches / Beautiful words, soon you will go out / As soon as the day breaks / I’m going for a walk and I dream / That nothing moves but our lips / And I get up…”.

>> To watch: the clip for “One day I will marry an angel”:

On the mainland, Pierre de Maere is a self-taught artist who started composing at the age of ten via the GarageBand app on his smartphone, then singing along in English and then in French. .

This Brussels man who loves photography and fashion – an aesthetic that permeates his stylish clips – claims models like Stromae, Lady Gaga and David Bowie for their ability to transform. Like her, he appreciates the telescoping of image and sound. On the cover of his mini-album, he also unabashedly – ​​but with a certain second-degree sense – claims “Make me Famous” over a mug placed by his side, in an ambience reminiscent of that of an American talk show late evening reminded .

Romantic lyricism and melancholic sensibility

But while he was waiting to become a star, he composed the first songs on the piano and on the computer, oscillating between romantic lyricism and melancholic sensibility, which sometimes bordered on the kitsch of the eighties without sinking into it. The Belgian tries above all to create a sparkling and colorful image:

“I want to convey an extravagant image that sells dreams, after these last few years that have not been much fun for both artists and the public. So I want colors to create something that shines, that looks visually consistent if it means overdoing it, even if it’s even kitsch at times. But sometimes kitsch is also beautiful. I also think when we take ourselves the least seriously, we end up being the sharpest, I think,” explains Pierre de Maere, who he met at a hotel in Lausanne.

On “Liar,” a “non-autobiographical” title, he points out, the singer signs “an ode and homage to the unconditional comfort that mothers offer.” He interprets there “a son who misses almost everything he does, fools around, lies to himself and others and who, whatever happens, will find his mother’s arms, his tenderness.”

>> Watch: the clip for “Liar”

Well surrounded on the French label Cinq7

His promising, emerging repertoire is, as he likes to say, an invitation to self-inhibit, to feel limitless, to put taboos in the closet. Even if his tendency to enthusiasm annoys some, Pierre de Maere has at least caught the eye of the French label Cinq7, with whom he has already signed for two albums. A record company in which the Belgian singer is already surrounded by artists as unique as Katerine, Dominique A, Bertrand Belin or Pierre Lapointe, a sensitive Quebecer whom he resembles in many stylistic ways.

Oliver Horner

Pierre de Maere in concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Lab, Saturday 2 July 2022 at 8pm

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