Earthling 26E An original album of songs written by Julian Clerk and his 49E In a 52-year career. We reached out to the 73-year-old singer on the phone, who kindly told us about this dark album, in which he addressed several topical themes.
Q. The title of the album, Earthling, Announces the colors of what we hear?
R. Yes. I, I write the lyrics, the music only, and with the writers I work with, let me give them what they want. There, for this album, everyone, men or women, old or young, without giving a word to themselves, gave me lessons, one might say, a little socially.
Q) When you put it all together, did you tell yourself that people are not well?
R. I was told that this album would not be like the others and that it would have a different meaning… Here I am suddenly representative! But you know, when you’ve been around for a long time like me, you should still try to be amazed. So people don’t say to themselves: “Ah, this is a new album from him, we know…” I’m glad you gave me these texts.
Q. You can really sing all of these, basically!
R. Yes, and I agree to sing everything, but you still have to have good lyrics. A song of commitment is never my thing, but if you give me a good song on a serious subject, the first thing that comes first is artistry.
Q. So we can have mental health, environmental crisis, sexual harassment and even Brexit and make a good song.
R. Yes. As always, I made more music in the lyrics. Most of us don’t do that, but the more time passes, the more fun it becomes for me. In this regard, I am a deeply French singer, influenced by his language.
Q) What makes it even more concerned with music, for a darker album?
R. As in South America, there are cultures where music is removed from non-gay literature. I try to honor the spirit of the text, but for example, the song we did with Mary Bastid, the text was not homosexual, it was about disappointment. But in the middle is this sympathetic phrase, “How are you?” », And I made a very lively song out of it.
Q. Do you think these songs reflect the mood of the moment?
R. Absolutely. Authors are by definition directly related to times. They reflect the topical aspects of our lives.
Q. So you see yourself singing a song inspired directly from the #metoo movement!
R. Jean Cherhall gave me this beautiful text on abused young women, The girl on the fire, Because I sang it a long time ago Ladies, I love you, Jean-Loop Dabadi wrote to me. And my life always conforms to the words I sing. All of these fit together, I think.
Q. You’ve worked with longtime colleagues like Carla Bruni and Didier Barbellivian, but also with a new generation of writers like rapper Clara Luciani, Paul Ecole and Vinca. This is new, isn’t it?
R. Most rappers write very well. The difference between rap and song is verse-chorus structure. Him, he writes raps well, and for this song, he worked with Baptist Hamon, who is close to the country. But most of all, he is a man who writes well in French.
Q) Does it allow you to explore new themes, new energy?
R. Yes, even on the way to writing. I have had the good fortune to work with a few generations of writers, and I feel that there is a way to write in line with each era. And rap, which changes the way texts are written. Everything happens in music. I remember the days of disco, which brought a new way to give rhythm to popular songs. Each era brings its stone to the building!
Q) It’s not big album setting wise. Want to keep it simple?
R. Yes it certainly is. It totally meets the desire of the producer Marlon B I chose for this album. Initially, he told me: “I warn you, I do not want to have a big orchestra there. I said, “This is great! Do it the way you want it, it will change. As long as the spirit of the music is respected.”
Q) What do you think this album will take in your discography?
R. Oh … time will tell, but there is no doubt it will have its own place. When you sing for a long time, you must work more with young people, they must respect your music and bring you something. With him, it is. He knows my work and at the same time has today’s signs for sounds. He knows how to do all this. Overall, I think this is a modern album, but we did nothing. Here!
Q) You are going to start your tour in France in December 2021 … Do you have any plans for Quebec?
R. More at the end of 2022, and I will be happy to come. I love coming to you. It has been immersing for a while, but for three, four years, it has been going well. I love spending time on these long roads, it really is the spirit of the trip. I loved it.