Christophe Willem refused an album already ready after “Nouvelle Star”

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This Thursday, Christophe Willem will be at the Olympia for one of the last concerts of his tour. It must be said that after the failure of his previous record “Rio”, the singer returned to the top with his album “Panorama”, certified gold (more than 50,000 sales) thanks to the success of “PS: je t ‘love’, written by Slimane. A hit which will obviously be on the concert program, just like “Double je”, his first hit which brought him fame in 2007. A song which he returns to for the new episode of the Purecharts podcast “Face A”: “ I win the show. When I go out, I don’t understand what’s happening. Because everyone knew me! We didn’t have social networks, it was Myspace at the time! “.

“That’s not going to be possible.”

His label then offered him an album already made, as for the other talent show winners, but Christophe Willem categorically refused: “ I arrive at the record company and there they play an album for me. And they tell me: “There you go, that’s your album”. I say: “Excuse me?! (…) No, that’s not going to be possible!” “. He even suggests not making an album and leaving his place to Miss Dominiquethe other finalist: “ There was a big commotion and they asked me what I wanted to do “. His answer ? Working with your idol Zazie : “ I met her at lunch, she had accepted but she didn’t know me at all. I said to him: “I would really like to work with you. I am very impressed by your work.” In French music, I didn’t listen to many things, but the one I listened to the most was Zazie. She was about to tell me no but she wanted to do it because Olivier (Schulteis, musical director of “Nouvelle Star”) insisted. She said to me: “But what would you like to sing? What’s your idea?” And so there, I sing “Sunny” in the restaurant “.

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“They had shit in their ears”

In love, Zazie accepts and the collaboration begins with Christophe Willem, who totally recognizes himself in the interpreter of “Zen”: “ She really supported me completely at the start of my career. She was the one who got me started. In relation to its relationship to notoriety, we have quite similar things, we find ourselves on many aspects “. However, he is quite circumspect when his idol suggests to him what “Double je” will become: “ She’s like, “Listen, I have an idea for a melody on it, it’s great.” I say to myself: “But she’s making fun of me, is it a joke? Isn’t that the song?” She says: “It’s a bit weird, but I have an idea for a lyric, trust me it’s going to be great” “. He was finally convinced by listening to a demo sung by Zazie in person : ” It was so unusual it couldn’t be better than that. “.

“It’s really Polnareff at the end of its life”

Like him at the start, his label is not convinced by the title. “ They had shit in their ears » smiles Christophe Willem today: “ For them, it was an album background track that was not at all usable. (…) Even ZazieJean Pierre Pilot and Olivier Schultheis came to Sony to listen to the tracks and the guy at the time said: “This song is really Polnareff at the end of its life” “. At the time, a first single was already released: “Elected product of the year”. Christophe Willem then had an idea when he returned to the set of “Nouvelle star” the year following his coronation. While everyone expects him to sing this single, he finally opts for “Double je” which few people know, against everyone’s advice. The effect is immediate: “ The next day, the radio stations called wondering how it was possible that they didn’t have the title! “.

“It defines what I was and what I am”

“Double je” thus became the biggest hit of 2007, ahead of “Garçon” by Koxie or “4 words on a piano” from Patrick Fiori And Jean-Jacques Goldman. The single remained at number one for seven weeks, selling more than 300,000 copies and boosting the career of his first album “Inventaire”, which ended its run with more than 900,000 copies sold. Christophe Willem thus moves to a new stage of celebrity. “ The first time I heard it on the radio was in a taxi, the guy almost had an accident I was screaming so much in the car » recalls the one who says he also heard it in a nightclub: “ I was super amused, but at the same time I didn’t really realize it. It was special. (…) For a year, I was going to sing this song! It was incredible the weight of this song “. Today, Christophe Willem retains particular tenderness for this piece: “ It’s a time marker for a lot of people. (…) It defines exactly what I was and what I am, what I have always claimed. Beneath its very light side, the song already said a lot. It still suits me very well “.



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