What Santa did with the money she made from “Salty Popcorn”

Flair met the talented and brilliant Santa on the sidelines of the release of his first solo album, Start me again who is predicted to have the same success as his first single, Salted Popcorn.

After the success of Salty Popcorn, to say that we were waiting for this album is an understatement.

I’m just pressure and nervousness. I’m getting tired. With this album, I present myself to the world in a new way and I want to do well, to please. Even if the writing allows you to establish a certain distance, there is a lot of me in these songs and that’s why I’m a little shaky.»

Eva, who gives her name to one of your pieces, is she inspired by you?

Of everything I could be. Eva reminds us that human beings have a choice. She is free, she runs away, she cultivates restlessness and that excites me because I am deeply instinctive.»

You sing to us about his story from adolescence. Was it a decisive period in your life?

It was an ordeal. I started going to school around that time. Before that, I went there occasionally, to check that everything was going well, to have human contact. I was too far ahead, especially in terms of my sensitivity. I quickly learned how to read and write. I was made to skip classes. But, being 3 years younger than these friends at that age is enormous. I was afraid of otherness, of the norm. Children can be cruel and I was not equipped to defend myself against this violence. They ended up withdrawing my school requirement. Until middle school, where I discovered the different existing social groups… all of which I joined. I was a goth, with black under my eyes. I became a chaplain, I joined a chess club, then even a stick insect club, these insects that look like bushy leaves. I felt like I was in a series. Every day, a club. And then, I ended up among the slightly punk, slightly weird skaters and I stayed there. We chose each other because we were different and we accepted each other like that, gently.»

I have always seen music as a way of putting adjectives on silences.

When did the music arrive?

I don’t have any memories without music. At home, there was always an American rock or blues record playing. But I didn’t want to become a singer. I wanted to be a lawyer. I couldn’t accept the violence at all. I was already expressing myself a little for the other. There was this thing of: ‘If I can help, I will’. I have always seen music as a way of putting adjectives on silences. Within my family, there was a lot of modesty and music was this invisible fluid that allowed things to be said. It was a gesture, a way of being. I played the piano over the records. I had a teacher at the very beginning, but I was rejected at the conservatory. It really shocked me because it was perhaps the only institution where I really wanted to be. So, I picked up my guitar, I started writing and I learned to sing on stage, through people’s eyes.»

There is only one duet on the album, with Christophe Willem. What is the nature of your relationship?

We met on a radio set in France and we realized that we had artistic similarities even if our musical references are distant. He came to the house, I composed this piece (Tears do not flow, editor’s note) as the extension of a budding friendship. I wanted to capture this electricity in song, as an ode to friendship which can save, offer a real space of freedom.»

Speaking of friendship, how do you feel without Line and Adam, your two Hyphen Hyphen acolytes, who are not accompanying you on this solo project?

They are still there, but I can no longer hide behind them. I have to fight against my shyness. And then, I sing in French, in a more immodest way. Within a group, we tell our stories, but collectively. English also offers the possibility of singing more universal things.»

Is success dizzying?

It is soft. It’s the other person’s success, not you. Contrary to what you might believe, I don’t make a lot of money yet because I invest everything in the grandiose ideas I have for my shows. I prefer to be rich in my memories.»

I want to believe that the people we loved survive through us”

A final word on the title Heaven. Are you a spiritual person?

I think so. I don’t have a reference God but I have a fairly naive vision of what heaven looks like. I lost my parents and I want to cultivate this hope that we have, to tell ourselves that the people we loved and cherished survive through us.»

Start me again, from Santa. In concert on 9/6 at the Francofolies in Esch-sur-Alzette, on 27/6 at the Les Gens d’Ere festival in Tournai, on 23/8 at the Solidarités in Namur and on 9 and 10/10 at the Cirque Royal in Brussels (sold out).

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