Pauline Croze’s youthful looks

Thought, composed and recorded between confinements and restrictions linked to the health crisis, the new album “Après les heures grises”, by Pauline Croze, was released on October 8. The singer, on tour throughout France, returns to the music that punctuated her childhood and adolescence.

Where did you spend your childhood and in what environment?
I grew up in a pavilion in Villemomble, in the Parisian suburbs. Before becoming a psychoanalyst, my mother worked in an Italian tourist office (she had dual nationality). My father started his career as a professor of physics, then a consultant at the Ministry of National Education, where he tested the brand new CD-ROMs of educational software. Fan of cinema, he had a large film library in which we could draw what interested us. I was a pretty lonely child. I had very few friends and enjoyed drawing a lot. Rather very good student at the beginning of my schooling, I let myself go over the years. I still managed to get my baccalaureate by doing the bare minimum.

Did your parents listen to music?
At home there was music all day, especially on weekends. The style varied from room to room. In the living room, my parents liked the opera, Léo Ferré, but also Julien Clerc for my mother and Boby Lapointe for my father. My two older sisters had very opposite tastes. In their rooms, one loved to listen to French variety (Patrick Bruel and Mylène Farmer), the other rock with very sharp choices (Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa). I loved to navigate from one room to another, open to discovering all these different styles of music. Added to this was the radio, which I listened to every night to fall asleep and which gave me the possibility of always hearing new artists.

What’s your favorite childhood song?
The favorite song of my childhood is that of the TV movie Sandokan, which played in the Club Dorothée, interpreted by Joël Prevost. She had a very dynamic and elated side. We felt we were dealing with a hero. I would put the 45 on my channel and walk around the house singing it very enthusiastically. Performing a song for a child is a special exercise, and Joël Prévost did it really well. As a teenager, I remember listening to Strange Fruit, by Billie Holiday, and Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin, on repeat, whose vocal and melodic virtuosity fascinated me.

What is the first concert you attended?
I loved Keziah Jones’ debut album. His way of grooving with his guitar made me vibrate. For my 16th birthday, my sister offered me a seat for her concert at the Bataclan. I had the impression of going behind the mirror. He, whom I admired and listened to in my room, was in front of me and took me to his bubble, to his world. I have fond memories of this concert.

Did you learn music as a child?
When I was little, I sang all the time. When I was 14, after listening to Keziah Jones, I wanted to play guitar. I started out on a borrowed guitar, then when they realized it wasn’t a whim, my parents bought me one. I took lessons for a year with a great teacher. Every week he taught me a new song. We went from a Police title to a piece by John Coltrane or Led Zeppelin. This teaching opened up to me a very varied palette of games and techniques, which I was able to draw on to find my own style. After my baccalaureate, I worked in a music association as an organizer and manager of concerts. I met the Señor Holmes group there, which had a whole circuit of small venues that programmed them. After having made their first parts, I started touring all over France to play my songs in bars or MJCs. When I was 22, when I was recording my first album, I took my first singing lessons to learn how to manage my stage fright and my emotions.

Do you remember the first song you wrote?
As soon as I had a guitar in my hands, I felt the urge to compose and write songs. The first one, I was 14, was on Billie Holiday, which I was a fan of. Her name was Lady Blue. In my memory, I said that I found myself in his words. I don’t think I played it to anyone. At the time, I was writing songs like other people write in their diaries!

Source: Pauline Croze’s youthful looks

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