WK: How do you feel about winning the Grammys?
B: It was a huge surprise. My favorite thing about it was getting to win it with all my friends who worked so hard on the record. Even though it’s my record, I had friends helping me and seeing them winning as well was very special. I was surprised because I haven’t won anything in about 17 years and I think I lost every single time so I am very used to not winning! I was just mostly happy to be there. When you see all these other musicians that are making all this music that people love, so being part of it is very strange and very exciting.
WK: As you were making the album, could you have predicted you would have won such a prize?
B: No because the record isn’t necessarily the kind of music you would hear on the radio. It isn’t a very popular record, it is more of a quiet and personal record.
WK: Do you have a favorite album that you have made?
B: The albums that I have made are so different, I like different ones for different reasons.
WK: Do you play different genres?
B: Yes, I play Rock, Folk, Dance music, Blues etc. Sometimes I mix them all together. It’s all music in the end and I feel like I’ve watched over time as music starts becoming more and more one thing. For example, you hear Pop music and it sounds like Hip Hop. I don’t think there’s any rules, not like there may have been 20 years ago.
WK: Where do you get the inspiration for writing your songs?
B: It depends on what I’m writing about. Sometimes it’s things from my life, sometimes I just like to write things that make me laugh or I think are funny. Sometimes you’re just talking to yourself and it’s like a conversation with yourself. I do like lyrics that are fun or have something clever about them.
WK: What made you want to become a singer?
B: I just fell into it. I liked a lot of things when I was younger. I liked films and I liked painting, but for me music was so easy because I didn’t need to have any equipment. I just had a cheap guitar and my own ideas so I didn’t have to have money for art school or hire a film crew. Anybody could write music, anybody could write songs. Maybe if somebody would’ve given me a movie camera I would’ve made films. For me it is just a way to express something.
WK: Did you ever think about becoming something else than a singer?
B: I did. I thought about art or something to do with films but I didn’t have any connections with that world so it was very far away. As far as music, I could look in the newspaper and there would be a bar in which on Tuesday nights they would let people come in and play. So that is what I started doing when I was 17 years old. The bar I played doesn’t exist anymore, but it was on Avenue A and 6th Street, and it was a very little bar since there were about 6 people in the audience. I would go there and play songs, and the owner of the place one day said that he liked what I was playing, but he thought I should write some of my own songs and he would give me a show. So I started writing my own songs to get a show and I did.
WK: Were you in a band before singing in solo?
B: Not really, there were times where I would play guitar for a friend but I was never in a real band. I had many friends who were in bands but they never took me seriously so I couldn’t get anybody to start a band with me and ended-up being a solo-performer. I was a bit of a loner, but when I got a record deal, I got to hire a band and now I’ve always loved playing with people.
WK: At what point in your life did you realize you were becoming a singer?
B: Probably when I got a record deal because I performed 6 or 7 years before that and I don’t think a lot of people took me seriously and I just did it for fun. I didn’t know if I had a future in music. I had 2 jobs and whenever I had spare time, I would play music. It would sometimes be an excuse for me to go hang out with my friends who were all in bands. I didn’t really expect much of it but when I got a record deal, it became a job and that was actually a lot more work than I thought it would be.
WK: Did you always enjoy playing music?
B: Yes I did. I liked it because it forced me to be creative in a way where I had to engage an audience and I had to come out of myself a bit and try to push myself and that’s not a natural thing for me to do. I enjoyed it because it makes you dig into different parts of your ideas and personality and when you’re on stage, there is no way to hide and there is something liberating about that.
WK: What is the best advice you could give to people who would want to start a career in music?
B: I had many people telling me not to play music because they thought I wasn’t good but I never listened to them. I wasn’t trying to make money out of it, I just did it because I liked it. If back then I wanted to do it professionally and make money out of it, I probably would’ve
taken their advice and not do music. Don’t let people’s comments get to you.
WK: What is your favorite color?
I like light blue, light green and also a very pale yellow. I like the colors you see on windows in France, those lighter colors and I use to think of them as French colors.
by Alice Attal 🙂