From Aznavour to Daft Punk, Chilly Gonzales celebrates French heritage

For his first album in French, in stores on September 15, the Franco-Canadian singer cites in his songs the monuments of French culture that he has encountered.

Charles AznavourTHE Daft Punkbut also Richard Clayderman: for his first album in French, the elusive Chilly Gonzalez cites in his songs pillars of his pantheon, all of whom he rubs shoulders with.

It’s hard to imagine, but the Canadian, who appeared in the early 2000s with his hip-hop/electro DIY, was in demand as an arranger for Charles Aznavour. Story that inspires Gangstavorpiece of French Kissalbum which comes out this Friday. “Aznavour was pushed to make an album with another team, he said to himself “why not? I like it when my record company spends money on me” (laughs), but he was skeptical”tells AFP Chilly Gonzales, who divides his time between Cologne (Germany) and an apartment on Île Saint-Louis in Paris.

And to describe a “atmosphere of balance of power“, with this megastar of French song with the attitude of “rapper“. Example: arrived early on the first day and was upset to wait at the studio door for the arrival of Chilly Gonzales, the interpreter of Bohemian arrange to meet the next day at 10 a.m. And will obviously arrive at 11 a.m., calling out to everyone: “So, was the 10 a.m. meeting good?»

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Somehow it’s great“, comments Chilly Gonzales today, who speaks of memories “touching“. Even if he and his gangwere fired after three weeks: one day, Mr. Aznavour did not come back and remade the album from the first note with another team“. Other monuments of French culture are cited in French Kiss. We hear thus: “I am too proud to speak the language of Voltaire/Flaubert, Baudelaire and Bangalter“. Thomas Bangalter, it’s half of Daft Punk. “Gonzo”, one of Chilly Gonzales’ nicknames, had worked on Random access memoriesalbum by the helmeted duo, now separated.

Duet with Juliette Armanet

I just met them again, they made a series of videos for the 10th anniversary of RandomI told them “but you are very active now that it’s over”», laughs the singer. It’s one of his many prestigious collaborations, in a career split between ociation with the superstar rapper Drake and solo piano recitals in dressing gown and slippers.

At Bangalter – whom he knows better than Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, another mastermind of Daft Punk – he welcomes the approach to Mythologiespiece for symphony orchestra written for the choreographer Angelin Preljocaj. “Thomas could have hired an orchestrator and focused only on the main lines, but he dove into Berlioz’s treatises on instrumentation, to find what I call the beginner’s brain.»

“Gonzo” pays homage in French Kiss to the pianist Erik Satie but also dedicates a song to Richard Clayderman, Richard and I, by handing over the keyboard to him on this title. “Richard, I’ve known him since 2005, he’s a bit like my musical dad, he proved to me that being a pianist you can dream of being a star and not just a piano teacher: friends my age had his poster, teenagers. He got a lot of people to listen to the piano, I don’t understand why he’s so snubbed“. The title above is called Piano in Paris and we hear the voice of Juliette Armanetanother nice sample of a pop album and surprise cover.

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