His voice could hide a certain timidity. When the first musical notes sound, Chien noir turns into a storyteller. If his artist name appeals to you, this choice is not due to chance. Planet reveals its secrets to you.
Born in the Bordeaux countryside in 1986, Jean Grillet was immersed in music from an early age. “I started very early at the age of six with my mother because she had taken up the piano”, explains the artist. Practicing on his grandmother’s piano, he takes his mother as an example by playing alongside her. “She signed me up to take lessons at a music school,” adds the musician.
From the keys of the piano, Jean Grillet refines his fingers on the strings of a guitar as a teenager. At home, the music lover is attracted by several musical influences, ranging “from classical to rock through Cuban music”. His first crush: a gospel record. “I must have been 6-7 years old and I listened to it on repeat, I drove my siblings crazy”, laughs the artist, evoking his memories. While his sister preferred the song Sunday Bloody Sunday by the Irish band U2, his mother listened religiously to Leonard Cohen while his father escaped to jazz.
Then, it is an album by the Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club which will be “a founding element” in the musical awakening of the singer.
Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Chien noir puts his troubles on paper and draws inspiration from his experience to compose his first songs. “Music has always been a way for me to express myself”, assures the 30-year-old for Planet. Working tirelessly on his musical projects, the singer signed with the Naïve Records label in June 2020.
What does it matter… This is the title of his first single, released the same year, which he wrote with Mark Daumail (of the group Cocoon). Then, in October 2020, the artist reveals his Blue Light as a second title before revealing his True Story through a beautiful piano-voice in a third opus. After having defended his pieces during several concerts, such as at the Chantiers des Francofolies, he published his True Stories in his first EP in May 2021.
A mini-album of six songs that could be compared to a metaphor, like “a kind of bag in which I put everything that was lying on the table”, tells us the Bordelais. He sings about his childhood, his family or his love stories through titles like Funny life, La nuit le vent (in duet with Hollysiz) and What are you doing in the dark?
While Chien noir accompanied Bénabar on the piano in the studio and composed for Vanessa Paradis, it was his talent as an interpreter who was hailed with a nomination for the Victoires de la musique 2022, on Friday February 11 on France 2. for the price of the Male Revelation against Myd and Terrenoire, the singer admits to having been surprised by this recognition of the profession.
“At the time, I couldn’t believe it. It’s grandiose and dizzying”, confides the singer-songwriter to Planet. “It allowed me to tell myself that I have the right to do this, I can do it, and it made me want to fight, to be stronger”. If the artist refuses the idea of competition, the musical evening hosted by Olivier Minne and Laury Thilleman will be an opportunity for him to “share a story with the public”, thus showing his excitement before the ceremony. “It’s great, I take it very happy. I will make sure to have as much fun as possible”.
Before knowing if he will be the Male Revelation at the Victoires, Chien noir reveals some indiscretions to us about the performance he reserves for the public and viewers at the musical Seine. “We are going to try to do something that looks like me, that is to say something quite sober and intimate, very beautiful and very moving”, he confides before ironizing. “I wonder if maybe I’ll start crying on stage in front of 3 million viewers. If we can avoid it, that would be just as well”.
Surrounded by his team and his loved ones, Chien noir will play for an evening in the big leagues, alongside stars of variety, pop and rap. Stars like honorary president Stromae, Clara Luciani, or even Angèle and Orelsan. Two artists who matter to the singer. “I really admire people who work, it shows that they are hard workers”. From emotion to artistic encounters, Chien noir hopes to experience a memorable evening. No matter the outcome… The spirit will be high!