An artist in her own right… This is the title of singer Vanille Clerc’s second album. After releasing his first opus Amazona, recorded in Brazil for the occasion, the artist gave himself up with an open heart in a dozen titles. With emotion, Julien Clerc’s daughter reveals her flaws and her joys while highlighting her origins. Childhood, career, inspirations… Vanille Clerc has agreed to reflect on her life as an artist for Planet.fr.
Planet.fr: How did you come to get into music?
Vanille Clerc: What made me want to get into music was really writing because obviously I was immersed in music, I’ve always had that in me. I always loved going to concerts when I was young. At the beginning, I had taken a different path, because I studied events and communication.
Planet.fr: Was your childhood with a singer father a source of inspiration?
Vanille Clerc: The fact of having had a father figure very present in the French musical landscape, it must have been unconsciously a pressure. It took me a long time to move towards music, towards an instrument. I taught myself to play the guitar at 21 by watching on YouTube. All that was a long road and in the end, my childhood nourished me a lot, because I grew up surrounded by artists, listening to a lot of French song.
Planet.fr: Is it difficult to start singing as a “daughter of”?
Vanille Clerc: There are always advantages and disadvantages. People will be curious to listen, there is that chance. Afterwards, you have the impression of being really expected at the turn more than another and of being more easily criticized. I think for me the advantages are more important, because I was able to grow up in a bath of culture and my childhood was extraordinary.
Planet.fr: In 2019, you released your first album “Amazona”, which you recorded in Brazil. Did the different musical styles of the country inspire you?
Vanille Clerc: I have origins in Guadeloupe, there is already this Caribbean side that is coming back. I discovered a passion for Brazilian music. In particular for the mixture that there is in this music, a mixture of sun, gaiety, rhythm and at the same time of deep, melancholic words. I think this mixture is very beautiful and it represents life. It inspired me a lot to write.
Planet.fr: What are your inspirations?
Vanille Clerc: I really like Gainsbourg, Brel, Barbara, Brazilian music, especially Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben Jor, João Gilberto. Literature also inspires me. Novels, the great classics, but also recent writings. I really like the writer Nicolas Mathieu. Literature speaks to me enormously, because when one claims to write texts, reading becomes the food of the author to make his own way. It’s always very inspiring. I also really like Lompale. Musically, we are not the same even if we have common rock influences from the 60s and 70s.
Planet.fr: You became a mother in 2020. Is it difficult to reconcile your role as a mother with being an artist?
Vanille Clerc: It’s an exercise that is quite complicated when you have to do concerts all over France, but at the same time the life of an artist is also pleasant, because you have schedules more free, so there are times when you can be very present and there are times on tour that are a little more complicated to manage. For me, it still happens rather naturally and harmoniously.
Planet.fr: Vanille Clerc, are you a “full-fledged” person like the title of your second album?
Vanille Clerc: I think so (laughs) because I try to be as honest as possible with myself and always tell myself the truth about what I may have felt, about my flaws and I always try to understand me better to accept me better. This is how we then become a full-fledged being who assumes and who presents himself to others as he is, without frills, and this is perhaps how we can touch happiness.