“They didn’t get me,” a more relieved than triumphant Safia Nolin says of everything she’s faced. In an interview, the singer explains to us why she left the label with which she worked since her debut and tells how certain events, which occurred last summer, almost got the better of her spark.
Safia Nolin’s new song is called Carrie, a reference to the legendary 1976 horror film in which the character played by Sissy Spacek is tormented by extraordinarily treacherous classmates.
“Like Carrie, I sometimes feel like the girl who is tricked into thinking she’s like the rest, who gets invited to prom by the handsome dude, who becomes prom queen, but ends up fucking badly for it.” , confides the singer whom La Presse joined in Paris, a feeling that repeats almost word for word the text of this plunge into the darkness of a life lived in anguish that even her closest friends will never know how to love her. entirely, without a little laughing at her.
In February 2022, Safia Nolin turned 30, the occasion for an important reflection, she says, as to what really makes her happy. Answer: “What makes me happy is writing songs. In the language of the Limoilou of her youth, or in that of Phoebe Bridgers, as is the case with this new release. “And I don’t care if people call me a traitor to my nation,” she laughs, her self-defense mechanism visibly well-oiled. She has seen others.
Her songs, Safia Nolin currently wants to offer them individually. This largely explains his divorce from the Bonsound label, where his career began in 2015.
Hence this decision to do everything herself, or at least to become her own producer and pay out of pocket all the people involved in the creation and marketing of the songs that will be released in the coming months.
In February 2022, in a letter addressed to the Journal de Montréal as well as to his collaborators Sophie Durocher and Richard Martineau, Bonsound decried “columns in which you intimidate her at the slightest comment she makes”.
“I thank Bonsound for doing this, better late than never, but it was still a bit late,” Safia observes today. “It was the first time they had taken a public position, but I had asked them to do so in the past. »
The following month, in March 2022, the singer-songwriter withdrew her music from the QUB Musique platform, owned by Quebecor, a decision which she imagined would snowball, as when Neil Young, for other reasons, had subtracted its catalog from Spotify. Only the Domlebo singer will have followed suit.
“Perhaps people will find me hard, and I know I made this decision alone, like a big girl, but I expected to have friends who follow, so that it would have symbolic weight. stronger. That’s my problem: I often make moves saying to myself: “I’m going to fight for myself, but also for others”, and after that I find myself in the shit all alone. »
She was never told that, but Safia Nolin sometimes felt like her presence in the Bonsound stable made things “complicated”. “A label works with a lot of artists and you, if you alienate a media, it can disadvantage all the artists on the label. Without anyone making you feel it, you feel it the same. Right now, the decisions I make only affect me and that’s what I wanted. »
In October 2021, Safia Nolin confided to our colleague Charles-Éric Blais-Poulin that her girlfriend had once told her, while her social networks were rocked by a torrent of surly messages, that “the saddest affair in the world , is to see [his] spark that is being extinguished”. So how’s his spark doing?
“She comes and goes, but she’s there. “Last summer, his flame almost died out for good, following a series of painful events. At the Francos, during the Koriass show in which she participated, Safia Nolin was greeted with boos. Excerpts from his concerts at the Festival d’été de Québec and Osheaga, on which we see his face tense with intensity, have also circulated on TikTok, accompanied by derogatory comments.
Also last summer, during a passage of her show where Safia wears a headlamp allowing her to clearly see the members of the public, two employees of a room where she played, and whom she prefers not to name, introduced her middle fingers.
“It was one of the most traumatic cases I’ve ever had in my life,” she recalled, stifling a nervous laugh. “I stopped singing, went to the bathroom crying for 25 minutes and finished the show with sunglasses on. Why didn’t you talk about it publicly? “Because I didn’t want to give the world ideas and also because I know that people will still say that I pose as a victim. »
“People think I’m paranoid when I say we should talk to security in the theaters and I understand my family for not wanting to tell me that yes, someone may come into a room to call me a fat cow, she continues. But I get death threats and it stresses me out. »
She adds this sentence, in a tone of imperturbable calm, making it possible to understand how this violence has become the norm of her daily life: “In the end, nobody killed me, last summer, but he All of this happened to me anyway. »
Settled in Paris for a few months, the Quebecer strongly hopes that her return to the media will not raise a new surge of hatred. She would be perfectly serene, she swears, if her career were deployed further on the fringes of mass culture.
“My goal is not to fill Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier 25 evenings, my goal is to be well, to no longer be stressed, anxious. I try to protect my spark by carrying little pieces of fire everywhere. One song at a time.