VENDREDI SUR MER
The Swiss popstar putting poetry to a beat
It’s no surprise that Vendredi sur Mer, real name Charline Mignot, has such widespread appeal. Her music, a blend of pop, rap, electro and disco, truly and delightfully defies categorisation. At its peak, her beats shake with a danceable spontaneity; in its quieter moments, the depth and emotional weight behind every word drips from the Swiss-born singer’s voice.
Music wasn’t Mignot’s first outlet of creative expression – she previously worked as a fashion photographer – but as she crossed paths with other artists and musicians during her European travels, she found both inspiration and the impetus to put her poetry to a beat. Slowly, a distinct musical character emerged, and today, Mignot’s shows are a joyous jumble of music and choreographed performance.
Now based in Paris, Mignot is finally releasing her debut album entitled “Premiers émois” on the label Profil de Face.
BRADEN BJELLA You’ve mentioned before that you started music just for fun. Now that you’re playing larger shows and more media outlets are writing about you, do you find that your songwriting has changed? Have you felt more pressure to “say something”?
VENDREDI SUR MER For sure! I’m always writing about love and sadness, but not by the same way… I think that taking my time was the best choice I’ve made. I met other people, had other anxieties and also some love stories, so my current “life experience” is different from the day I started music.
BB Who or what are some of your visual inspirations?
VSM I love movies, especially from the 70’s and 80’s. It’s a big source of inspiration for me, like Eric Rhomer or more recently Maiwenn, Emmanuelle Bercot. And my dad was listening to music all the time. I had to listen Gainsbourg, Queen, Stephan Eicher and many others when I was younger.
BB You’ve collaborated with designers in the past and have previously worked as a fashion photographer. When did your interest in that world – fashion and design – begin?
VSM When I was 16, I think. I’m fascinated by photography – it is my first passion. Now I’m using it to decide the way I want to describe a song, like for a video clip or the cover of an album. It’s another approach to photography, but it’s simply just as exciting.
BB How has that history in the fashion world affected your current creative output?
VSM I don’t really know, but it’s important today (with social media for example) for one to have her own way of defining herself. It’s a big part of music. I like it! And maybe it has been essential for me in choosing the people I wanted to work with – I can mention Alice Kong for the video clip or Pauline Caranton for the album cover.
BB Every interview with you has the question “How would you define your music”. Why do you think people are obsessed with classifying your musical style?
VSM Haha I don’t know! Maybe it’s reassuring? But today every kind of music is mixing genres, like rap – it‘s also pop music or electro sometimes. You can even find some rock inside. There is no “class” anymore! Feel free and don’t care about it.
BB You’ve just released your first album after years of making music. How would you compare the experience of crafting an entire album as opposed to just releasing singles?
VSM It’s so exciting! Big job, big stress, but big love, especially during live performances. The public is singing with me, and it is the most beautiful thing!
BB At what point did you realise the album was finally “done”? What was that moment like?
VSM When I talked about everything I wanted to talk about. But I could have continued over and over. An album is never really finished. That is why a second album exists!
“I’m writing what I live, what I want to live (or leave) too.”
BB Your music deals with a lot of personal anxieties and questions about the world generally. Did it take time to become comfortable sharing those personal aspects, or were you immediately able to do so?
VSM I was just able to speak about that recently! I’m writing what I live, what I want to live (or leave) too. My songs are moments I’ve lived, parts of my life – like a personal diary!
BB Are there any artists, musical or otherwise, with whom you’d like to collaborate?
VSM Eminem, for life! I closed my bedroom door so many times just to listen his songs, and above all, I didn’t want to be disturbed. He is a legend.
BB What has been your most memorable performance so far?
VSM There are many memorable moments, but maybe in Lyon last week. I wrote my first song there, I met my manager there too. Music started there for me, so I cried all through the live show.
BB Your stage shows are very theatrical, involving dancers and short scenes between and during songs. What inspired you to bring this element into your shows?
VSM I think it’s because I’m obsessed with cinema and pictures in general. I needed to show a different way to introduce my music, and my lyrics. I met Dorine first and then Clement, her friend. Above being my dancers, they are my friends. Working with them is just amazing.
“Yesterday, I woke up in the middle of the night and I wrote a song.”
BB When you need inspiration, what is your routine? Do you have a specific place you go, a thing you do, etc.?
VSM No, I can write everywhere and at any time! Yesterday, I woke up in the middle of the night and I wrote a song… But I don’t know how and why. Some things are difficult to explain.
BB What songs from your new album are you most excited to share with people?
VSM I think… “Chewing-Gum.” Because it’s a very personal song. I talk about my first love, someone very special to me – my “premier émoi”… and it’s a groovy song!
BB What are you nervous about right now, and what are you excited about right now?
VSM I’m not nervous, I’m excited to share this album and sing in differents cities and countries. It’s my drug.
Interview BRADEN BJELLA