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  • Uncategorised

    Five things you should know about Camille

    By ANNABEL ROSS 04 January 2019

    One of France’s biggest stars, Camille is a hugely talented musician, but she’s much more than that, too. Get to know SFSC’s leading lady ahead of her debut festival appearance in January. Trust us — you’re in for a real treat.

     

    1. They don’t call her the French Bjork for nothing

    Early on in her career, Camille Dalmais was dubbed the French Bjork due to the highly experimental nature of her music and her penchant for singing in a number of different styles. Dalmais is flattered by the compliment — Bjork was one of her idols — but it also undersells her somewhat. Dalmais’s experimentation and playfulness extends to language, too. She’s fluent in French and English and has sang in both languages throughout her career, often using both in the same song. Doing so might have prevented her from reaching as many people as Bjork, but Dalmais will never stop singing in French. The French would never forgive her if she did, for one, and she has important messages to share with her country. Her last album, OUÏ, was almost entirely in French as Dalmais felt that her compatriots were “in need of healing.”

     

    1. She’s a very smart woman

    By now you’ve probably got the idea that Dalmais is no dummy. In fact, she’s so clever, she scored the marks to attend the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies (“Sciences Po”) after finishing school. The university was attended by seven of the last eight French presidents. Dalmais launched her music career as soon as she finished her course at Sciences Po. She always knew she wanted to be a musician; she just wanted to prove to herself and her family that she was bright academically, too.

     

    1. She’s an environmental crusader

    In an interview with Fairfax late last year, Dalmais, who is flying to Australia in January, put forth a call to her Australian audiences. “Anyone interested in helping me travel differently? I am 200 per cent motivated.” If it wasn’t such an economic and logistical challenge, the singer would prefer to lighten her carbon footprint and arrive by boat. She regularly travels by train to her gigs throughout Europe, in spite of how much quicker it would be to fly, and is wary of the cellular waves emitted by mobile phones, so uses an old one and only sparingly. This can make her a difficult woman to get a hold of, but Dalmais prefers an existence more rooted in nature and less dependent on technology. “Before mastering technology it seems to me one should understand the way our body works, talks, eliminates, breathes, vibrates,” she says. “Understanding the magic of the human body is enough work for my entire life.” As for computers and social media, Camille says, “I don’t like screens. They are energy eaters. I need time to let my mind wander.”

     

    1. She’s dabbled in film, too

    In 2001, Camille starred in the French film Les Morsures de l’aube [Love Bites] alongside Asia Argento. She wrote and performed a song for Pixar’s hit 2007 film Ratatouille called “Le Festin”. She also contributed a song to the soundtrack of the 2015 French animated film The Little Prince, based on the famous children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  It is the most successful French animated film of all time outside of France.

     

    1. She has a strong connection with So Frenchy So Chic — and with Australia

    So Frenchy So Chic founder Jean-Francois Ponthieux can take some of the credit for breaking Camille in Australia. “In 2006 I released the second So Frenchy So Chic compilation album featuring two Camille songs, ‘Ta douleur’ and ‘Au Port’”, Ponthieux explains. “I serviced the album to Triple J, focusing on Camille. They added her to their playlist and ‘Ta douleur’ became the most requested song for three months straight!” It was an impressive feat for a song sung entirely in French, which went on to reach no. 26 on the Triple J Hottest 100 in 2006. Ponthieux sold 26,000 copies of the SFSC compilation album that year, nearly double the 14,000 that were sold the previous year, largely thanks to ‘Ta Douleur’. “EMI Australia didnt know who Camille was until they released her album six months later and sold over 20,000 copies!”says Ponthieux. “She came on a tour three years later, sold out three shows at Sydney Festival and did ten sold out shows in total around the country.”