Getting “Complètement fou” aka “Completely Crazy” with Julie Budet of French Electro-Pop Band, YELLE!
Posted On 13 Nov 2014
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Blur, Bouquet final, California Dreams, California Dreams Tour, Christine and The Queens, Complètement fou, Cyndi Lauper, Dr. Luke, Etienne Daho, FKA Twigs, French, French band, French music, French musicians, GrandMarnier, Je veux te voir, Jean-Francois Perrier, Julie Budet, Kate Bush, KATY PERRY, Kemosabe, Kemosabe Records, Mac Demarco, Madonna, music interview, Myspace, Nicole DeRosa, Pop Up, Prince, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Safari Disco Club, Snoop Dogg, Sophie, Tanguy Destable, techno, Tepr, UK, United Kingdom, Warren G, Yelle
Yelle are a French band founded by lead singer and namesake Yelle (Julie Budet) and GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier). A third member, Tepr (Tanguy Destable), joined the band before the recording of their debut album. Budet and GrandMarnier began working on music together in 2000.
The band came to prominence when it posted an early version of the song “Je veux te voir“on MySpace in September 2005, which later reached the top five in France. The success of the song on Myspace attracted the attention of a record label, which set them to work on their debut album, Pop Up, which was released in 2007. The group’s second album, Safari Disco Club, was released in 2011.
They have enjoyed a significant following overseas in non-French-speaking countries as well. They toured the globe for three years in support of Pop Up. The bands third and latest album is entitled, ” Complètement fou.” However,Tepr (Tanguy Destable) is not involved in the latest album or tour as he is now focusing on his solo project.
The three members of Yelle draw from different influences in contributing to their music, GrandMarnier is influenced by rock music, including Rage Against the Machine, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, while Tepr enjoys rap and minimal techno. Budet has cited Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Madonna and Blur as influences. They have also listed Prince and Cyndi Lauper and Etienne Daho as influences which makes for an eclectic mix.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to catch up with lead singer, Julie between shows on their current tour. Read more from their conversation below.
Hi Julie! Where does this interview find you today? What’s on the agenda besides our interview?
Hi Nicole! Well, just a few minutes ago we were sound-checking in Atlanta where we play tonight! It’s our 22nd show of the month here in the US!
How did your musical journey begin? How did you all meet one another and know you wanted to start a band with one another?
GrandMarnier is the root. He first produced some beats and then guested me to sing, so the beats became songs. The first song we did was “Je veux te voir” and that’s how all started. We met at a friend’s birthday party 13 years ago…
Did you all grow up in France? How do you think your location influenced your style? Were you inspired by the music scene there or did you mostly do your own thing?
Yes we did, in Brittany to be precise. French pop from the 80’s is inspiring, that era was very creative, very modern, and I think we are more influenced by a way of doing things than by songs or artists. Yes, we mostly do our own thing, indeed!
You just released your highly anticipated third album, Complètement fou in September via Kemosabe Records which happens to be on renowned producer, Dr. Luke’s label, who also produced the album. How was it working with him? What did you learn from him as a producer?
Luke is brilliant! We learned a lot about the way of doing things, the importance of chords, the structures, the production… he is an amazing musician and human being. We haven’t done all the album with him though. We also collaborated with many great people of his team too. GrandMarnier and I are very proud of the songs we made all together, we opened the circle, even regarding the lyrics.
The album was preceded by the single, “Bouquet final” and the latest single, “Complètement fou” which has a super fun video to accompany it as well. What was the inspiration for that song and the video? Did you help come up with the treatment for the video?
The inspiration for the song is basically that French expression that we said a lot, “complètement fou”, which means completely crazy. Luke heard us and said it too, and with his accent, we found it cute, so we recorded him and started playing around. We wanted to play with a very house sound bass, a shuffling rhythm, and some crazy chords at the end. Cirkut, the amazing producer who works with Luke did some amazing production on it.
You have toured around the world, including opening for Katy Perry on her California Dreams Tour in the UK. What was that like?
It was three fun weeks in the UK. Her crowd is very excited and open so it was cool to play. It’s a big organization you know, big machine, so we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Katy but each time we met, it was super nice. She supports us for a while now, and still does. We very much appreciate this. Merci Katy!
Is there anyone you would like to work with and collaborate with in the future? (i.e.; producer, singer, songwriter, fellow musician)
I want to work more with this team, it’s so rich, full of talented people!
I love that your lyrics are playful yet sarcastic. Your debut single, “Je veux te voir,” was a humorous reply to the misogynist lyrics of some rap bands. What is your songwriting process like? How do you capture inspiration when it comes to you?
It’s most of the time just one idea that pops up, one word, or one sentence and then we build around… it’s like growing a flower!
Who are some of the artists who inspire you (past/present)? Who is in your current playlist?
I’m a big fan of Kate Bush for many reasons, music of course, but also her art covers, music videos, live shows, etc. She is a total artist! Right now, I’m listening to Mac DeMarco, Christine and The Queens or Sophie, a great UK producer!
What else are you most excited about for this year?
I’m super impressed by FKA Twigs, she’s very intense in her music videos and her live shows seem great too!
To learn more about YELLE , including upcoming tour dates, visit their website here .