Four years after the death of Jacques Higelin, his daughter released an electro pop album.
The place is bucolic. A stone’s throw from the Seine, surrounded by unreal residences, the 19th century property is hidden behind a generous English garden. La Frette, in the Val-d’Oise, is a mythical studio, like the Château d’Hérouville, where David Bowie, Elton John, and… Jacques Higelin found inspiration. On the first-floor terrace, Izïa waits. Cigarette in her left hand, glass of white wine in her right, she spreads her immense smile, oh so charming. ” Welcome ! She seems at home. The familiarity is immediate, the tour of the owner, performed with disconcerting ease. Going through the kitchen, when others would offer water, she offers a piece of cheese and a glass of this grand cru on which her assistant has placed a label: “Reserved Izïa”. “It’s good because it’s you I’m proposing,” she laughs. Izïa seems as natural as the place, “crazy”, as she says.
She claims to have written most of the songs with “8 grams in the blood”
La Frette was his island, his mountain, the time of the creation of “La Vitesse”. Here, the young woman lived for five weeks with Bastien Burger, an ex-companion who remained her best musical accomplice. “We separated but never left. We lived several lives together, we have a child, we bored each other, we loved each other, and it takes an ultimate degree of intimacy to write an album like this. “The memory comes back to her of that evening when she joined Bastien, then seated at the piano, to hum: “The time that passes is the remedy for life. “The sentence fell from the sky. I’m sure it was dad who blew it to me. She looks so much like him. Jacques Higelin floats everywhere. In the songs, of course, but especially in the eyes of his Izïa, 31, in his rock and casual attitude, his Frenglish vocabulary, sometimes coarse, sometimes literary, and in his outspokenness. She says that she wrote most of the songs with “8 grams of alcohol in her blood”, apologizes for being so “cash”, and finally… “Oh! and then who cares, that’s how we’ve always made music. »
Izïa Higelin started at the age of little notes from girlfriends in the diary and the first love emotions. After a concert at the Printemps de Bourges, the second of her existence, without an album but full of a devouring desire, she throws away her notebooks and her pens to go on tour. “When I watch my debut concerts, I hide under the sofa in shame… But I was 15, it’s lovely and great to see that again. Most artists today come on board already being clean, square. For me, it was going all over the place. “Daughter of and simply daughter in a rock universe doped with testosterone, Izïa had to take the hits before the arrival of her acolytes, Jeanne Added and Nili Hadida (from Lilly Wood and the Prick). “I was half naked on stage, I fully enjoyed my sensuality. If it was ever a problem for me, because I was really like that, I suffered the plasters. They looked at me and said, “What the hell is the kid doing here?” What I took in the face would be inadmissible now. »
I admired that Charlotte Gainsbourg shows nothing and everyone wants her
Mentalities have evolved and, her television appearances are witnesses to it, too. Throughout the archives, we observe him growing up, searching for himself, mute one year, talkative the next, angry then sympathetic, advocating raised fist English as the ultimate melodic language to end up defending the language of Molière. “It happened to me, but I had the “Charlotte Gainsbourg complex” in my youth. I admired that she showed nothing and that everyone wanted her, whereas I was an open-book “fucking”…” There is this curious paradox in Izïa between the candid woman, thirsty for discoveries, never “blasos” (to use his funny expression), and the accomplished artist, endowed with much more experience than the stars of his age. “I have the impression of being both a beginner and an old singer. »
Seeing the public filming during her concerts drives her crazy. It wasn’t too long ago that she threw bottles of water at junk influencers or grabbed their phones to lick the screen. “I took things very seriously… Once, a girl was filming with an iPad in the front row, I confiscated it from her. “Social networks, surface content, very little for her. Accustomed to long interviews with Laurent Ruquier and consorts, the singer admits to standing up against these new media which demand tit for tat answers to questions that are beyond her. “Who cares about my favorite Instagram account, right? “These famous social networks, here is a heated subject. “Ridiculous”, she thinks when she posts stories where her face fills the image. These platforms send him back his invading complexes. And before each stage appearance, each new project, she finds herself haunted by the same fear, that of failure. Her father also “freaked out”, “until the end”, she specifies.
She remembers him returning from one of Alain Bashung’s last concerts, screaming: “I’m nothing but shit!” He sits on a stool for two hours and everyone thinks he’s brilliant, when I gesticulate at all my concerts and people think I’m a jester. » They say that the apple never falls far from the tree… « They adored each other, with Alain, but my father compared himself all the time. It’s crazy to think that Jacques Higelin was there. An artist is just someone who doubts and who shits. »
Also read. Izïa and the mourning of her father Jacques Higelin: “He is in me forever”
However, Izïa chose not to stop at music. In the cinema, she plays surprise appearances, choosing demanding films in which she plays prominent roles. Committed and enraged volunteer under the watchful eye of Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache in “Samba”; free and loving in “La belle saison” by Catherine Corsini; Camille Claudel in “Rodin”, by Jacques Doillon. “I have never been a careerist. Because I have been doing this job for a long time, because I come from a family like mine, I have some perspective. I grew up in brothel, jacks and sweat. Music is vital for me, cinema is a bonus. “Last role: in” Far from the ring road “, for Netflix. A first. “Ah, it’s a different delirium than the cinema, I was amazed. Again, I feel old, but you have to get used to it. »
Also read. Izïa Higelin, his son already in the footsteps of his parents: “Another one who will not study!”
Her son will be 4 years old in August, she talks about him with immense tenderness, a pensive smile and the admiration of a mother hen. When she’s not on the road, she makes it a point of honor to go after school, convinced that her offspring will leave the place as soon as he has the opportunity. Constantly attached to a guitar, passionate about drums, the kid already seems to be following in his parents’ footsteps. “Another one who won’t study!” My dad used to say, “I don’t raise my daughter, I raise with her.” I feel the same for my son. It embodies a mirror of recklessness. Who makes short work of her grandmother, the singer Aziza Zakine, gaga, according to her mother. Among all her hats – accomplished woman, artist and mother – Izïa doesn’t feel like she has to choose one. “I do not cross-dress in any role, I am the same whatever the situation. I feel more aligned than before, it’s thirty, that… For nothing in the world would I be 22 again. Aging is great! »
“Speed” (Believe), available.
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Izïa: “Ado, I had the “Charlotte Gainsbourg complex””
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