Musical child prodigies Isaac and Nora reveal what they love most about Latin music

Isaac and Nora it’s not a duet musicians and interpreters. It is a quartet made up of all the members of the Restoin family. Nicolás, the father, provides the musical accompaniment, Catherine, the mother, records the videos, Isaac, the eldest, accompanies with the trumpet and Nora, the youngest, gives life to classics from all over the world with an endearing voice that with the same easily draws a tear like a smile.

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Since uploading their first video to YouTube in August 2016 – a French version of the 1930s Yiddish song, “Bei mir bistdu shein” – little Isaac and Nora, then 8 and 5 years old, have become viral. To date, said video has 5.8 million views, surpassed only by its version of the Cuban “20 years”, which has reached 6.5 million.

But it wasn’t until the pandemic that the Restoin’s success swept the platform. Currently his videos total more than 90 million views. And it is that, during the months of confinement, this family entered homes around the world carrying Nora’s sweet voice as a way to alleviate the anxieties of the pandemic.

Great songs from almost every corner of the world have passed through his young voice. “Hallelujah” by the Canadian Leonard Cohen, Sweet Dreams by the English Eurythmics, Thanks to the life of the Chilean Violeta Parra, Griechischer Wein by the German Udo Jürgens, I’m not from here, nor am I from there by the Argentine Facundo Cabral and, I couldn’t miss , one of the most representative tunes of the Peruvian Creole songbook: Olvídala Amigo de Carmencita Lara.

Now, with their first album under their belt, “Latin & Love Studies”, they arrive in Arequipa and Lima on May 27 and 28 thanks to the production company FestiAutor.

From Mexico, days before their arrival in Peru, Isaac, Nora and their father, Nicolás, gave an exclusive interview to Trade.

—What attracts you so much to Latin American music?

It is not easy to explain why this music is so attractive to us. We just feel like we really like listening to it. We like the melodies and the atmosphere it generates. There are many feelings in this music, from nostalgia to joy, and there are also a multitude of different rhythms. But hey, maybe it’s also the same for other music. I think we can only say that it gives us great pleasure to hear that Latin touch.

Isaac and Nora, young French artists, arrive in Lima and Arequipa as part of their Latin American Latin & Love Studies tour.

And of the Latin American artists, which are your favorites?

Isaac: My favorite singer, or my favorite singers, are Daniel and Iván, from the Mexican group Daniel Me Las Matando.

Nora: My favorite singers are Natalia Lafourcade and Mon Laferte.

In general, what music does each of you like?

Of course we like Latin music, but we listen to everything. The first songs we learned were jazz classics. But as we grow, our tastes evolve. Isaac listens to a lot of classic rock bands like AC/DC, and plays a lot of electric guitar at home, and Nora listens to a lot of K Pop bands like BTS or Black Pink.

How did you fall in love with music?

We don’t know when exactly it started, but it started very early. We remember that when we were babies, our father, instead of telling stories before going to bed, often sang songs to us.

(Photo: Diffusion)
(Photo: Diffusion)

—Sure, your house should always be surrounded by music. Who decides, for example, what is going to be listened to while having dinner?

Often it’s Catherine, the mom, or Nora who plays the music. For them it is difficult to live without music. Of course they play Latin music, but it can be many different styles. Nora usually plays “Kingston Town”, the UB40 version because she loves the ‘relax’ and positive atmosphere that this song can give.

—The avalanche of followers they have on social networks proves that their style is more than welcome. Considering this popularity, why did you never agree to perform on talent shows?

I think they are not suitable programs for us, because I think that our particularity, if we have one, does not come from our talent. We are not virtuous at all! I think that our characteristic is only our love for music and our pleasure to play songs that we like, nothing more.

—Who decided the concept of your last album?

The success of our version of “Veinte Años”, the enormous amount of kind and loving messages that we have received from the Latin American public, have given us that desire to make an album with Latin classics.

How did they deal with the pandemic? They were afraid?

No, we have not been afraid. Despite all the difficulties of this pandemic, we were very lucky to be able to be well. We are lucky to live in a house with a small garden, and above all, playing music is a good activity to spend time with the family during confinement.

—Everything is harmony between the brothers? What and why are they fighting?

They are very normal children, so they fight often. For example, if they have to sleep in the same bed, Isaac will complain that Nora takes up all the space, and Nora will complain that Isaac snores too loudly.

“Nora, how did you find out you had that soulful voice?”

I don’t know, I have the impression of singing normally. I try to sing notes fairly. Is not easy. My father always tells me that I shouldn’t sing loudly at the moment, so as not to damage my vocal cords, but I am very happy if my way of singing excites.

—Isaac, what is your favorite instrument?

At the moment, I think my favorite instrument is the electric guitar (the SG, like Angus Young, or the Telecaster, like Keith Richards).

“Have the four of you thought of showing up together?”

The four of us are always together, but the mother is always on the other side of the camera. But we are always all together, it could not be otherwise.

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From Paiján to Poullan-sur-Mer

From Paiján to Poullan-sur-Mer

On October 30, 2020, a voice, almost whispering, singing about spite and pain, shook YouTube. It was little Nora Restoin singing the bartender “Olvídala Amigo” that Carmencita Lara, Paiján’s notable daughter, made essential. The video has accumulated 1.59 billion views and 3,729 comments to date.

—Listening to Nora’s soft and childish voice singing the verses of “Forget it, Amigo” has made a deep impression on the public. How did you meet her? Who chose the song?

Catherine listens to a lot of music at home and one day, she told us: “listen to this song, I love it, and I think you could play it”. The song was “Olvídala Amigo” by Carmencita Lara. That’s how it went.

What did you like about that song?

The rhythm of the Peruvian Creole waltz, the melody, the passage where the singer speaks.

“Do you know what the letter means?”

Yes, there is talk of a man who drinks to forget a woman and should forget her without drinking. What’s funny is that we’ve read a lot of comments about our version saying “I’m thirsty” at the end of the song.

Concert

Isaac and Nora in Lima

Arequipa May 27, Phoenix Theater.

Lima May 28, Santa Úrsula School Auditorium.

Tickets on sale at Joinus.

Isaac and Nora in Lima

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Musical child prodigies Isaac and Nora reveal what they love most about Latin music


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