Lynda Lemay and “larger-than-life projects” – RFI Musique
On 11/11/2020, Quebec singer Lynda Lemay started a once Upon a time. The titanic project, which produced 11 albums in 1111 days. Passing through Paris, we met with him to talk about this atypical project on the occasion of the release of the 6th disc, There is only one step.
RFI Musique: You haven’t been heard much since your 60th concert at the Olympia in 2016. What have you been up to so far?
Lynda Lemay: It was a dark period in my life, there was a lot of work to be done in my head, my family and my privacy. This downtime is necessary to find myself and do some sort of “reset“. But I don’t waste my time, I can’t help but be creative and come up with these larger-than-life projects: once Upon a time.
How was this project born and why is the number 11 repeated?
In 2017, I lost my “strongest father”. If you know my song The strongest is my father, You understand how hard it was for me to pass this test! Her death made me realize that life can change overnight and that I may not be able to sing like this for the rest of my life… I want to feel free, to have space, I feel so inspired. I am 56 years old and I am very talkative. It’s very stimulating! I was in a small cafe near my youngest daughter’s school, my dad had passed away not long before, I had promised him to do something really big… The day I got this idea, the phone rang at 11:11 am and it rang ” have a dream” so I took it as a vision and didn’t doubt it.
There is only one step often discusses violence Between fire and soot, then we will talk a lot about love. Are you advancing thematically on these albums?
I started building this project about 1111 days before releasing the first of 11 albums and now I have 1111 days to release 11 albums. At first there were 11 themes, I wanted to make an album per theme, but I changed it so it wouldn’t be boring. In this one, I tackle tough themes like mourning and end of life, but also humor with, for example, hat head, which is totally out of place but incredibly funny (he sings about a rider threatening to hit a cyclist, editor’s note.) It also needs some lightening.
and recurrence, my drama, which addresses gender issues. Why cover it on each of the eleven discs, in a new version, with different people?
It often happens to me to compose several pieces of music on the same text to be able to choose the music that is most effective. I find it interesting to introduce him to my audience. Meanwhile, to combine my voice with a male voice, it really fits the inner struggles of the character of the song. Transidentity has been overlooked so much that even if I mention it eleven times in my projects, it will never be superfluous!
The first to sing it in France was Charles Aznavour with As they say. you dedicate to him Eternal Troubles. How was this melancholy song born?
I wrote it in a rush of emotion. The last time I saw him was after one of his shows in Quebec and he wanted me to tell him what I thought about one of his last songs that he had never played on stage before. He’s like a little 16 year old guy saying “Hey what do you think?“. And suddenly, I think he realized that his attitude, his first friend from Quebec, who he would ask this question to, was no longer alive. I saw the tears in his eyes… He left in his car and that was the last time I saw him … Also, from the very beginning of my career, I projected myself onto old age, right up until this point that I wish I knew, old age is a privilege.
There are a lot of collaborations on this new album. Sanseverino but also actresses like Ingrid Falaise, a humorist, Jean-François Mercier, or even a feminist journalist, Janette Bertrand. Why is this type of guest?
I want to be open to other people for this project. It gives me a lot of space and freedom and I’m surprised that people say yes. Sanseverino put his bit of madness to work and there are people I really admire like Janette Bertrand. She is an extraordinary woman. He agreed to offer me two texts, it was a huge reward. Michel Jean reads an excerpt from his bestseller steamed and three great singers from our area accompanied me Gemstone talking about female circumcision. That they express themselves about this is very important.
These 11 albums, will you sing them in 1111 dates?
Journey Life is a fool’s story starting in 2021 and I fully intend to make it last to day 1111 of the project by the end of 2023. We will be celebrating at Olympia in December 2023, with my 63rd performance in this room, absolutely insane!
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