I hit a lag while learning French a while back when I decided to listen to music from the country as inspiration to keep at it when I discovered this chanteuse (who writes most of her own lyrics). The first song I listened to was “La Femme Chocolat” and simply put, I was enchanted, and had to hear more.
They have her music listed under the Bossa Nova subgenre of the developing genre; Nouvelle Chanson, which has a strong tie to French/Modern Chanson what with the use of French as ‘vehicle and instrument’ as well as theatrical tendencies displayed by the artist.
Born Olivier Blanc on January 1, 1980 in the south of France to musician father Didier Blanc,she later adopted her grandmother’s maiden name, Ruiz, with which she was to become popular. Music naturally played a central role in her upbringing – travelling with her father and his band on musical tours and having had her own first stage performance at only 12 years old – she had her mind made up from a young age to live an artistic life.
Her lyrics are quirky and poetic with metaphorical, sometimes surreal elements that she threads beautifully with her distinctive voice. Her second album, in which she settled comfortably into her musical style, features intensely poetic lyrics, wry, intelligent humour and wit, interwoven with the sounds of the accordion, violins and clarinets and an integration of rock, tango and Latin rhythms to the whole mix.
You should give her a listen sometime, even if you don’t care for the language it's beautiful all the same.
A Brief discography:
J’Aime Pas L’Amour - 2003
La Femme Chocolat – 2005
Miss Météores – 2009
Le Calme Et La Tempête - 2012