My mother is half-French, half-Malagasy, so I’ve been listening to African music, like Malian and Congolese music, since I was a child.
I’ve never been inspired by a politician in France, and I think a lot of my own generation think that way.
Moving to Dubai at age 9 and then the Congo, they were two completely opposite countries. But that brought me to music and taught me things that I never would have learned otherwise. And it was always about the rhythm in those two countries – that’s why I love them.
We shouldn’t be scared of love.
Cultural appropriation is a big problem, but the thing is, I didn’t invent my life. I really lived in Africa.
I realised that I really liked to be on stage, and that I wanted to pursue it.
I could never imagine ever in my life that I’d be on the side of The Louvre.
I’m from a little town from the south tip of France, to be able to play in Coachella and meet other artists from all over the world and to connect with people that I love from my hometown is something amazing.
Sometimes you meet people that try to explain to you your work, and how to write a song and how to sing it, and they explain that you are doing it the wrong way. And yeah, it’s always super frustrating.
When I was nine, I was passing by a drum class and saw them playing and I was moved. That’s why I started making music.
Making music you can dance to is very important to me.
I just wanna write about what I am living as a citizen. That’s all.
What I want to tell people is that you can mix the culture a little bit and it’s not always appropriation.
My music would be very, very different if I haven’t traveled.
I always write about something that moves me.
When I was very young, I just loved the idea of tapping on stuff, so I was always making a lot of noise.
I grew up in a family where, when we listened to music everybody would dance, so for me that’s a very natural thing to do.
Sometimes people stop me on the street and they say ‘when are you going to make the next ‘Zanaka’ and it’s what I really didn’t want to do.
My music was about travelling a lot and connecting with other people, and English is the voice of travelling.
I want to have Congolese influences but also influences from Dubai and Abu Dhabi and France. To mix everything up.
Moving from Dubai to the Congo was one of the best things that happened to me, it’s a shock to be confronted by the contrast in wealth and culture, and it’s hard, but I loved it and it influenced me a lot.
I was always playing with whatever I could get under my hands, making rhythm with it, which was natural for me, because my parents were listening to a lot of African music.
I started to write my songs when I was 15 and living in the Congo.
My favourite place was in The Congo. It’s where I began to write songs and build myself as an adult.
At 16 I was living in the Congo, and, you know, it’s your teenage time. I really wanted to find a way to express myself, so I started to write songs in the Congo, and I think that’s why my music is quite open, with a lot of different influences.
You may hear from my fabulous accent that I’m French!
I’m someone who is quite shy, and onstage I’m quite… extrovert.
I quietly work with my computer on the tour bus, and then I wait to make my more natural rhythms when I get home.
I thought it was beautiful to be able to forgive and give love and to fight only with flowers. So I created the idea of a ‘Souldier,’ which is like an army guy but fights for love.
For me to have the opportunity to learn the darbuka and the tabla in Dubai, it created my own thoughts for music.
I am French. I was born here, I live here and France is my cultural identity.
Music is like my secret garden. It’s where I heal myself from every pain that I feel. It’s like a therapy.
When I started making music, I wanted to enjoy it and make others enjoy it. But it’s just music. I am not saving the world.
When I travel I always try to see shows from a local group, and with the Internet it’s important to have a global vision of music.
It’s really important because it’s how you present yourself to people, and for me it’s an act of respect, you know? To get dressed for the people who came to the show.
Music is open-minded and has always travelled, every country takes something from another, and that’s what makes the richness of music.
Since I was a child, I was yearning to learn about percussion because that’s what I loved.
I think it’s hard when you’re a woman because the music industry is way more masculine than feminine, so you have to make your own space and fight for it.
I’m from the Southwest, and in the Southwest of France, you’re not supposed to love Paris.
Well, the thing is I always listened to American music way more than French music.
When I was little, I was listening to the Beatles, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, and stuff. I had a big soul music culture, and not so much a French one.
I just write about what makes me sad, and then when I write, I hear myself. It’s like therapy, where I write something sad and then I make it happier or hopeful.
When I like an artist, especially a female artist, I really try to support.
I could not have asked for a better childhood.