Di passaggio a Roma in una calda serata di giugno, dove il venticello estivo tipico di questa città accarezza languido i capelli rendendo morbida la notte, Aurelié Lopez è stata per me una vera e propria rivelazione. Estroversa, confidenziale e ancor più bella dal vivo, con fare genuino la prima cosa che mi ha detto è stata: «I’d like to eat some real Italian food…».
Così, a tarda sera, siamo finite a cena e, in una chiacchierata speziata da mille accenti, mi ha raccontato che suona da sempre, componendo la musica e i testi leggeri di canzoni che raccontano storie d’amore non sempre a lieto fine. Mi ha parlato di Parigi, di quanto si sta bene nel sud della Francia, e che al recente For Festival di Hvar ha ascoltato le onde del mare fondersi seducenti con le note della chitarra di Erlend Øye (King of Convenience) in un’improvvisazione pomeridiana di storia della musica.
Aurelié mi ha stesa con la sua parlantina, con le sue risate tenaci, con il suo sguardo attento e con quella tipica sincerità femminile che non teme mai le screpolature del cuore.
Aurelie Lopez nom de plume Birkii, why did you choose this name? Tell us a bit about your experience in music, from conservatory ’till nowadays…
Honestly there’s no big story behind my artist name, I needed one, so I search for one with crosswords, basically looking for a sound that could suit me. I’ve started music pretty early with violin, and stuck to that for 20 years, I was playing in a quartet, orchestra and teaching too, but somehow I realize that I didn’t belong there, so I start playing with a little Casio SK1 and I felt obsessed about writing, recording… I wanted to create on my own. It’s a totally different thing than be able to play others music. I respect that, deeply, but it’s not for me. I feel like I have everything to learn and experiment in life, be connected with what’s surrounds me and share.
What’s your personal “Holy War” at the moment?
Be surrounded by good vibes, the right people, and feel inspired. Never get bored and love the moment. Be creative and listen to your instinct, cos at the end we always knew what was good or bad for us. Be the best mother you can be for yourself, all that is a daily job, an Holy war, and that’s how it turns valuable. I’m talking like a priest, but that’s how you can be in harmony with others.
In someway when I look at your videos and listen to your music my mind goes to Roisin Murphy, and sometimes to the Goldfrapp. What are your artistic influences and who are your icons?
Really? People always compare artist to others artist, and that’s works for me as well. I’ve heard a lot. I feel inspired by Natasha Khan since the first songs I wrote, but there are so many things that influence me, every day. My emotion first, how I feel, and what I want, my energies too. But at the end, it’s the same for the audience, how they received it at that moment. Unconscious association, or not.
«You know nothing Jon Snow». In your music did you ever feel inspired by a movie or a TV series? What would you like to write the music for?
I must say, «You know nothing Jon Snow» at least once a day, to different people, but mostly to my dad, and it’s enough to get weird. He loves GOT and it was funny to watch him get into the TV show. He’s still hoping for Ned Stark to come back… I would love to write for a movie, something personal, indie with a lot of freedom, and bring my color. It’s so inspiring to bring some musical universe to some character and story… and, to feel surrounded by this world night and day, when you are writing the music. Actually I just did a music for MTV EXIT Australia, a campaign against modern slavery, and there’s a story about three different character, so I had to create a mood, and a voice for them, it was pretty hard because of the subject, I mean you don’t want to fall on the pathos side of the story, and you can’t be funky about it, obviously. You want to serve the cause by finding the right attitude, simple and strong I guess, at least I tried to play it like that. But for sure, I want to do this again.
I really liked the “Shade of doubt“ video, even it’s a bit sad loveaffair you’re singing about, I think the video it’s quite terrific. Let’s talk about the making of and if you recall some fun things happening while shooting it.
Thanks! All the people in this video are my real friends, the flat in the video is actually my flat, and all the location too. It was pretty funny to carry the cardboard everywhere, we did look a bit strange in the streets and I remember the party was really fun too. I remember that Doris Maxime and PA, the directors, struggle a while for the balloon scene at the end, it was cold, we really stay age outside to make that ‘work’. It wasn’t easy for me to be on screen, I’m getting better, but I’m still working on that.
Birkii’s top ten places not to be missed while visiting Paris.
Have a diner at the Playtime, it’s a peniche, a typically Parisian boat, they dropped anchor down La cité de la Mode, it’s all new, just open, and there’s a swimming pool! Then, you have to check my hairdresser Romain at Messieurs Dames on the upper Marais, is the sweetest and the best. Once you’re in that neighborhood, go and check Killygrind shop, she’s a vintage French designer and you won’t find those in every capital. There’s this very good Italian place called Caffe Soprano, I love it all. La Candelaria is also very tasty, you will have awesome Mexican tacos, but you better get there early, cos it can get crowded easily. It’s always nice to pay a visit at the Beaubourg Museum, especially in the morning when you still sleepy and get full of energy by piece of Art. You can also have a drink at Le Perchoir, from there you will have an amazing view on Paris. I always have to see my park: The Buttes Chaumont, I used to call it mine, I was living so close that, I had my flat and park, beautiful color all year long. There’s great venue for gigs too, La gaité lyrique, Le Trianon, La Maroquinerie or La Flèche d’Or and great festival such as We love green, Rock en Seine, Les inrocks, Pitchfork, La Villette Sonique. A lot to do!
And last but not least, did you ever think about to make the cover of «You can leave your hat on»? ‘Cause you left your hat over my house… to tell you the truth I love it, so merci beaucoup dear Birkii!
Haha, some guy in Roma gave it to me against a kiss, it’s a nice souvenir from Roma, and it’s even better that I forgot it at your place! I love Roma!