French pop has had its ups and downs in the international charts – the height of Eurochic for some, too much of an acquired taste for others. When Yelle first made themselves heard a few years back with catchy, upbeat tunes and an attitude to match it seems everyone finally agreed: more s’il vous plait!
A couple of months after the release of their latest album, Safari Disco Club, we met with the charismatic and colorful front woman to discover more about the style secrets and music ambitions of this Gallic pop sensation.
Is Safari Disco Club about taking new directions or sticking to what you know?
Safari Disco Club is definitely different from Pop Up. We would never do the same thing twice! Safari is more sophisticated, more melodic, probably richer in every aspects, and also more compact. It’s still pop, it’s still dance, but it’s new!
Do you take risks (music-wise or in general)?
Yes! It’s life! A game! You have to take risks if you want to go ahead!
Fast-forward a few decades: what would you like to be remembered for?
For my way of making music very much alive. Very presumptuous of me but I would love to be an influence for the next generation!
What’s next for Yelle?
We’ll be touring at least until the end of the year around the world, on the festival circuit all summer in Europe, Australia and Japan, and next fall in a lot more countries! Some busy months ahead.
What’s your earliest memory from the band?
I remember when we put our first song on myspace (“je veux te voir”) and the excitement we had reading the first comments!
What’s the first track you’ve listened to on repeat?
Running up that hill by Kate Bush
What’s your most treasured fashion possession?
A lace vest from my grand mother and an old Pierre Cardin purse
Do you believe in style rules? What’s the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?
I dont believe in rules, I think it’s more about what’s in your mind, if you’re confident and feel good in your outfits, you are beautiful and people around you see it. The best fashion advice for me : you can wear whatever you want, just assume it!
What’s a typical stage outfit for you? Lazy Sunday outfit? Party outfit?
Stage outfit must be strong, the look of it has to make an impact, and comfortable too!
Lazy sunday : legging, sneakers, tee
Party Outfit : It depends on the mood, dress/stilettos or slim jeans/top!
What’s the greenest thing you’ve ever done?
I try to do little things everyday, walk or use my bicycle instead of my car, to recycle, to turn off the lights, etc. I am so depressed when I see some people over consuming energy
What would be your message In a bottle for the next generation?
Enjoy your life, make things happen, and take care of what does make life: the planet!
Yelle (a feminised acronym of YEL, “You enjoy life”) is Julie Budet, a French singer from the town of Saint-Brieuc, France, who started performing in 2005.
She rose to fame on MySpace when she posted a song titled “Short Dick Cuizi”, dissing Cuizinier, a member of the Parisian hip-hop group TTC. After her hit single “Je Veux Te Voir” (a finalised version of “Short Dick Cuizi”), Yelle teamed up with producer and close friend GrandMarnier to work on the debut album, Pop Up.. Producer Tepr was roped into the band in 2007 after meeting GrandMarnier while working as a journalist. Pop Up was released in September 2007. The album produced another charting single, “A cause des garçons”, which reached number eleven on the French singles chart.
The band has enjoyed success outside of France despite making songs exclusively in French and has toured extensively overseas in non-French speaking countries.
In the US, they were featured as MTV’s Artist of the Week at the end of March 2008. After touring for three years, Yelle took a few months off. They started their own record label, Recreation Center, overseen by GrandMarnier and began working on their next album in September 2009.
Yelle’s second album, Safari Disco Club, was released in March 2011. The title track was released for free on their website in January 2011 and was released as a double single with “Que veux-tu”.
Katy Perry asked them to open for her on her 2011 California Dreams Tour in the UK.