It’s during a round table, after the press conference of the presentation of the Belgian song and of RTBF’s broadcast for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in PIAS Belgium headquarters, where less than 10 media journalists, including Eurovision-Fr.net, that Blanche and Pierre Dumoulin, songwriter of "City Lights", have answered to their questions in Brussels on Wednesday, March 8th in the late morning, for about twenty minutes.
This Friday morning, our website purposes you the most pertinent questions and their answers.
French version of the interview
Biography of Blanche
Contestant of the 5th season of « The Voice Belgique », young Brussels artist Ellie Delvaux, who is now called Blanche, will wave the Belgian flag at the 62nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, next May.
At 16 years old, she stroke the audience and her coaches, French pop-rock duo Cats on Trees, with her particular and strong voice at « The Voice Belgique », while covering « Daydreamer » from Adele.
Inspired by her elder brother Oliver Lord
, who is also a singer and was also a contestant at The Voice Belgique during the 1st season in the team coached by Belgian-Portugueuse singer Lio, Blanche
began playing the guitar and the piano early during her childhood.
After reaching the semi-finals of the 5th season of The Voice Belgique, she was contacted by Pierre Dumoulin main singer and guitarist from the Belgian pop-rock band Roscoe
to work with him on few demos. She will release a 1st EP for Fall 2017, which is actually been written and recorded on studio, in PIAS, Roscoe’s independent record label.
It’s "City Lights", one of the songs written and composed by Pierre Dumoulin for Blanche, for this EP, which will represent Belgium at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
Blanche will be the 5th talent from The Voice in Belgium (the 4th from the version broadcast on RTBF and produced by Belgian Head Of Delegation Leslie Cable) to represent Belgium at the Contest, after Roberto Bellarosa, Axel Hirsoux, Loïc Nottet and Laura Tesoro.
Interview with Blanche and Pierre Dumoulin
How was born « City Lights » ?
: The first picture I had in my mind while creating this song, it was like an American movie, a couple who drive in a convertible under the lights of a big city. It was a little bit cliché, but that meant I wanted to spend good time with Blanche. Then came all this metaphor about the light, on the contrasts between brightness and darkness.
: At the beginning, to be honest, the lyrics had no sense at all, it was just a story, a pretext to get a singing line. Pierre first wrote an initial text, then we saw and I wanted to change some words in this song. We were looking for synonyms. We realized that Pierre and I had convergences on this melody : we put the finger on exactly the same word.
For you, Blanche, what does the Eurovision Song Contest mean to you ?
: Not really nostalgia, I never thought of the Contest as a career plan. It was a little crazy for all of us when RTBF announces us that I was chosen to take part at the Contest, maybe more Pierre than me. When we get involved in a contest or a TV show, we realize how big it is, as a concept and as a potential TV audience. I am really happy to participate at the Eurovision and to reach many people from all around the world.
I used to watch the performances of the Contest after the TV broadcast. A live performance stroke me : it was Alexander Rybak with « Fairytale » for Norway in 2009 ; he was literally in trance with his violin.
Otherwise, on the Wednesday morning before the press conference, there was in the radio Sandra Kim with her hit « J’aime la vie ». It’s not the kind of song I listen to everyday in my iPod. But honestly, it’s a great song, still known nowadays, which won the Contest for Belgium, that is very respectable.
: What is funny behind all this storyline, is that we belong to PIAS Belgium, an independant record label, and that I make indie rock music. Still now, after meetings with RTBF about the Eurovision Song Contest, in the elevators, we look after each other with Damien (PIAS Belgium manager), Ellie and I while wondering with laughs : « What’s going on for us ? ». But it’s a great experience, I don’t get any judgement about this topic. Nobody around us thought we would do the Eurovision Song Contest, not even me as a songwriter, not even Damien as a record label manager, and not even Ellie as a singer/as an artist.
Blanche, mainstream audience knows you less than a year with The Voice Belgique, don’t you think things are going a little bit faster for you, as you are only 17 ?
: For me, no. I even think the timing is right. For the moment, we only get one song, “City Lights”, with the expected aim. There was an evolution in the construction of this title to get a satisfying result, made with efficiency. Now, for the after-contest, we are not hurry, we will look at this after the Eurovision Song Contest, which is a consequent project, for my EP, originally planned for Spring 2017 but delayed for the moment at Fall.
Pierre, have you thought about adapting « City Lights » for the Eurovision Song Contest, when it was chosen for the event, as this song was not originally written and composed for this occasion ?
: We had to adapt this song to respect the 3 minutes rule, the original sketch for « City Lights » had a 3 minutes 30 length. It must be the first time I made a track for only 3 minutes ! It’s the only compromise we made for Eurovision.
Blanche, what do you see as similarities and differences between Cats On Trees and Roscoe/Pierre Dumoulin in the way to work and to touch on music ?
: For The Voice Belgique, you don’t have to forget that Cats On Trees are also responsible for other talents than me, we trained on the song I had to perform during the TV Show and, the most important thing, we worked a lot on my self-confidence, on stage, so that I can be at ease in all the stuff I undertake. But we lacked of time to make a complete artistic work together.
With Pierre, it’s more than a musical project where we write and compose songs. He is not a coach for me. Here, we speak about a real artistic collaboration, even if he gives me pieces of advice thanks to his bigger experience in the music industry.
Blanche, to return to The Voice, which pieces of advice did your elder brother, Oliver Lord, give to you in the way to behave in this talent show ?
: Oliver gives me pieces of advice anytime, not only for this show. To my mind, he even gives me too much advice ! But he also made me work my notion of self-confidence, he pushed me to cover songs and to go all the way. I plenty recognize that I am severe towards myself.
Blanche, can you say few words about your scenical experience ?
: My first ever stage performance was at the High School Party, when I sang in English with friends. We covered « Skyfall » from Adele, « Princess Of China » from Coldplay and « Empire States Of Mind » from Alicia Keys.
Otherwise, I made 2 primetimes in live for The Voice, the atmosphere was really great, it was not that stressful.
In nature, I don’t get the spirit of competition even if, for The Voice or for the Eurovision Song Contest, I want to make a good result, even to win.
At last Pierre, how would you describe the musical universe of Blanche ?
: Her universe is getting built as far as we write and compose together. As far as I’m concerned, I own an artistic touch which is precise and easily recognizable. Actually, all inside and around Blanche’s musical universe is growing up, is perfectly set up, including in her graphic identity.
The main idea is to reveal to audiences all that Blanche has in her heart, in the deepest of herself, her personality and her artistic sensitivity. All is getting blast all around her, it’s the first time I feel it as an artist. All is coherent : press photos, the video clip, sound and visual identities,…
Blanche confirms to me that she is getting created, she thinks about she wants to be and there is an evolution about her as she gets more and more mediatic sollicitations.
You can find out an exclusive interview of Blanche on RTBF
You can read on our website a detailed article, dated on March 8th 2017, about "City Lights
" (video clip, exclusive photo gallery,...)
Belgium will perform in the 1st part of the 1st semi-final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday, March 9th.
This heat, in which France won’t vote, will be broadcast live on France 4 and commented from Kiev by Marianne James and Jarry.
To promote her entry, Blanche will perform in London on April, 2nd during the 2017 edition of London Eurovision Party and will perform at The Voice Belgique on RTBF on April, 18th.
Warm thanks to Aurore Crabbé from RTBF Press Office and to Elodie Houssière from PIAS Belgium Press office for their great welcome this Wednesday,for the excellent organization of the press conference and for permitting us to have this interview slot with Blanche and Pierre Dumoulin.