Embodying the essence of 1960's and 70's underground rock and roll, while also calling upon silver screen influences of the Bardot era, Lou Lesage and Arthur Jaquin's band Soleil Bleu are redefining what it means to be cool, with a sartorial Parisian edge.
Although the aforementioned influences no doubt resonate in the band’s sound and overall aesthetic, there is something different about Soleil Blue which is seemingly a consequence of the fact that Lou and Arthur's romantic relationship is the foundation of the band’s formation.
With countless connotations of the star-spangled universe, like the band’s name and the song ‘Milkyway’- that the duo reference as the first song Arthur ever wrote for the band - it's easy to see that the love between the two lead vocalists is anything but star-crossed. One could go as far as saying that, in actual fact, their relationship was fully intended to have happened so that they could embark on their musical endeavours together.
Both hailing from creative families, music has been a part of both of their lives since a young age, however, it’s not the only creative outlet that they have both pursued as a career. Gaining a wide array of critical acclaim for her lead role in ‘Océane’(2013) and starring alongside Stacey Marceau in ‘LOL’ (2008) which gained a public audience of 3.5 million, Lou chooses now to ensure that the music she makes with Arthur - who was also in Christophe Honoré’s ‘Metamorphoses’ (2014) and the coming of age television series, Clash (2012) - resonates with their audience on more than just a musical level.
Exemplified in their first single release and video “Petite Femelle”, directed by Léo Schrépel, that was inspired by Bardot classics ‘En Cas de Malheur’ (1958) [In Case of Adversity] and ‘La Vérité’ (1960) [The Truth], they want their music to be an experience for their audience, that has a strong, well-informed narrative. This video, in particular, was intended to be a living picture, celebrating Bardot’s character in the film, and contradicting the idea that the woman is ‘small’, as the title suggests.
Although the name is deceiving, you’ll not meet your average Petite Femelle on Semaine this week…however, you can most definitely fall in love underneath the blue sun as it rises to show us Lou and Arthur’s effortlessly stylish and perhaps problematically covetable relationship, for an entire Semaine.
Semaine: Tell us the story of how you met.
Arthur: The 7th of January 2016. It was at a concert, I knew a friend of Lou’s who also sings.
Lou: Clara Luciani. It was at Les Bain Douches, our eyes met, we immediately noticed each other, and we decided to play characters all evening.
Arthur: We started to have little arguments as a joke, without even knowing each other. Lou thought I was making fun of her friend Clara, and at the end of the concert, she turned around and we started arguing again… Then our mutual friends actually introduced us and after that, we just carried on arguing.
Lou: Only for fun, though, nothing serious.
Semaine: When did you come up with the idea to come together as a musical act, Soleil Bleu?
Lou: It’s been a year now, a year since we really started writing together.
Semaine: Whose idea was it?
Lou: It was Arthur’s idea.
Arthur: I was already writing tracks on my own and after I met Lou, I wrote a song and she listened to it… We sang different choruses and that kind of thing.
Semaine: And Lou, before Soleil Bleu you were already singing?
Lou: Yes, but I had stopped completely. I started when I was really young, I had not written or composed anything, so I was just interpreting. I realised it wasn’t necessarily for me and that I might never write or compose as I don’t play in instrument. So for me at that time it was more about acting and then I met Arthur, and it was him who pushed me to try writing and now… we’re doing it together.
Semaine: And where does the name come from? Soleil Bleu?
Lou: Originally, we actually were going to be “Rayon Vert” [Green Ray], because of the film by Rohmer, but we decided it had a few too many connotations, and also the name was a bit too aggressive or dynamic, so we tried to think of something a bit more poetic, but with the same theme of planets… We wanted to stay in the solar system (she laughs), and we found Soleil Bleu [blue sun], we thought it was interesting because a blue sun is a moon as a sun. We liked the image of it.
Semaine: Petite Femelle, that’s running here on Semaine, wasn’t the first track you wrote together, but the first music video…
Arthur: Yes it’s the first video… It’s the first track we’ve released, but it’s the last that we’ve composed. We wanted people to listen to our music, we had a good feeling about it. We worked with a friend, Ulysse (from the band Papooz) and did a few tracks with him. He helped us with the little details that make songs that work, so we had a good track that we felt good about and worked on a few parts of the song with him.
Semaine: And what is the story behind the music video of Petite Femelle.
Lou: Some of the inspiration comes from the characters played by Brigitte Bardot, in her time, like “En Cas de Malheur” [In Case of Adversity] or “La Vérité” [The Truth]. We adore her. We wanted it to be about this girl who goes from man to man and every time she thinks she’s happy… But eventually, she realises it’s not actually serious, so she has a time of hurt and love, and then she gets past it.
Semaine: I understand that Léo Schrépel and you and Arthur actually produced it?
Lou: Léo Schrépel was the director, his work is amazing… We saw what he had done, and we thought it was great so we contacted him and waited to see if he’d accept or not. We did produce it...one of my friends lent me all the clothes, my friend Charlotte did all the hair, it was great. Arthur and I did the decor as well.
Arthur: I did all the camera cuts, and the lights and everything too.
Semaine: We are very excited to see what is to come. Can you tell us what the plan is for the release of the full album?
Lou: We would like to release a video with every track, to tell a little story each time.
Arthur: We’ll see! Right now we’ve got some ideas about releasing some tracks. We’ve started to do some work towards other tracks. We’ve got some compositions that we like at the moment…and we’re going to release some of them.
By Kezia Navey for Semaine