We’ve been fascinated by Petite Meller ever since she left a link to her “Backpack” video on our Facebook page last September. If you watched the video when we posted it, then chances are you remember it. It was the gorgeous homage to vintage French cinema shot on the French Riviera. Meller herself describes it as “a memoir of summer French holidays, an homage to the French New Wave films such as Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou, and George Anri Cluzot’s masterpiece L’Enfer.” If you haven’t watched it yet, then we demand that you watch it now below because it’s too breath-taking to be ignored. Although it is a bit risque, so if things of a sexual nature tend to offend you then, no, you wouldn’t like this. But we should think that nobody who’s that easily offended is reading Love is Pop, considering that a large number of the artists we cover go to extremes. In any case, we were delighted when Petite agreed to do a short interview for our site and hope that you will enjoy it and fall under her spell as we did.
What was in your backback in the “Backpack” video? And, more importantly, what would one normally find in your backpack or purse or handbag?
Its not a physical Backpack, as i say in the intro of my video: “Physical passion, the real and surreal, the terrifying and funny, the nocturnal and diurnal, usual and unusual, the tacky terror, war and madness, all are wrapped up in my backpack”. But in short, I pack a symptom, a memory or a thought which cant be marked by a symbol of language, it’s a void in the real which defines my desire and rules who i am” In my purse i carry lots of glasses, a big hat and a pink blush.
When do you hope to release a full-length album? Is that something you’re working on right now?
I am working on my Album with lots of amazing different producers around the world, from Sweden to LA, NY and London, planned to release this year. At the moment i’m releasing Backpack on the 28 of April through Night Beach Records. you can pre-order it here: http://www.roughtrade.com/albums/81683 before it reaches Colette stores in Paris.
You’ve covered “Joe Le Taxi” by Vanessa Paradis. Are you a big fan of Vanessa? Was she someone you listened to when you were growing up?
My mum always listened to French chansons at home and “Joe Le Taxi” by Vanessa was on her cd’s. I really love the video for this song and the samba beats with the sax tunes in its production had a strong influence on me.
Who are your musical influences?
I grew up listening to the vinyls of Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Van McCoy, but the French chansons like Chantal Goya and Charles Aznavour were always playing in the background. My mum used to sing their songs like they were a life or death situation. Then my dad got me into Euro Club-Med pop music, like Leif Garrett, Ricchi e Poveri and Kool and the Gang. I guess my music is a combination of it all, i call it mon “Nouveau Jazzy Pop”.
Was the video for your song “NYC Time” filmed in New York City? If not, have you ever actually been to the city? If’ you’ve been to the city, what did you think about it?
yes, NYC Time, was the first single and video i released directed by A.T.Mann and Napoleon Habeica.
It was shot in NY, New Jersey and the Hampton, A voyage of the origin of music all the way in to the magical inspiring NY City. I wrote the song while walking down the streets of NY, I felt something really strong in myself, some kind of magic to create my own genre.
You’ve mentioned that you wanted the “Backpack” video to feel like you’re reading someone’s end of summer diary. And I definitely think you accomplished that and quite well, too. This begs the question: do you keep a diary yourself? If so, have things you’ve written in your diary ended up in your songs?
As a philosophy master, I used to write most of my songs during philosophy lessons, I don’t keep a diary but folders of seminars, with scribbles of songs as footnotes. I think my videos are my diary, in the sense they represent my unconscious libidinal dream through moving postcards.
Petite Meller releases her ‘Backpack’ single (digital and 7″ vinyl) via Night Beach on April 28: http://nightbeachrecords.
Love is Pop would like to thank Tasha Anderson for her assistance with this.