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Panne d’inspiration, SMS from Stromae, feat with Pharrell Williams and Angèle: The tasty backstage of the Orelsan record

  • Post category:Entertainment
  • Reading time:4 mins read

“Never show that to anyone.” This is what Aurélien Cotentin (Orelsan) told his little brother Clément. For years, the latter had filmed the debut of the Caen rapper and his slightly lost friends when they sketched the dream of breaking through. He did not listen to it and used the 3,000 hours of rushes collected to make, twenty years later, an excellent documentary series and raise a statuette to Victories.

The fear of failure

The first opus of Never Show That to Anyone ended with the announcement of Orelsan’s new album: Civilization. The second, obviously less spontaneous, since calculated, is based on similar bases (the same voice-over, the same rhythm and almost the same protagonists…), but by telling the backstage of the birth of this disc. With a central question in the background: how to come back and reinvent yourself after a huge success and three grueling years? Spoiler: it’s far from obvious.

Like everyone else, Orelsan found himself confined to his new Norman home with his brother in March 2020. Great? “I have two weeks ahead of me where I do nothing and where I will be able to make music on my own” , he said to himself, at the start, with as much enthusiasm as naivety. You already know the rest. The nightmarish situation continued. Lonely, the artist has lost his footing, to the point of plunging into the meanders of doubt, and thinking of questioning everything. “Why am I doing an album again?”

The fans know it. Orelsan finally managed to give birth to 14 titles. But how laborious it was… In the style of the Get Back series, by Peter Jackson on the Beatles (all things considered, of course), we delight in witnessing from the inside the sluggish but magical birth of future hits: “The smell of gasoline”, “Fuck the world”, “The Quest”…

As hard as a broken arm

The artist details his writing methods, evoking, in particular, the classification of his 10,000 pages of notes, slipped pell-mell into files on his Mac, and the implacable but precious advice of his friends. Skread and Ablaye don’t hesitate to tell him when it’s bad. Orelsan throws 85% of his texts in the trash.

The Norman may have filled several Bercy and all the Zenith of France, it seems to remain the same. Modest, always in doubt, touched by the criticisms of haters very close to his family and in particular to his grannies, full of dreams (he is like a kid facing Pharell Williams in Miami), inveterate perfectionist, an eternal broken arm… After two years of work, and many headaches ( especially on a featuring with Angèle), Orelsan will release his album, after a sleepless night, on the last day of the deadline. Amazing? Not really…

Never Show This To Anyone – Part 2 / Documentary series – By Clément Cotentin, Christophe Offenstein – Prime Video – From October 13 (4 episodes of approximately 40 minutes).