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ARTIST-TO-ARTIST: ODETTE & NGAIIRE

Yé-Yé 2.0 is out now!

Image: Supplied.


So Frenchy So Chic have shared the second instalment of their collaborative project with Yé-Yé 2.0. To celebrate the release, Odette and Ngaiire have given MILKY some insight into working on the project! See what they had to say below.


Produced by ARIA Award-nominated producer Alice Ivy and mixed by John Castle, the EP invites some Australia’s finest female talent Odette, Ngaiire, Woodes, Elizabeth and Julia Wallace to lend their talents to reinterpretations of iconic songs of the YÉ-YÉ movement. Exploding into popular culture during the 1960s, when youth, freedom and politics were changing the world, the YÉ-YÉ movement was a celebration of nonchalance, happiness and optimism.


So Frenchy So Chic is set to take over Sydney and Melbourne for their own festival! With performances from Ali Barter and Nadeah will perform for more than 10,000 Francophiles and music lovers, in addition to special performances at Womadelaide later this year.



ON SINGING IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH...


Odette: I loved it and really enjoyed the challenge. French vowels are tricky to get right so I had to push myself to be able to sound some of them. It took a few lessons.


Ngaiire: I loved it! I come from a multilingual background anyways so it wasn't completely alien to me. I will say though that after singing this song over and over in the studio and trying to get all the pronunciations right I felt like my mouth was going to pack up and resign from my face! Trying to move your tongue in ways that aren't natural to your normal day to day shapes is a real work out.


ON THEIR FAMILIARITY WITH THE SONGS THEY COVERED...


Odette: Yes! I chose the song [Laisse tomber les fille (Stop Messing Around With The Girls)] actually. It's one of my favourite songs of all time. I love dancing to it.


Ngaiire: I had no idea. I thought it [L’idole des jeunes (The Idol of the Youth)] was super cute though.

ON THEIR PERSONAL AFFINITY WITH FRANCE AND FRENCH CULTURE...


Odette: I speak a very, VERY small amount of French. Barely enough to get past a couple of sentences with someone.


Ngaiire: I have a few affinities actually. I had a P.E. Teacher from the Republic of Congo who doubled as my French Teacher for a few years in Papua New Guinea so I was already familiar with the language on a basic level. It was actually my favorite subject at school and I really really reaaaally wanted to be good at it. Like the weirdo that I am, I kept all my exercise books and re-visit them even now to reminisce haha. I also for a few years had a residency with a festival in New Caledonia and loved getting to practice my French with the locals there. My latest album was also made between Paris and Sydney as my producer is based out of France, so France has a sneaky way of creeping into the things that I do quite often!



ON ADAPTING TO A FRENCH DIALECT ON THE RECORDINGS...


Odette: The vowels were the most difficult part. Getting the subtle inflictions in tone was hard and took a few lessons to get right, I'm still nervous about it actually. I think I did alright.

Ngaiire: My language coach Nadeah seemed to think I was doing pretty well at it to the point where it really just became about getting real finicky things down. That was the stuff that nearly broke my tongue!

ON WHAT THEY'RE CURRENTLY WORKING ON...


Odette: I've written a gutter-folk album and am focused on finishing my tour. I'd also love to get out to more regional areas of Australia this year and play shows.


Ngaiire: I've just finished working on a commission for a production that pokes fun at Henri Matisse's famous trip to Tahiti. It will be playing at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney alongside his new exhibition but you see! Another French related thing!


ON THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES OVER THE PAST 19 MONTHS THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC...


Odette: I am very tired and sad now. I find I am tired most days. I find it a lot harder to be excited about things and most of the time I just lay in bed and overthink, especially in isolation. I'm looking forward to getting out in nature a lot more. The beach and walks in the bush have really been my only solace. Sometimes music doesn't console me. It's been a sad time.


Ngaiire:It's honestly been so life changing. The breadth of emotions I have gone through with every aspect of this time has been exhausting but in a weird way pretty enlightening. It's really forced me to simplify my life, my relationships, my expectations of myself. So in hopes of offsetting the weight of the mental hurricane it's been, I want to come out of this appreciating how positive and wildly transformative it has also been.

ON THEIR FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS...


Odette: I want to go to Hungary to visit my father and Portugal as a solo expedition. Things have been so flat the last two years I'm looking forward to getting in a little trouble and going to food markets. Meeting some strangers. Maybe play some chess. I'm 24 and my whole life is ahead of me so I'm looking forward to actually living it.

Ngaiire: France! My producer and I have been talking about me coming over and writing



SO FRENCHY SO CHIC - 2022 FESTIVAL DATES

Sunday 13 Feb - Werribee Park Mansion, Melbourne

Saturday 19 Feb - Bicentennial Park, Sydney

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 March - Womadelaide