Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A heart to heart with Coeur de Pirate

I was fortunate enough to have crossed paths with the gorgeous & talented Beatrice Martin just as she was becoming world famous as Coeur de Pirate. Beatrice began playing the piano when she was only three years old. At 15 Beatrice took the role as  keyboardist in the post-hardcore band December Strikes. Then after a brief stint as the keyboardist for Bonjour Brumaire, she released her debut album Cœur de pirate in 2008.  The album was nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the 2009 Juno Awards. Beatrice has just released her latest album titled Blonde and I thought it was a good excuse as any to sit down and have a little chat. 

What was growing up like for you?

Besides building snow forts and playing Pokemon? I grew up in a very musical environment, my mom being a pianist and all. I started playing at an early age and did that until I was about 14. I got lucky, I have an amazing family and they really did a good job with letting me become who I am today.

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were a child?
Sailor Moon!

When & at what moment did you realise music was something you wanted to pursue as a career?

I guess when I got the numbers in from the first  week of sales. I never wanted to be a singer before, I mean, I didn't even think I could sing properly. :)

Can you explain what lead to Cœur de pirate (or Pirate Heart)?
Heartbreak. I guess the first time you feel it, the first real heart break, it can lead you to do many things. In my case, I wanted to prove to the boy that had thrown me away that I wasn't just going to let it get to me.

Do you see yourself & Cœur de pirate as two seperate identities or one and the same?

I don't know anymore. Between the ages of 18 and 22, you're supposed to find yourself or at least try to figure it out. Anyone changes a lot in those years. I changed a lot but through a public persona. What I become on stage has nothing to do with the girl I can be sometimes. I'm trying to learn who is Beatrice Martin today, which isn't something I have done in the past 4 years.

You have quite a fan base and a very strong fan presence online. What was it like the first time you really saw yourself as a "celebrity" ?

I still get surprised when someone asks me for an autograph haha! I think when people started saying hi to me in the streets in Montreal I thought to myself : Oh OK, I guess people know me now!

Who are your influences in music and life?

Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel, Françoise Hardy, France Gall, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, Leonard Cohen, Lykke Li.

Who are your female role models?
Siouxsie Sioux, Debbie Harry, Joni Mitchell, Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly and if she ever existed, I guess Betty Draper.

When you are at home and no one is around who is Beatrice Martin?

The girl that looks at puppy videos on YouTube. That spends most of her free time checking her tumblr feed and sometimes I'll bake cookies.

Is there anything you would change now looking back on your career beginnings?

I believe everything happens for a reason. I don't think I'd be here today if I hadn't screwed up at times.

What are some of your most favourite experiences as Cœur de pirate?

Any show that goes well. Oh and being able to attend fashion shows in my free time whenever fashion week is happening. That's usually awesome.

Do you ever feel pigeonholed or restricted by the fact you sing almost solely in French?

Actually, I like it! I can play shows in the US as Coeur de pirate and people actually want to come. True story, people have given me interest because I do sing in french and that's what makes it somewhat interesting.

Is there any difference in the way you are perceived in Quebec compared to America? Or any country for that matter?

I fall into a pretty exotic indie category in the rest of the world, for sure. I kind of fell into a "pop" standard fast in Quebec and in french speaking countries which I am totally OK with.

Who would be some of your dream music acts to work with?

Drake, The Weeknd, Grizzly Bear, Damien Rice

What can we expect from Cœur de pirate in the future?
Hopefully as many shows in cities across Canada, France, The US...and Australia and Japan! If someone wants to book me to play their wedding there, or their apartment or something, I'm in.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and the readers?
Renee rules. And I'm glad I got to do this, usually the people interviewed are pretty awesome. I win.

Hey! And if people want to find me I'm on Facebook under the Coeur de pirate fan page, also there's the blog   and twitter @beatricepirate

"cause together, we're chaotic rhyme"