A Michel Reybier Hospitality edition

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colors of passion

A New York-based fashion model who has since become a well-known gure on the Parisian music scene, Imany has a delightfully low-pitched voice enabling her to distil a captivating and elegant take on soul music. Her rst album released in 2011 earned her two Victoires de la Musique nominations and several platinum records. For the past few weeks, radios have been diffusing the mesmerizing notes of her fascinating new album.

If one were to compare the tone of your voice and the mood of your music to colors, which would they be?
My voice is red like passion, re and energy, while my music is purple due to its hybrid nature... Neither entirely blue nor entirely crimson, it mingles the in uences and the stories of all the people I never tire of watching as they live their lives and perpetually nurture me.

So your inspiration comes from people?

Yes, ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always done a lot of observing and listening. I love capturing moments, snapshots of life and then inventing stories. Human beings and the paths they take is what interests me more than anything.

Which is the nest human quality?

Kindness. Often perceived as weakness, it is on the contrary a force that deeply moves me. It is far braver to be kind in the face of pettiness and nastiness than to be distrustful and sarcastic. Gentleness, purity and even naivety are the most beautiful things one can find in people.

Do you feel free not to comply with com- mercial dictates when you are composing?

Definitely. I’m not in this business to try and top the charts. What interests me is writing the prettiest possible song, which is no easy task! I believe the only way of touching people’s hearts is to remain true to oneself. That doesn’t mean standing still. One can move ahead and develop while remaining who one is. My second album is indeed quite different from the first.

You took your time in preparing it.

I did indeed. Generally, I love moving fast. While I’m a typical Aries person, which is why I associate my personality and my temperament with the color red, when it comes to composing I nd nothing good is done in a hurry. Moreover, the stakes were very high for my second album, so I took the time required to prepare it.

A studio recording is very different to a stage performance: what do you appreciate about each of these experiences?
I love the “lab” side of the studio, where concepts and ideas blossom through contact with musicians and the most astonishing inspirations emerge. On stage, things are quite the opposite. We know the songs and we control the show, the only unknown factor being the audience. And when we connect with people during a live performance, something inexplicable and almost mystical happens. All artists will tell you that even when we’ve been stuck in bed with a raging fever, as soon as we step on stage, we are buoyed up by an incredible force that keeps us upright. It’s magic!

You devote great importance to the images in your extremely personal video clips...

Images say a lot about us. The choice of a photographer, a director, a distinctive color or font define who we are – especially in a world drowning in images. It’s important to make a distinctive impression.

You are prepared to use your fame to convey messages. Which particular battles are dearest to your heart?
I would prefer not to have to fight, but I think we have to. Poverty is graining ground, women’s condition in the world remains a major concern, not to mention that of children, which is direr than ever. We must never get used to living with injustice, at the risk of losing our humanity.

Which project is particularly dear to you?

The video clip of my recently released “There were tears” single is very important to me. It pays tribute to the great gures who have fought against various forms of injustice in the world: Mandela, Gandhi, Soeur Emmanuelle, Abbé Pierre... It is designed as a real film with a story. We put everything we had into this video clip and I’m proud of the result.

Based on an interview by Michèle Wouters

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