A Notable Chat with International Pop Sensation Yelle

If you haven’t heard of Yelle yet, you will soon.

An energetic performance by the international pop sensation was a highlight of Thursday’s Operanation fundraiser to benefit the Canadian Opera Company. 

The banter, people watching, and wandering around (cocktail in hand) came to an abrupt halt once the voice of lead singer Julie Budet began to sound through the glass walls of the Four Seasons Centre for the Arts. 

Consistent with the evening’s theme/mission to “light up the night,” Budet and Yelle definitely got the job done with their electrifying performance that turned up the energy and started a dance party that would last all evening. 

If you are familiar with Yelle, then you know they’re kind of a big deal. The group shot to stardom in the early days of MySpace, after releasing an early version of the song “Je Veux Te Voir,” in September of 2005. It later went on to become a top five on the charts in France and resulted in a record label deal and their debut album, Pop Up, in 2007. 

Yelle is currently on a North American tour for their latest album and we caught up with Julie Budet to find out everything else Yelle is up to… 

You were discovered after posting on MySpace. What, in your opinion, are the most influential social media sites/tools that you use today to engage with fans and share music?
Instagram is great. There is a great mood on it, as though people are more relaxed! Soundcloud is very good for people who dig music, Facebook for the shameless blahblah… But I must say there is nothing as cool as Myspace was years ago. It was a perfect mix of all of this – and you could have gifs!

What makes your latest album different than the rest?
Collaborations. We worked with a lot of different people; we opened the circle and it was great. The sound is still us, but better. I feel we are getting tighter and tighter about what we do, what we want to do…I guess it’s one good thing about getting older.

How would you describe your music/band, in your own words, to someone who had never heard about you?
Fresh pop, dance, cry!

What do you think has contributed to your widespread North American success?
Our videos and shows. We started doing a few shows, then more, and more. We played at Coachella twice, building something strong with our audience. We have a great connection with people here… I can’t really explain it though and I think it’s cool to not be able to explain. It’s energy and love.

Why do you think that your album resonates so much with young professionals (25-40)?
Maybe it’s a good release after work?

What were you most looking forward to in your mash-up performance with the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble? Had you ever done anything similar?
I’ve never done anything similar before, so that was a first! It was very interesting – even if I would have loved to have more time to work more on it. It’s a great experience; our music is pretty far from the opera mood but I’m glad we can extend it to such different atmospheres.

You’ve spent a lot of time in LA. What do you love/dislike about that city compared to home?
Energy, weather, ocean, hills, vibe… LA is so nice and everyone is there at some point so you get to meet a lot of people. The thing I miss is seasons. I love seasons, so I can’t stay in LA for too long.

What are three essentials to tour life? How do you maintain a sense of normalcy?
Naps, healthy food, fun!


All images by: Shawn Goldberg

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