As she prepares to drop her new album, we meet SÔNGE, the insomniac dreamy French singer who's songs glow in the dark.
SÔNGE has become one of the most fascinating new names in French pop. Filled with an immense level of magic, imagination and sorcery, she is one of the many female artists putting her fate into her own hands by ensuring she has full creative control of her sound. Floating around the atmosphere, sharing the beauty and dark reality of her alternative Indie sounds, (which sound like a strangely beautiful combination of eerie grunge and pop with a majestic SÔNGE touch) the musician’s output proves she has a magical gift when it comes to music making. Lyrically abstract and extremely unpredictable in structure, SÔNGE’s sound has an otherworldly majestic vibe, establishing her as a unique pop force to be reckoned with.
Using colours through chords to create her ethereal sound, SÔNGE is one of the many individuals who suffer from Synesthesia; the condition that she and other songwriters such as Lorde, Pharell Williams and Charli XCX also live with. The condition allows an individual to envision certain musical notes and chords as colours and vice versa. Being insomniac certainly is not the best, but it is definitely not a curse for SÔNGE as it seems to correlate beautifully for her to be able to write her otherworldy lyrics within the dead of the night so her lyrics can glow in the dark, just as she likes it…
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Quimper, Brittany (France).
Tell us a bit about your upbringing.
I lived in an equestrian centre. I had a really cool childhood: running in the fields, there were around forty horses and ponies at home, and a countless number of cats. I was also really into witchcraft; anything related to the occult was my passion. I had spell books, and a room that I would call “my private lab” where I would study the physical evolution of tadpoles.
How did you first get involved in music?
Every Saturday I would go to an African percussions class with a friend. It was in middle school. Then, in high school, when we were old enough to go to festivals, we would bring our percussions and we would set the mood in the parking lot. We made people dance as they were getting out of concerts; I was already some kind of DJ ha-ha.
Who were some of your childhood heroes, musically?
Coro Rosie, Björk and Bob Marley.
How would you describe your sound?
Vibrant colours, a world of fantasy exploring the frontier between reality and the imaginary, often generous, sometimes dark and sinuous, questioning, explorative.
Where does your inspiration for your music come from?
A lot of it comes from mythology. For example “Crepuscule des Dieux” is an adaptation from the myth of the Valkyries (Nordic mythology). In “Soukounian” I talk about a Guadeloupean demon. In « Magic Hairdo » I juxtapose afro-hair secrets with the secrets of the universe.
I draw my inspiration from the people, my dreams, or even places where I lived (Germany, Amsterdam, and Brussels), places I traveled to (South Africa, Namibia, Nepal, Brazil, French Polynesia, Bahrein, Cuba, Canada…). My inspirations are like interrogations about the elsewhere, the invisible, the magic, and the extraordinary.
Talk us through your creative process.
I look for a color on my keyboard that influences me. Then I turn it in a loop to have time to create the harmonic progression. It as if I wanted to blend with the music. Then we’re on for a trip, I will add some elements, some that I will hide (in the text or the prod). I like it when people keep discovering elements even after listening for the 10th time. And step by step, a melody appears, either in French or in English, and if in neither of these two, I invent my own language.
One the prod is finished on my computer; I go to my friend Myd from club Cheval. He is a composer, professional ambiance setter, and for our work also arranger and magician.
He reworks the prod, he is the one who will add some contrast, and enhance the track. He pushes the song as far as possible it takes a crazy step! Then I hurry to Montreal to record with NKF.
You’re about to release your debut album. What are the key themes of the album?
It’s about goddesses, gods, a trip down the Colorado River, a machine that erases the memories, Major Tom, a Guadeloupean demon, my colours, secrets of the universe, what cannot be named, wandering in Cuba, warm regrets.
How do you feel about releasing the album?
I am so excited! This was my album, now it belongs to the ones listening. ❤
How long have you been working on it for, and who have you been working with?
It took 2 years between my first EP and the release of the album.
I mentioned Myd my production partner. But there was also NKF who was mixing (PNL, Damso, Niska…), who’s living legend! He clearly is behind the sound of the album. Some guest appearances from Pauli The PSM, KillASon, Ash Kidd. But also the Twinsmatic (who work with Booba) on “Mind”.
The producer Eazy Dew on “Soukounian”. And also Jerge Christine and the Queens’ guitarist.
Is there anyone you haven’t yet worked with that you’d love to work with in the future?
When you’re not making music, what are you doing?
I eat a lot! Also partying, snorkelling in warm countries, I draw a little, and I train to conquer the world!
When are you at your happiest?
When I arrive upstairs faster by taking the stairs whereas my friend is taking the elevator!
Finally, what are you hoping to achieve in the long-run?
Getting closer to finding inner peace, express my needs better, really being in the moment, and a little pleasure: being able to recite all the Harry Potter books.