Viet Nam News
French singer and songwriter Joyce Jonathan held three live charity concerts in Việt Nam last week to raise funds for street children through the Poussières de Vie (Dust of Life) organisation.
Laureate of the prestigious NRJ Music Awards 2011 in the category Francophone Breakthrough of the year, the 27-year-old singer and songwriter talks with Vương Bạch Liên before her concert in Hà Nội.
This is your first charity performance in Việt Nam. What motivated you to hold those concerts?
There are some good causes that touch me more than others. Children touch me in particular, because childhood is the moment where people first learn about life. They can not decide anything. Their life depends on the conditions of their parents, the environment where they are born. French singer Jean-Jacques Goldman has a song about some born under a lucky star, and others born under a bad star. Some children luckier than others when they are born.
I know that Poussière de Vie is an association which helps street children to go to school and have better life. And I was touched. When they contacted me and proposed this concert, I agreed immediately. I wanted to go to Việt Nam to sing for the children.
Were the concerts in Đà Nẵng and HCM City successful?
Yes, in Đà Nẵng it was great. It rained and we were afraid the outdoor concert would be cancelled. And then I decided that I would perform during 30 minutes instead of 90 minutes as planned. Luckily, the rain gradually stopped and the public also found shelters, and then I could sing for almost 90 minutes. I received a very warm welcome here and in HCM City too. It was very touching and exciting.
Those concerts are part of your tour in Asia. You are famous in Asia, and particularly in China. Why did you choose Asia to begin your international career?
My story with China began from the interest of my parents in this country. My parents have travelled in China their whole life. They speak Chinese fluently. My mother created a tourism agency called “La maison de la Chine” (House of China). So one of my first great travel was in Việt Nam and in Beijing when I was a little child.
And then I studied mandarin at school in France.
In 2010, when I released my first album in France, I also wanted to sing in mandarin. I recorded my first songs translated into mandarin. I released my album in China. And then I was invited on Chinese television and to hold concerts there. And since then I’ve performed there regularly.
How did you begin your musical career?
Since I was very small, I always wanted to express my feelings through music. I first wrote songs when I was a child. I talked about my first love stories in the school’s playgrounds and about my life with my parents. I was very secretive, I didn’t talk much. My best way to express my emotions was to write songs.
After that, the internet and internet users made me closer to the public.
When I was only 16, I posted on MySpace three of my compositions. I also contacted the founder of the new record label My Major Company to ask him to listen to my tracks.
Two years later, when I was 18, I was first launched on the website of the label. Internet users going on this website can become producers. They financed me and helped me record my first album. I was very lucky because my first album got an incredible welcome. Less than a year after its release, it was certified a platinum.
I released my second and then my third album thanks to those web producers. The fame that I gained also helped me tour the world with my songs.
Does a famous singer like you sometimes feel stress when you go on stage?
Yes, I still feel it. But I have already experienced it a number of times, I know now how to manage it. At the beginning, when I was 17, I was very afraid when I went on a stage… I only wanted to run when I finished my performance. Now I want to stay longer on the stage. Music has now become an essential part of my life. — VNS