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That's Eurovision !

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

Corinne Hermès won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983. She represented Luxembourg with the song « Si La Vie Est Cadeau ». « Intemporelle », her new album made of covers, recently came out.
She kindly answered our questions. Here is the soft interview with a kind hearted woman, an artist who keeps a very good memory of this April 23th 1983 evening…

 

That’s Eurovision ! : How did you get at the gates of  the Eurovision Song Contest for Luxembourg in 1983?

Corinne Hermès : Oh, I’ll try to be concise, I would not take too much time! (laughs), I started to sing when I was 16, Jean-Pierre Miller, who is the composer of « Si La Vie Est Cadeau », had already written many songs for me, until the day he let me  now about this one.
And then, I don’t really know… I had a different listening for this one. As soon as I heard it, I shivered. At this particular time, Haim Saban, the producer, had that great idea to present the song in France. But unfortunately, selection for France was already over… And so, he had this other great idea to tell himself, why wouldn’t we send it to Luxembourg?
So I went there to audition, I found myself in an office, a tiny office. There, we were about 200 people waiting our turn.

That’s Eurovision ! : 200! Wow, that’s a lot!!

Corinne : Oh yes! Then someone told me, come on, we are listening to you. So I sang my song, and from that moment, we waited for the answer for about three months.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : So, you auditioned in 1983?

Corinne : Yes, three or four months before the Eurovision final so. At this time, RTL (Radio Television Luxembourg) organised it.
Three months later, I received the answer and was beside myself with surprise! We all know how it ended.

That’s Eurovision ! : Like Marie Myriam who sang last in 1977, you sang last in 1983, both with a sweet song, among a lot of uptempo songs. There’s a nice parallel between those songs, this was the touching song, the message, the singer…

Corinne : Yes… it is true that this year, I was a little frightened of Sweden (Carola : 3rd) and Israel (Ofra Haza : 2nd) who were formidable competitors! (laughs). Anyway, I’m so happy that I won! My great regret is not to have won for France. Because it is true I would have loved to represent my country. But I would never thank Luxembourg enough for giving me this chance…

That’s Eurovision ! : And until that day, you stay the last French to have won the Contest!

Corinne : Yes, actually, we could say that I am. But Marie (Myriam) stays the last who won for France.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : Looking back at that April 23th 1983 evening, what is your most beautiful memory?

Corinne : Oh, you know… It is so difficult… First when you are told you will do Eurovision, it is such an incredible adventure. But winning that Contest! I must admit I didn’t realize at once, but I did many months later, I totaly became aware of that victory. At that time, I was only 22, singing in front of 500 millions people, it was huge.

That’s Eurovision ! : Watching this 1983 Contest, during the points ceremony, we can see a certain determination in your eyes…

Corinne : Oh yes yes yes! When you take part in such a Contest, you come to win...not to loose, don’t you!
This is true that I got prepared. I worked on my interpretation, my outfit, my expressions… and even if they were spontaneous, there was something like staging. And I can confirm that I was there to win.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : Among all the songs you sang, which one could represent you best?

Corinne : It’s quite difficult to answer such a question, because, I always felt something for every song I sang. Now, I don’t have any favorite, those were the choices of that period, today’s are differents.

That’s Eurovision ! : You have a nice complicity with your audience and your fans, how do you live that constant fame?

Corinne : Generally it’s always very nice. Furthermore, I’m lucky to have people who brilliantly manage that on the Internet. I try to answer my fans as much as I can. It means so much to see so many people supporting me.

That’s Eurovision ! : If you are so much beloved, it is because you deserve such an audience, isn’t it?

Corinne : Oh… (laughs), I wish it actually! Since Eurovision, years have passed, people are still present. This is incredible and brings me so much pleasure.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : Amsterdam is waiting for you (it was December 15th, 2019) for a special Concert, with numerous other winners of the Contest. How have you been contacted?

Corinne : Yes, absolutely, I have been spontaneously contacted. They wanted to gather a few winners of Eurovision, and they asked me to come and sing « Si La Vie Est Cadeau ». I accepted with a great pleasure.

That’s Eurovision ! : You performed this song in english and in german only for the recording?

Corinne : Yes, we can say that it was mainly for recording at that time.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : Let’s talk about your new album « Intemporelle », those are covers…

Corinne : Did you listen to it??

That’s Eurovision ! : Yes, absolutely. First, I was surprised by « Paris Paris », I didn’t know that song…

Corinne : At first, this song was « spoken » by Catherine Deneuve, and Malcom McLaren composed the music. I discovered his titles in 1994, and I told myself : « if I ever made a cover album, why shouldn’t I revisit that one?».
Hugues Flégiag is the American singer who covers that song with me on « Intemporelle ». I had the opportunity to meet this artist, and when I heard his voice… I definitely enjoyed it!
He has that Barry White thing, that may not be notified in our duet, a deep voice. I asked him if he would accept to join me on that song, and he accepted with pleasure. I was so happy to have him (laughs).

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : Tell me about the French songs of the album, how did you choose them?

Corinne : It was very hard to choose, we have so many good french songs. But it took place so naturally, I already sang quite a few and then selected some. Then, while singing them, everything appered so natural.

That’s Eurovision ! : Is this a range of artists you daily listen to?

Corinne : I would not say so, but they are songs I love more than others. I felt like paying tribute to those songs.
You see, the hardest thing on that kind of album, concerning covers, it’s always a little bit risky because I wanted to revisit them without distorting them, with my own identity. It took me time, four years and a half to be exact, before this project came out. As you could hear on « Amoureuse », I had a personalapproach of this song.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : From an emotional point of view, was there a more difficult song to perform?

Corinne : Well, they were all emotional. Because I was not only an interpret, I realized that project from A to Z. I had to find and to collect « the » songs, to consider the covers. In a second time, to make the right choices for the arrangements, to find the colours for them with the musicians.
As long as I didn’t hear what I was looking for, I kept on working…

That’s Eurovision ! : Talking about it… how is Corinne in the studio? Is she strict? Relaxed?

Corinne : Above all, she is a perfectionist. I love the good work, this is why it took so much time. At the same time, I learnt « Pro Tools », which is a professional musician software. To speak that language, I had to understand and learn this software, in order to edit, stick, and realize all I wanted to.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : On your album, you also covered Jacques Brel’s « Ne Me Quitte Pas », this song can deal with a break-up, a start… but also with death maybe. How did you tackle the interpretation of the lyrics?

Corinne : Singing this song, it’s true that I try not to think too much, I let myself « be guided » I would say…

That’s Eurovision ! : Corinne, I give you wings and let you go to a place, a period of your life. You won’t be able to change anything, you will simply witness the moment, where do you take me to?

Corinne : Eurovision!! (laughs) oh yes!

That’s Eurovision ! : Some artists would say, « Ok, that’s enough, I won’t talk about it anymore… »

Corinne : Do you realize I was only 22, I’m singing in front of 500 millions people, I win, I go from anonymity to fame in a blink of an eye, I travel the whole world, I am awarded with gold records, this is crazy! It’ definitively my most beautiful memory.
I’m very often said : « you don’t deny Eurovision, aren’t you fed up with it?, always singing this song? ». I just answer no, not at all, this is still a real pleasure.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : For you, is « Si La Vie Est Cadeau » a love love song? A lucky charm song?

Corinne : This is really a favourite, definitely.

That’s Eurovision ! : If you had the possibility to record a duet with an artist who is not there anymore, who would have you sing with?

Corinne : I really loved Elvis Presley… but I could also answer Frank Sinatra, those kind of artists.

That’s Eurovision ! : So a typical « crooner » song?

Corinne : Mostly « crooner » yes… but I really love « great » voices. Ah… Freddie Mercury! I could even say opera singer, and I’m talking about a living singer, Roberto Alagna.

That’s Eurovision ! : Where can we find you when not on stage or behind a microphone?

Corinne : I like cocooning, I love nature. I adore going for walks, yes, walking in the nature. High-society evenings are not for me.

Corinne Hermès - I felt like paying tribute to those songs

That’s Eurovision ! : What would you tell the 16 years Corinne you were if you met her today? You know what will happen to her, what do you tell her?

Corinne : What do you mean, I know what will happen to her?? (laughs). I tell her, what a chance!! It will be fabulous!

That’s Eurovision ! : What message would you give to those who will discover your interview?

Corinne : I hope they will love my new album « Intemporelle », this is my wish. It was out last November 12th.

That’s Eurovision ! thank you for spending your time with us. Thank you for your sweetness, your kindness and your availibility.

Corinne : Thank you, it was a pleasure too.

Interview made December 11th, 2019

Thanks to Danielle Allegre for her help and her availability

Interview : Alain DHALLEWIN & Patricia MATHIEU GENTILI

Présentation graphique : Alain DHALLEWIN & Ludovic PICAVET

 

Présentation de l'album "Intemporelle"

Paris Paris (Extrait de l'album "Intemporelle")

Les Moulins de Mon Cœur (Extrait de l'album "Intemporelle")

Si La Vie est Cadeau (Live Eurovision 1983)

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