ZAZ (Isabelle Geffroy)
If you suddenly find yourself in Paris, be sure to take a look at Montmartre. This place is attractive not only colorful architecture, but also street performances of the popular French singer Zaz. It was here that she began her career. It was here that she gained experience, tried herself in various genres and honed her skills. Despite the fame that the Frenchwoman has acquired all over the world, the street has not gone anywhere. No, performances in the streets of Montmartre have become a rarity: a tight schedule barely gives rest. From that old life left a sense of freedom, naturalness and sincerity. These qualities did not disappear anywhere, but became the basis of Zaz’s creative work, which was called the new Edith Piaf.
Read a brief biography of Zaz and a lot of interesting facts about the singer on our page.
On May 1, 1980, residents of the city of Tours, which is famous for its magnificent medieval buildings, were busy celebrating the Day of Lily of the Valley and Labor. But not the Geoffroy family. They got acquainted with a new member of the family - daughter Isabel, whom fate had prepared a singing career.
The childhood of the girl was spent in Tura. Her family was not very prosperous: her mother worked as a teacher, and her father - in the energy industry. Together with Zaz, my brother and sister were growing up. The lively and energetic character of the singer was already apparent in childhood. The rebellious spirit of the girl, despite her early age, demanded a way out. Intuitively for herself, the young Zaz found him. In the songs. So, at the age of 4, the girl began to sing and even told her mother that she wanted to become a singer.
At the age of 5, Isabel was sent to a music school on Tours. There she studied playing various musical instruments, choral singing up to 11 years. Although it was difficult to call it training, according to the singer herself. For studies she was mediocre. Probably, except for choral singing, where she could open up. The teachers even wondered at the sincerity and emotional power of her voice. How does such a little girl manage to convey so much pain through songs? The answer is simple: she felt it because the relationship between the parents was not perfect. Scandals, quarrels, which later ended in divorce, affected the young Zaz.
When the family broke up, the girl was 9 years old. But life did not end there. Zaz continued to learn and show her character. At the age of 14 she moves with her mother to Bordeaux, where she enrolls in singing courses. Giving all her strength to the development of vocals, the girl is experiencing difficulties in a regular school. Failure has led to the fact that it was decided to leave for the second year. Pass the same items again? No, it was not for the freedom-loving nature of Zaz. At the age of 15, she quits school and goes on a free swim.
Lack of diploma does not interfere with its employment in a local restaurant. Here she works as a waitress and a dishwasher. But the thought of a musical career did not leave her, and fate gave a chance to make the dream a reality. In 20 years, she received a scholarship from the Bordeaux Regional Council and entered the prestigious school of music "CIAM". Everything went into the background. Only music inspired and forced to work on a novice star.
Somewhere in a year Isabel begins to perform in the blues band. But this seems to her a little, and she connects to several more teams working in different musical genres: jazz, pop song, Latin rock. Especially Zaz remembered the work with the group "Don Diego", the contract with which she first signed the letter "Z". Together with the guys, the girl plunged into the world of French and Spanish music with the addition of sounds of other cultures.
But this was not enough for her again - the possibility of a voice demanded more. Then Zaz decides to go to Paris. On the streets of the capital of France, she was in 2006. The path to the big stage began with performances in clubs, cabarets and piano bars. However, like many artists. But the desire to be free from conventions and boredom forced her to leave the usual path and go out into the street. As part of several of her friends, she sings on the Pavement of the Hill Square. The singer earned in different ways, but she always had enough money to eat. It is worth saying that it was her personal choice, about which she has not regretted so far.
In 2007, Isabel in one social network caught the eye of an interesting announcement. In it, producer Carredin Soltani was looking for a performer with a hoarse voice. And he found her in the face of Zaz, among 300 applicants. Their collaboration begins with the song "Je veux" / "I want." Despite the fact that the composition was written by Kerredin, she very accurately cut off with the inner world of the singer. The song was liked by the public, but didn’t get rid of the job search. The Frenchwoman starts singing as a member of the rap group "Le 4P", performs with single rap musicians, tours in France and successfully gives concerts in Russia, in the Far East.
In 2009, fate again intervenes in the career of Zaz. In January, the final of the competition for young performers in Paris. The finalists performed in the famous "Olympia" and anxiously awaited the results. After all, the victory made it possible to shoot a video and record an album. And all this went to Zaz. The recording of the first solo album took longer than a year. During this time, the Frenchwoman managed to visit Russia, Egypt, Morocco and Japan.
Only in the spring of 2010, fans were able to listen to the debut album Zaz. From that moment on, the girl really became famous. The single "Je veux" becomes the hit of that summer, the album quickly takes the top line in the chart and becomes gold, and then diamond. An endless stream of concerts, tours and tours begins. The popularity and demand among the French public brings the singer and the first award "Artist of the Year."
Now the life of Zaz is full of music. She releases new albums, still tours and lives with her passion for freedom. Let's see where she brings her next time.
- If for the Russian listener the pseudonym of the singer is unwittingly associated with the automobile theme, in France it is perceived quite naturally. Zaz is an abbreviated form of the name Isabel. In this case, the full name of the performer is called in the home and friendly circles, for everyone else, including fans, she is Zaz. So she divided her life into personal and professional.
- As a teenager, she practiced Kung Fu under the guidance of a professional trainer.
- Singing on the streets of Paris, the girl did not go out of despair. She just wanted to try this experience for herself, learn to stick to the public and understand where to go next. But the Frenchwoman began with piano bars, where she delighted the guests with live piano music and singing without a microphone.
- Street performances did not take place without incident. Since Zaz and his friends did not have a work permit, they were often chased by the police. A little later, law enforcement officers began to do it less often, exclusively for show, - they treated the singer with warmth.
- The singer tried to perform in the subway. But the idea was unsuccessful: very few people paid attention to the artists.
- She knows how to play various instruments, including guitar and violin, but she has a passion for piano. However, she does not consider herself a real virtuoso, she just likes to play.
- The Frenchwoman has performed a lot at concerts in Russia and is still surprised by her popularity in this big country. Among all the cities of the Russian land, she singles out St. Petersburg, which conquered her with the beauty and dedication of her fans. In the Far East, Zaz ate sushi with bacon and mayonnaise, which simply stunned her. And in the image of Russian women she was surprised ... boots, beautiful and very feminine.
- In her performances, the singer noticed one pattern: the smaller the city, the warmer the audience. In this country does not matter.
- Love for the street performances of the singer suggests that money does not play a significant role for her. This is partly the case. Zaz does not aim to "get rich". In her philosophy, money is the means by which she can buy products and develop her creativity. There was even a case when the girl refused a luxurious limousine, which was served to the exit after the concert, and asked for a simpler car. The same performer applies to the glory that fell upon her quite by accident. The only thing she appreciates in fame is the growing crowd of fans for whom I want to work.
- Naturalness and freedom, which is characteristic of the singer's work, is her way of life. In these words she puts a simple meaning: to be free is to be yourself. This principle of Zaz follows without question. Even at school, if she didn’t like the school curriculum, she preferred to change her school rather than fight herself.
- As a rest, the singer prefers solitude and meditation, with which she begins every morning.
- In the creative piggy bank Isabel there are interesting duets. So, at the end of 2014, she sang a duet with Johnny Holiday, a famous rock artist in France. In the summer of the same year, she recorded the song "I love Paris in May" together with Charles Aznavour. She also collaborated with Yves Jame and Veronica Sanson.
- The famous singer is constantly under pressure from journalists. Either she is accused of duality with respect to material values, now of cruelty, now of ignorance of history, now of inadequate hygiene ... In general, life can hardly be called rainbow. Although many colleagues on the scene are actively interceding for the French.
- On October 1, 2012, Zaz, accompanied by his group and experienced guides, climbed to Mont Blanc. This is the highest point in the Western Alps. At the top, the girl gave a concert, for which she prepared for a long time and thoroughly. The outcome of such an extreme act was a dispute with the local authorities - they did not like that the singer did not warn them about the ascent - and the new song "La Lessive". Zaz thought about its creation while descending from the mountain to the usual life.
- Zaz was invited to conduct a children's music contest on television, but she refused and spoke sharply about such events. The singer believes that children in this case simply use, make them stars and forget.
- In 2014, a survey on optimism was conducted in France. The organization that conducted it tried to find out which of the French-speaking people exuded optimism. In the category of singers Zaz ranked second. But given that its predecessor, Stromae, is of Belgian origin, the Zaz may well be called the winner. After all, the question in the survey is about the French.
- One of the touching songs of the singer said the song "La chanson des vieux amants" Jacques Brel.
- In 2013, Isabelle took the 4th place in the list of French singers who received the highest income.
- Zaz is actively involved in charity. Revenues from concerts in which the girl took part were directed to the needs of poor people, as well as to victims of earthquakes in Japan.
Best Zaz Songs
What compositions of popular singer sing in France, Germany, Russia, Brazil and other countries? Here is a list of them.
- "Je veux" - this particular single begins to sound in your head when they talk about Zaz. This is a protest against today's social situation, when material well-being is at the forefront. The song resembles a teen revolt, a desire to become free from conventions and stereotypes.
"Je veux" (listen)
- "On ira" is a track that traces the social context. The Frenchwoman sings that we are all one. Therefore, it is time to stop the differences and go to Kyoto or Rio de Janeiro, because the world is boundless.
- "Comme Ci, Comme Ça" is another song about freedom of expression that fans heard in 2013. But unlike “Je veux”, it is directed against television propaganda.
"Comme Ci, Comme Ça" (listen)
- "Les passants" - the composition, which became the singer's calling card. With her she often starts concerts, warming up the audience. The plot of the song revolves around ordinary passersby, whom the singer is trying to unravel, and talk about his place in the world, emotions.
- "Champs Elysees" - cover of Joe Dassin's famous song. The composition is presented in a slightly different sound. By the way, thanks to Zaz, many teenagers introduced Joe Dassin. The clip for this track is made in the style of cabaret.
"Champs Elysees" (listen)
Films about Zaz and her participation
As such, full-fledged documentaries about the work of the French no. Periodically, she puts the video on work in the studio. For example, in 2014 she posted a 17-minute film about the preparation of the album "Paris". The video sequence can be found on the network called "Inside„ Paris “".
Although the singer has a desire to play in a film or a movie, but so far only invite her to various television shows. So, she is a frequent guest on such programs as "Les années bonheur", "Les Enfoirés" and "Vivement dimanche".
Zaz music in movies
The creativity of the French performer can be heard in the films. Her songs are selected as soundtracks for the following films.
Time Keeper (2011)
"Draussen ist Sommer" (2012)
"One less" (2013)
"Eblouie par la nuit"
"Belle and Sebastian" (2013)
"How to steal a diamond" (2013)
Features of creativity
Zaz's interests in the music world are multifaceted. She sings soul, French chanson, jazz and pop song. However, she is not afraid to mix genres, creating original sounds. But the main thing in her work is an interesting timbre of her voice, with a crack and hoarseness. Listening to this French singer, you can not help remembering songs Edith Piafgorgeous and world famous.
But when they heard the voice of Zaz for the first time, the fans wondered: are these natural abilities or a consequence of a bad habit - smoking? Yes, in the past, the singer did not deny herself in cigarettes, but they in no way affected her voice. Nature really rewarded her with strong vocal abilities. The girl admits that sometimes she even wants to sing more quietly, so as not to injure the ligaments. Besides, now she quit smoking, but the timbre has not changed.
The singer draws her inspiration from life around. The basis of the song can be any event, but it must be clinging and forcing you to experience a lot of emotions. Among all other musical styles, Zaz prefers blues.
Songs are music and lyrics. It was the lyrics, according to the French, that made her famous. She believes that the words of her songs are very relevant to modern times, they become a reflection of the desires and values of people living here and now.
If we talk about the influence of musicians on the worldview and the formation of Zaz as a singer, here we can note the following names: Ella fitzgerald, Bobby McFerrin and Edith Piaf.
The conquest of France began with the album of 2010 under the simple name "ZAZ". It can hardly be called copyright: the composition "Trop sensible" turned out to be the only one that the girl composed entirely herself. 5 more songs were co-written, the rest by other people. The album was received with a bang: in a short time he took the first line in the French chart, and then pressed everyone in Switzerland, Belgium and Austria. Why did you love him? For the freshness and spontaneity of texts, easy and dancing rhythms, audacity and courage. All this complemented the personality of the singer: charming, lively and natural.
The next album "Recto Verso" comes out in 3 years. In it, the singer presented 14 tracks in her eclectic style. In the collection you can hear jazz melodies, chanson and other directions. The album turned out to be more minor, it does not have the energy with which the singer broke into the musical world. The emphasis is on acoustic accompaniment and depth of the texts. In France, the disc took only the second position in the ranking, although in Switzerland it reached the first line.
The third album "Paris" was a compilation of songs of a bygone era. To create it, Zaz and the team spent an insane amount of time listening to the French chanson. There was one criterion for the selection of compositions - the theme of Paris should be touched on. The singer admits that the work was difficult, but worthwhile. She tried to bring each song through her attitude, so the album turned out to be completely personal. It covers covers of famous songs. Joe Dassin, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Iva montana and other chanson.
The disc is notable performance style. Most of the compositions are recorded in the jazz style of a bygone era, three of which were attended by famous musical personalities: Nikki Janowski, Tom Dutron and Charles Aznavour. The title song "A Paris" was performed with four singers.
"Paris" was successful in commercial terms. Not having time to go on sale, the album immediately took second place in the ranking. Then he began to descend, but success was evident.
Lively, energetic, bright and memorable - these words describe the fans of Zaz. And it's hard to disagree. And if you have not heard her songs, be sure to do it. Discover the world of French song from the other side.