“Stop, that’s it, I stop thinking, I’m going to run, I’m going to walk”. Who hasn’t already hummed these few phrases? Who, moreover, has still not heard a title or seen Ben Mazué’s blonde hair in Landes surfer fashion? Present on the French music scene for more than 10 years, this former medical student experienced success with the release in 2020 of his latest album certified gold: “Paradis”. A recognition, finally, for this former medical student with such a singular melody and remarkable performances. This year, he gleaned his first Victoire de la Musique, before leaving for a new summer tour. She takes him this Thursday, August 4 to Sauveterre-de-Rouergue for the festival “Festival and detours of light”. And it is not without pleasure that he finds the Aveyron, a department he knew a few years ago while running the famous race of the Viaduct. And that he meets almost daily working with a certain Jules Roux, from Entraygues-sur-Truyère, and chief manager of the tour. “Jules is more than a friend, he’s almost family…”, smiles the artist. Maintenance.
Your summer tour takes you this Thursday evening to Sauveterre-de-Rouergue. How is it going, after having sold out theaters this winter?
Everything is going for the best! I really like summer festivals, it’s a permanent letting go. We share the stage with other artists so we sing less, sometimes we start without even having soundchecked, sometimes there are no lights… In short, you always have to adapt and that’s another way to make music. We return a little to the original: play in any conditions. Then, the relationship with the public is different. In the dining room, it is completely yours. In festivals, he can come for other artists on the bill so you have to convince. I really like that.
Does this tour also mark the end of a story with your latest successful album, “Paradis” released in 2020?
Yes, it’s the end of the “Paradise” tour. In all, we will have done more than 130 concerts, that’s not bad already (laughs). But don’t worry, I will of course sing some of the tracks from the album again in the future.
Does this mean another album is in the works?
Not really. I’m currently working on other projects: a book of my correspondence with Grand Corps Malade (they wrote to each other every week for two years, editor’s note) is due out soon. And still in collaboration with this artist and Gaël Faye, we are releasing a 7-track EP in September. It’s not going to be bad.
In your latest album, “Paradis”, you bare yourself, so to speak, by taking stock of your life at the dawn of your forties and following a divorce with the mother of your children. Since your first records, we follow your very personal progress. Would you like to remain in this register in the future?
To make an album, you need a story to tell. And I’m waiting for one. I will live a little and I will see (laughs). In any case, to knock on people’s doors, I have the impression that you have to talk about yourself. The idea is to share, not to talk about it. When I talk about a romantic breakup like in my last album, it speaks to everyone… I also talk about exile with my move from Paris to Reunion. I really like this theme. And who knows, maybe I’ll tell about my exile in Aveyron in the next (laughs).
You won the Victoire de la Musique for “best concert” this year, while associating a remarkable live performance. What did it bring you?
A lot of joy, really. It is a great pleasure to be singled out. I don’t think it’s necessary or helpful, but it’s great.
In a song in memory of your mom, you say that “you take selfies like a singer” and that you would like her to see the concerts because “there are people, not like before”. How does Ben Mazué experience this recognition?
To be recognized for what we do is a great joy. It’s different than being known. When you get picked up in the street by someone who says to you “I saw you on TV”, it’s good but it doesn’t make your day. Whereas when you are told “your song made me feel good”, then we say to ourselves that we were not in the wrong job. And for me, it was a long journey. I’ve been singing for 12 years and I know what it’s like to have no success. But I always felt that it could speak to people, that’s why I didn’t give up.