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“France Bleu is family”

INTERVIEW FRANCE BLUE | The two Toulouse rappers are releasing a clip from their latest album this Sunday, July 24. “The favorite sound of my friends” is partly shot in the premises of France Bleu Occitanie. Bigflo and Oli gave us an exclusive interview on this occasion.

On July 6, the employees of France Bleu Occitanie had a happy surprise in the middle of the afternoon: they saw arriving at the premises of the radio, on the Jean-Jaurès alleys in Toulouse, the two Toulouse stars of French rap, the brothers Bigflo and Oli.

We reassure you, they had warned and this visit was even very organized since they had chosen France Bleu to shoot scenes from their clip, broadcast on Sunday July 24: My friends favorite sound. So why France Bleu? Well, because we’re a little “family” as Bigflo says, and above all because Marion, one of the members of France Bleu Occitanie, is an old friend of hers. They met at Saint-Sernin high school in Toulouse.

Their new album released on June 24, “the others are us”.

Behind the scenes of the filming at France Bleu

Marion who first believes in a joke when, by Whatsapp, her friend Florian asks her to turn around at work. But it’s serious: it’s about illustrating this title in which the two brothers pay tribute to the loyalty of their friends, assuming the fact that this title may not make the front page of radios or nightclubs. .

It’s a rapped hymn to friendship, an authentic rap that purists will appreciate and which is not the album’s most popular title. But Toulouse rappers have a habit of mixing different styles of rap in their albums.

Bigflo and Oli therefore went to shoot their clip in the workplaces of several of their friends: a dentist, a kebab manager, a computer scientist, a women’s trainer from the TFC… and therefore Marion who works at France Bleu.

A rather incredible atmosphere: for an hour, Bigflo takes the stage with it, in front of his workstation in the open space of France Bleu Occitanie. Then in the studio when Marion presents her diary. It’s not easy for her to concentrate when Florian jostles her by stealing her phone or throwing packets of paper at her when she’s on the microphone!

And here is the Toulouse version of the album cover, the Capitol in front of which they shot their first clip..
And here is the Toulouse version of the album cover, the Capitol in front of which they shot their first clip..

After filming, Bigflo and Oli gave us an exclusive interviewto tell “The favorite sound of my friends”talk about Toulouse and the future.

A song for friends

Bigflo and Oli therefore explained to us how they came to the idea for this clip. “We came to France Bleu to see Marion at her workplace. And that’s good, we live right next door. And then France Bleu is family! With this clip, we wanted to show that we can to succeed in fields other than music. We put a lot of artists in the spotlight, as if it were THE big success. But there are also plenty of other fields in which we can succeed. And suddenly, in the clip , we went to have a dentist buddy, another who holds a kebab, there is one who is on stage with us.

With this clip, we wanted to show that we can succeed in fields other than music.

We are lucky to be very well surrounded, to have kept childhood friends. Marion and Flo, for example, have known each other for almost fifteen years.

The city of Toulouse omnipresent in the work of the two brothers

The two rappers are from Toulouse. A town where they grew up, where they still live and which is present in their work. In 2009, in their first music video “Proud to be Toulouse”, they paid a revised and corrected tribute to Claude Nougaro’s “Toulouse”. In 2018, the two brothers published a title titled “Toulouse”a touching and straightforward tribute to the Pink City and its diversity.

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Manage my choices

For The real life, Bigflo & Oli had opted for a special “Toulouse” edition with an unreleased and eponymous piece. So they put it back with “The others are us”their new album: a “special Toulouse” edition with a cover on which we see the Capitol and a bonus track: “Here, it’s Toulouse”. We therefore wanted to know why Bigflo and Oli feel the need to claim this origin. For Bigflo, “It’s above all a pleasure. We know that every time we make small references to Toulouse, people like it here. We know that Toulouse, in terms of rap music, hasn’t had much opportunity to be on the map. So as long as we do, we try to offer something a little special to Toulouse residents.”

For Oli, “it’s a way to pay homage to this city which has given us a lot, which has inspired us with part of our history”. The younger of the two brothers says he is impressed by the Pink City’s popularity rating : “I have the impression that there is something specific to all the people here: a kind of love for the city. Even in Paris and elsewhere in France, when we come across people from Toulouse, they challenge us and bring back memories of the city.”

It’s a way to pay homage to this city which has given us a lot, which has inspired us with part of our history.

“There is also an incredible thing”adds Bigflo: “everywhere I go in the world, I meet Toulouse people. We saw them in New York during our concert there, in Miami during vacation. I think we are condemned to be surrounded by Toulouse people, it’s like that (laughs)!”

The B&O business, the “entrepreneur rappers”

Bigflo and Oli sell records. Lots of records: Their first three albums sold over a million copies. And “The others are us” went well. They fill roomsplayed at the Toulouse Stadium (May 2019), then at Paris La Défense Arena, and recently at Bercy for the release of their new album. The two brothers also have a clothing line. They built a small empire. Their names have become trademarks. And they totally assume it; like Big Flo: “I hope it’s going to get even bigger than that: we’re entrepreneurs, we like to start projects. It’s something that’s specific to rap: we grew up with, as examples, rappers like Puff Daddy , Jay-Z who, beyond artists, have become entrepreneurs. I don’t know a rapper who doesn’t have at least a business.”

We like to start projects. It’s something unique to rap.

But for Oli, this appetite for entrepreneurship has other explanations: “I think it’s also specific to our generation. All my friends have started businesses. In my entourage, I have a friend who is trying to create a brand. Another who is setting up his video production company. I think that our generation tries to touch everything and move forward in the positive.”

The future: one day Bigflo without Oli or Oli without Bigflo?

This is the annoying question. And, at the same time, the one that bothers a lot of people. Could Bigflo work without Oli, and conversely, Oli without Bigflo? They are very close: brothers, work colleagues, associates. So Are Bigflo and Oli considering solo careers? Have they ever considered separating? Obviously, the question is not on the agenda. Even if the two brothers willingly leave a little air. Bigflo concedes: “Growing up and gaining a little experience, we give each other more freedom.” Oli immediately agrees: “I just did a track with Calypso Rose who is a great world music artist. I did it alone because I had met her team and Flo wasn’t there at the time. So we take little moments.”

Bigflo has even already considered the form that this development could take:“I think that one day we will do a project with part Bigflo and part Oli. I don’t think I can make an album totally without Oli: I need it at least on the other side of the CD.”

Oli is about on the same wavelength : “For the moment and for a long time to come, we want to do projects together. We have the dream of a joint film. So, in fact, we stay together. There is a fear, we talk about it in the album, because there were some shouting matches and some misunderstandings. But we learned to live with it and even turn it into a positive.”

Bigflo does not hesitate to joke about the question of a possible separation: “It’s the Oasis syndrome, that of the Gallagher brothers (who separated and fell out, editor’s note): I know them, these two people talk to me about them every time. There, I know them, they scare me! (laughs)”

Next stop in Toulouse for the two brothers, the Rose Festival which is to take place at the new Meett exhibition center near the Airbus factories on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 September. IAM and Ziak are on the bill, in addition to Bigflo and Oli who are organizing the event. Another opportunity for them to celebrate their music, their origins and their friends.

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