An interview with Claire Baume aka Boom


Three years after the success of his second album, poetic and animated, loopholes (Platinum disc) and two Victoires de la Musique, singer, composer and musician Claire Baumet, pseudonym Baume, 26, has just released a new composition, aptly named consolation. Between poignant texts about her childhood and poems by beloved women (Barbara and Nelly Arcan), the Frenchwoman who lives between Paris and Montreal reveals an artificial, dreamlike, sensitive and adventurous world that touches the heavens. Amplified by psychedelic singer-songwriter Flavian Berger, this intimate pop captivates with his magical vocal experiences and delicate vocal performance. An encounter with one of France’s most talented, committed and endearing composers.

Apple Lian Benoit

Apple Lian Benoit

No.: Your album is called consolation And on Instagram, she quoted the title of a book by Swedish writer Stig Dagermann: It is impossible to satisfy our need for solace… Why do you stick to the word consolation?

apple : This word is used a lot in childhood, and is one of the themes of my album, but less so after that. It’s a shame because it’s such a beautiful idea. And I think it’s a positive thing that our need for solace is impossible to satisfy. This means he still needs to be fed and this allows him to move on. When you’re a teenager, you’re looking out for yourself and often a little upset. Then we tell ourselves that as an adult, it will be better, that we will feel good, that we will no longer feel stress, that we will suffer less pain, that we will have solutions to all problems. But it would be a little boring if we didn’t need to rest anymore…

Does music console you for what’s going on in the world?

yes. The process of writing this album calmed me down. The fact that I was able to write music while in confinement helped me so well. It was comforting to realize that I had the ability to turn feelings into songs. And that people loved the album when it came out, that they’re talking about it, and that helped me too. But the danger in this profession is to think that with success, as was the case with my second album, loopholes (2019), all his mental health and anxiety issues will be resolved.

Do you feel more at peace than when you wrote? loopholesYour second album?

Even if this record contributes to something bright and positive in my life, I am not completely at peace. When you live from your passion, it’s hard to do anything other than what you’re passionate about. It brings so much comfort, care, and love, that it can quickly become addictive to what is actually only part of the solace, but not all of the solace. Fortunately, it’s not just music that comforts me but that cultivates it. Today, I no longer want to bet everything on music and my work. I am currently trying to put my eggs in several baskets.

Music Video for “Nellie” (2022) for Boom

What are your other consolation prizes in life? Apart from the music industry: interest in the label you set up, be wise music ?

There is already a label, children’s picture book under the eyelids Which I envisioned with my singer and designer friend Pi Ja Ma, my dog, the vegetable garden I installed on Universal’s patio (Pomme signed under license to Polydor/Universal, ndr). Anyone can go and participate. There were already fruits and vegetables such as squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers …

In your world there is something very sweet, kawaii, but also violence with texts that talk about death and pain. Where does this come from?

When I write music, I only write about the things I can’t express on a daily basis. Since I was a kid, I haven’t been someone who communicates well, verbally, about my feelings at all. As a child, I wrote letters to my sister that I never gave her, just so I could tell her how I felt. I like to talk a lot, I’m very sociable, I like to listen to people talk about their emotions. But I am unable to verbally express my feelings. That’s why I developed this thing in songwriting, to free myself from the things that make me sad. So the songwriting process is often inspired by sadness and complex emotions. And in everyday life, I am a very kawaii person because it allows me to free myself from depression. I love dressing up in cute colors and prints, and enjoying a thrill ride on a thrill day. I think if I didn’t have that, and with the songs, I would have been in so much pain and so much anxiety.

Your new album is more electronic and less popular than your previous recordings.. Where does this musical transformation come from?

Let’s say I have more than one trick in my sleeve and I listen to a lot of synthetic sounds, like Bon Iver or Beach House songs. My dream is to have a lot of different styles that coexist on my albums and for people to understand, because sometimes they get angry if we go too far in a direction other than where we started. What I want is to be able to release a rap piece like me tomorrow without losing my audience. What is great is that in our time, music has become more democratic. With Spotify, people have access to all different types of music and you don’t have to stick to just one. It gives me the opportunity to imagine the music I want and create a style. Furthermore, with Flavian Berger, with whom I co-produced the album, the only word we’ve found to define this new album is “pop leprechaun”. This term refers to electronic pop melodies with a magical and grotesque side. I always like to compose music that you can listen to on Halloween night in the woods or at the fairground, in short in a somewhat magical world.

Apple Lian Benoit
Apple Lian Benoit

Apple Lian Benoit

In this new disc, you declare your love for several people or characters like singer Barbara in the song B. Or the Japanese heroine Chihiro in River. why ?

There are also songs for my very close friends or my dog. Talking to people as if I was writing them letters allows me to shake myself off compared to my previous albums that were all about what was going on inside of me. scraps loopholes He came after the breakup and talked about the error. Here, I talk about what makes us feel good. Artists like Barbara and Tove Janson, creator of Moomins (troll characters who look like hippos and live in a fictional land revived in comic books), Lady Gaga, Dalida or Chihiro, have helped me define myself, verify my identity, and get better. Since I had a hard time finding certain personality traits in the people around me and always felt a bit inadequate, I created my own aunt map. I find something of myself in these women who allow me to say to myself: “It’s okay, I’m not weird, totally crazy and unnatural because Lady Gaga is here.”

Did they play imaginary friends?

Yes, imaginary friends or aunts. I feel for these artists a feeling between admiration, love and friendship. It corresponds to a feeling I was looking for as a teenager. I just wanted to have love stories that don’t have anything sexual, are based on absolute confidence and that I will feel 100% accepted. After adolescence, I found out that I was a lesbian, which is why I had this feeling with boys and that I had never had physical relationships with them. But that’s another story…

In your solo clip NellyWe hear an excerpt from an interview with Quebec writer Nelly Arkan saying:Men consume femininity, women consume their femininity too, and when you see yourself in an image, you lose control of your image.Why does this artist who committed suicide in 2009 fascinate you?

She was a pioneering writer I recently discovered. Reading was a shock. In her books, Nelly Arkan anticipates what we are witnessing today with social networks by stirring up the fear of aging, the desire, and the commodification of bodies. She was obsessed with her appearance and at the same time wrote wonderful things about the weight of appearance in women, the weight that destroys them. She was very contradictory, had plastic surgery, and the media at the time attacked her for her appearance. Her interviews spoke to me a lot.

Apple’s “Tombeau” live color session (2022)

Have you, like Nelly Arkan, asked yourself questions about the weight of appearance in our society?

When I was younger, I was obsessed with my appearance, to the point of losing my appetite. And when my first album came out, ApproximatelyIn 2017, which didn’t look like me at all, I wore floral dresses and lipstick. It didn’t really reflect who I was at all. I was trying to look different because I was told I had to look like this. They encouraged me. But if I didn’t really want to put on makeup, I could have said no. Except that when you grow up in a society that allows you to believe that your appearance, as a human being, is the most important and even the only thing that can give you access to happiness, it is difficult to completely deconstruct this idea. Either way, we lose. It won’t be easy when you don’t fit the accepted standards of beauty because for the rest of your life you will feel like you don’t fit. And when you are seen as belonging to the most validated standards of beauty, you don’t necessarily develop anything other than your physical attributes because you depend on them.

Do you feel liberated today from these orders?

Yes, I broke up with him a lot and met amazing people who are attracted to me for reasons other than my looks. Except that until I freed myself from the weight given to looks, I still sometimes asked myself before prom whether or not I should tie my hair up…it’s stupid.

I have been involved in editing Women’s Speech in Music, notably with a letter published in 2021 on the site Mediapart In which you mentioned that you were a victim of moral and sexual harassment in the music industry. You’ve also made it clear that when you were a teenager, many men in the industry showed you what to do and what not to do. Is it no longer possible to manipulate that you are producing your new album today, by investing money in it?

Yes, I think, even if part of my journey remains unconscious. Perhaps my need for control comes from the fact that when I don’t control everything around my music, I’m afraid it won’t sound like my music and be forced to do things I don’t want to. When I started in music, I was very young and had to accept things, which was very scary because we know very well that a 15, 16 or 17 year old girl is malleable. The idea of ​​being my own producer started sprouting in my mind after the release of the first album and before the release of the second album. When I realized I had been manipulated, harassed, and really treated like something, I didn’t want that to happen again. To be a producer for my albums and pay musicians, Claude Ponty’s drawings (illustrating the disc) or studio is kind of a gril to me, because of my past traumas. I’m so glad I got there and be the lady of the universe, I no longer have to compromise.

consolation (2022) by Apple, available on all platforms.

Apple Lian Benoit
Apple Lian Benoit

Apple Lian Benoit

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