ALEATORY #4: Yelle

Yelle is not your typical female eletroclash-loving Parisian rapper. Then again, the phrase "female electroclash-loving Parisian rapper" doesn't get kicked around much these days. With an attitude that could out-sass Lily Allen and a fashion style that virtually defines "retro-chic", Yelle has proven herself a force to be messed with. Although the notion of a dance-pop chanteusse rapping entirely in French may seem uncommercial, Yelle's eye-popping, colorful, and flat-out crazy music videos have turned her into a YouTube sensation, logging tens of millions of hits (no joke) and truly breaking down any and all language barriers with her unique sense of fun. Labels notice these things, and earlier this year, Yelle's debut album, POP UP, got a digital release here in the U.S.

Yet during her schedule of touring, junkets, and making more delicious music video eye-candy, Yelle had time to take part in our fourth Aleatory, showing a love of dog snores, a dream of working with Dave Gahan, and having "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" played at her funeral ...


1. Favorite word?

Putain (fuck).

3. Favorite key to write in?

Be alone.

4. Favorite person to have worked with?


12. Favorite band when you were in high school?

Take That!

14. Favorite sound?

When my dog snores.

30. How many languages do you speak?

Just two: French and English.

31. Other than musician, what career would you most enjoy?

I would love to be a cook.

36. Lyrics first or music first?

It depends; no rules.

39. What's something you could probably beat anyone you know at?

Make grimace.

45. What's the best lie you've ever told?

I’m a bad liar but certainly something for miss[ing] school.

51. What are you currently obsessed with?

I always check if the door is closed 3 or 4 times before leaving my house.

72. A few years ago, Beck gave an interview for SPIN in which he lamented the glut of reality TV shows and blogs about musicians, wanting to know less details about their life because he felt they were more mysterious that way (he liked to envision Devo as living in a crazed art-deco pyramid when he was young, instead of just some guys in a tour bus). Do you feel that there's a lack of mystique out there for musicians in today's YouTube age? Do you feel your band carries any mystique?

I don’t know cause I think we must live in our generation and [be] OK with YouTube, MySpace, [and the] internet in general. But I think you can [have] mystique and have something mysterious around you; it’s not a problem. I come from Brittany and for Parisians, it’s bizarre ...

76. Dream collaboration?

Dave Gahan.

86. With Radiohead's In Rainbows release and Nine Inch Nails doing boffo business with his online releases, do you see yourself ever doing some alterative kind of release for any of your future projects?

Yes I think. Today [it] is complicated to be a musician and to live off your music but we can find solutions and stuff to change relations with the public.

89. You just died. I'm sorry. Fortunately, your will states that you want very specific music to be played at your funeral. What did you choose?

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun," Cyndi Lauper.

91. Which single album should be in everybody's home?


92. Which venue are you dying to play but have not yet had the chance to?

I don’t know; maybe in a hot air balloon.

93. Longest show you ever played? What was different?

Maybe it was in Paris in May: [on] a special night, I had [to] sing with Alain Chamfort, a kind of french dandy, good producer, famous in 80’s cause he worked for Lio, and with Gainsbourg at the beginning of his career. It was very cool!

96. The one thing that no one knows about you (yet)?


99. Licensing your music out to companies for TV ads: good or bad?

Maybe bad cause I think TV is not the good way [to] make people love your music, but [through] live show[s], I think concerts are the key.


Visit Yelle's website.