Grégoire: “my wife thinks I’m a real daddy hen”

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Grégoire, a papa hen at the head of a blended family

Your new album “Poésies de notrefance” * has just been released. Why put these poems to music?

One day, my 12-year-old stepson was struggling to learn L’Albatros, from Baudelaire. I made him listen to the CD “Léo Ferré chante Baudelaire”. In 10 minutes, he knew the text by heart and he understood that poetry is not just a few words on a piece of paper, but often the most beautiful way of saying things. I also made this album for my son Paul who is 2 and a half years old. Of course, he’s still small and for now, for him, it’s only “daddy’s music”. But when he’s older, I’d like it to make him want to read poetry. 

Did recording this disc remind you of your childhood?

The poem “When my sister and me” by Théodore de Banville reminded me of those I learned for Mother’s Day. And all these great classics by Jean de La Fontaine, Maurice Carême, Luc Bérimont… remind me of the odors of chalk, hopscotch, the playground, not serious nonsense. In short, the time of recklessness. Besides, this album was a refreshing break because all the lyrics are positive and light. They convey very simple and yet essential values. And then, I also remained a big child! I have a playful side. Poker, board games, Playstation… All of this amuses me a lot and I love spending time with my son playing the little train, the cars, taking him to the merry-go-round…

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Has fatherhood changed you?

It changed everything in fact. Now my life is no longer just about me. I also realize the responsibility that entails. Today, when I make an album, I listen to it differently, telling myself that when Paul and Léopoldine (my 9 month old daughter) listen to it, I don’t want them to be embarrassed by such and such a thing. And fatherhood has also reinforced my desire to get involved with associations that take care of children, such as the ELA association of which I am the sponsor, or Rêves d’enfance. 

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What kind of dad are you?

My wife would tell you that I am a papa hen! It’s true ! But I’m also a singer daddy, cakes… Actually, I’m pretty cool. But of course there are rules around the house, and the kids can’t do anything. I also really like to cook. For my birthday, my wife even gave me… a juicer! Since then, I have been testing lots of fruit juices. Paul loves his squeezed orange juice every morning! And at noon, I prepare his lunch for him: ricotta-spinach pasta, rice-parmesan-tomatoes… I want to introduce him to good foods, simple but authentic flavors. And I’m lucky, he likes everything. He even became a lover of Roquefort! By discovering a wide variety of tastes, he can then choose what he prefers. In music, it’s the same. We make him listen to the styles we like. It goes from Bob Dylan to Beethoven. When he hears “Let it be”, he already recognizes the Beatles! At the moment, he’s listening to my latest album and Chantal Goya’s songs on repeat. 

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Did you easily take your place as a father?

At first, it was not easy because the relationship is very strong between the baby and the mother. But after each birth, I babysat each of my children for a week. My wife had taken a vacation to rest. These one-on-one meetings were essential moments that helped me bond with them.

How do you reconcile the life of an artist and family life?

I do not reconcile, it is my family life first. I try to spend as much time as possible with my children. I work at home whenever possible: I record the melodies in my recording studio and I hold the interviews during naps. If I go on a trip within 3 hours of driving, I return in the evening. And on tour, I take Paul with me. I take this opportunity because for the moment he is not yet going to school. But in September, he entered kindergarten. Him, is super happy, me, I dread the separation a little… but that should be ok, at the beginning, he will only go in the morning. At home it’s always lively, with my wife’s three teenagers and our two young children. The big ones are fans of the little ones. We don’t need babysitters and that gives them responsibilities. And for the holidays, idem, we spend them with the family. 

Do you have a family ritual?

Yes, and it is essential! Every night I read a story to Paul. At the moment, he is addicted to the adventures of Barbapapa and Monsieur et Madame. Then my wife brings him her blanket, hugs him, and he immediately falls asleep.

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*Play On, My Major Compagny.

Jäta vastus