Singer-songwriter Cléa Vincent started writing original music out of boredom.
She’d begun her musical training on piano when she was young, at a classical conservatory, but quickly switched to enroll at Arpej, Paris’ famed jazz school, where she learned both the technique and approach—jazz modes, improvisation, collaboration—that inform her entire body of work. When she first started writing originals in her time off from other studies, she would perform at open mic nights at a local club, Pinone, where she found a welcoming stage, audience and community. Continuing her economics pursuits quickly became an afterthought. “I was performing there each Sunday,” she recalls. “From that moment, I’ve felt that working on music is what I want to do in my life, and musicians are the people I want to live and work with.”
With professional chops and a breezy songwriting style that recalls the swing and charm of French pop’s yé-yé heyday, it wasn’t long before Vincent drew a good amount of buzz, enough to win her interest from a major label. She signed a contract with Polydor and prepared to release her first album, Happée Coulée. With promo copies already pressed and the album set with a release date, internal restructuring struck.
Vincent found a much more welcoming home at Midnight Special Records, the Paris-based indie label run by Victor Peynichou. Midnight Special also operates a small studio (located in an apartment), where Vincent re-recorded some songs from Happée Coulée, added some covers and remixes, and released it all as two EPs, Non Mais Oui 1 & 2.
Vincent finds inspiration for her music in a lot of different places: current American acts like Ariel Pink and Mac deMarco, French new wave (the music from the ’80s, not the films from the ’50s and ’60s), early ’90s Europop and vintage French chanson (like Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel). The recently released Retiens Mon Désir, Vincent’s first LP, also contains a few reworked songs from the Happée Coulée days that didn’t make it on to Non Mais Oui 1 & 2.
On March 1st 2019, she release her last album Nuits sans sommeil via Midnight Special Records.
Nocturnal and introspective, this second album reveals 11 pop/electro songs.