Angular, ex-Therapy Taxi, releases his first solo disc: 'I'm doing five times more than before'

Angular, ex-Therapy Taxi, releases his first solo disc: ‘I’m doing five times more than before’

As he just unveiled his delightful “Evil Demons,” a promising EP, the phenomenon group singer evokes his years at Therapy Taxi, his fears and new projects.

At only 29, Zawi finds it hard to believe how far he has come. ‘Sometimes I turn around and tell myself ‘Damn…that’s all I’ve been through’, slipping, a mischievous smile stuck to his lips. Indeed, no one could claim to have led a group that filled Olympia and Zenit, and it echoed on all the talking radio stations. in French and has sold hundreds of thousands of recordings.

This resounding success, he experienced with Thérapie Taxi, the training co-founded with Adélaïde Chabannes (better known as Adé). The lyrical and musical duo of 2018 exploded with sassy pop-rock, made up of super competent melodies and shocking lyrics—remember the French charts for the “va bien te faire enculer, slut!” Platinum single.

By imaginatively evoking disappointing love and sugary evenings, they took loyal fans with them for three years before a surprising split in 2021.summer 90Diamond single) and a farewell tour later, the treatment ended in front of the jam-packed Zénith de Paris last October.

A few months after this “complicated” finish, by his own admission, Angular began the second chapter of his career with his first single, evil demons (3e Bureau), released last Friday. Six pieces he thought was a story: 24 Hours in a Parisian Night, which begins when the party is in full swing, continues with dawn spleen and ends with a cockroach the next evening. When the dance(as in C has no basisbelow), the log is cheerful and attractive, and moves when leaning toward the folk.

Honestly, the singer credits to the triumph of recent years, to the difficulty of reinventing himself as a solo, and to his “bad demons” that hurt him as much as they feed him.

Why did you end the adventure of Thérapie Taxi after two successful albums?

I told myself we were going to make three albums and that we were going to stop. I don’t think it could have lasted longer than that. But Addie wanted to make his career solo, and that’s totally understandable. We laid things flat, the last round went really well and parted in a very nice way. We both wish each other the best, and we want to see each other succeed.

Why were you finally thinking after three albums?

We were a group: everyone wants their own developments. Then for me, there was something very specific in time with Thérapie Taxi. I thought he went with the spirit of the group to say ‘We got it, we make three albums and we broke up’. Already in the group’s DNA, there was something completely hidden.

What memories do you have about her?

It is difficult to answer this question, because it is very broad. Memories are overflowing. A lot of things happened over a period of four or five years. The adventures that have happened to us are very strong feelings that crossed us… they are very rich.

Were the months after the end of Therapy Taxi complicated?

Yes, but it was complicated for me because I became a father at that time. There was the group hiatus, the fact of going into parenthood and Covid at the same time. Inevitably, the trio was very difficult to emotionally manage. It took six or seven months of hindsight to realize that it was a difficult period for me. And at the same time nurture complex moments. I always tell myself that what makes my music enrich is whatever I’m going to face and that I’m going to try to turn into something flexible.

Has being a father changed the way you work?

It didn’t change my relationship to music nor what I want to say, but it changed the way I work, yeah. I was a very nocturnal person, I really liked writing at night. I went to bed around 3 or 4 in the morning no matter what, and slept until 10 or 11 in the morning. It must have changed, I don’t have that luxury anymore (laughs). Today, I put my son in daycare, come home, go to the studio and work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s like working days.

What difference does being alone in driving make?

Not much. Whether you’re in a group or on your own, you write songs and paraphrase them with people. With Thérapie Taxi, the songs were either written by Adé or me, and we rephrased them together. So the process is kind of the same. It is rather in the rest, communication, that it is different. You have to think about everything. And I’m raising something, there’s more work to offer. But today I can say what I want in my name: this freedom is pleasant.

Your EP is called “Bad Demons” in the plural. Who are these evil demons?

If we could sum up, I would say that my bad demons – which I love very much, moreover – are my addictive behavior, my relationship to motivation, to the need to feel alive. It’s like the picture of a barrel one tries to fill but it’s always empty, because it’s full of holes. The fact of being epicurean, of being in “always more”, and finally realizing that these things have their limits. I think this question interests many of our generation. We have learned to always be in direct pleasure and sometimes find ourselves a little stupid in the face of it, when we say to ourselves ‘But there’s something I’m not achieving, inside of me’.

Has fatherhood modified the cards?

completely. What’s great, when you become a father, is that you become more established. It’s another form of happiness that asks you to archer in your freedoms. Having a baby is the antithesis of celebration rather than planning, and it puts your focus back on other things. What pleases me today is that I have the impression that I have found a form of balance that allows me to launch my project more calmly than I would have done two or three years ago. I have this family life which is just as important as my professional life.

When listening to this EP, we’re assuming these bad fiends go through the party a lot…

The party and all that it generates. The fact of having so much fun, being adventurous all the time, and improvising. It’s all hiding behind the term party, which drains a lot of things.

Why start your solo career with an EP instead of an album?

The first album is very important in a career. I think I needed some time to settle in, and I couldn’t go back straight away after all I’ve been through. The EP was a way to see how things are, and what it’s like when you’re a solo artist. Small bath before the big bath, to acclimatize.

Now, are you comfortable in that tiny bathroom?

I tell myself I did really well in the beginning with the EP. I don’t have the ambition to find the level of Thérapie Taxi, but I have the ambition to be a little listener artist, to fill a few rooms. And that, you have to go get it.

You thought it would be easier, after the success of Thérapie Taxi?

I would never have admitted it, but yes. I was wrong. I realize there’s a lot of competition, that you have to fight, that there are relatively few listeners to pop, and in the end, it’s not because I hit two big hits that I’ll necessarily be able to win a third. Especially without the sound of Adé, without the dynamics of Thérapie Taxi. So I do five or six times more than before, I put the first stones. But fortunately, life is made that way, otherwise it would be very simple.

In the intro to the EP, a voice is heard advising “Maybe you should rap”; Do you feel that doing pop music on the French stage is particularly difficult today?

In an effort to pop while I’m a little dude, trying to tell something totally modern, I’m just saying there’s a smaller audience than before for that. Anyway, it is a less popular style today than rap in the 15-35 age group.

How would you explain, in this case, the Thérapie Taxi box?

It’s a question we ask ourselves for life… When we fill a room, we can’t figure out why. I think there is an issue of timing. Never ignore the luck factor. There was the fact that we were a duo of a guy and a girl, and they were still telling things. It’s talking to people, it’s a successful ping pong game. Then there was an acting with (rapper) Romeo Elvis (photos hit sell, their first major hit, Ed) which was on the rise at the time. That was before his duet with Angèle, it was the first time he had appeared in a pop format and everyone was waiting for it. Especially in Belgium, everyone adored this guy but there was no song to play with him on the radio yet. And then we had that kind of weird name… But I think where we did really well is that we worked our lives like crazy people, so when people came to see us on stage, they weren’t disappointed. We had one big song, and instead of telling ourselves we were going to Chiller Ass and trying to make a lot of other big bachelors, we thought we’d be living a shattering life. He helped us retain our audience and fill a lot of rooms.

In a note of intent, you say you “hope to find a good portion of the audience that (you) have left.” Is it scary the idea of ​​not being able to persuade as much as it used to be?

Yes, because pride is at stake. I know the songs I’ve written, I know how successful they are, and some say to me, “You don’t have anything else to prove to yourself, why bother you?” But I have to put it on myself. Because if people are no longer interested in me at all without the taxi treatment, there will be damage to my ego. I’ll tell myself that I’m not the one who got them in the end, or that I’m not able to do what I did on my own in a group. What is certain, moreover, I know very well: I cannot return a Thérapie Taxi, because many things in Thérapie Taxi did not come from me. So yes, there is a fear of saying to myself ‘Finally, on my own, you are no longer interested in me’.

Listening to this disc, we imagine a man totally in the party. However, you talk about your son and your family life, and you take a clear look at your success… Would you say there is a gap between what you are and what you write?

I’m saying it’s 3:55 p.m., and we’ll talk about it again at 2 a.m. (Laugh)

Zaoui – “Bad Demons” (3rd Bureau), available since June 17
Zaoui will be attending a concert across France starting in September

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