Getty | Getty Last week, Great Lake Swimmers' Tony Dekker had us all abuzz…
- Posted on Mar 30th 2012 11:00AM by Joshua Ostroff
Her latest album Blonde -- which is nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the Juno Awards and debuted at number one in Quebec and number five in France -- takes its cues from '60s French music, but she blew up in the Anglo world last fall with a YouTube cover of avant-R&B hit "Wicked Games" by Drake's cutting-edge compatriot, The Weekend.
"You know, it's really funny, I'm obsessed with The Weeknd," Martin tells Spinner. "If there's a fangirl in me, it's with The Weeknd and Drake and the whole culture around those two and the themes that they talk about in their songs. It really relates to the things that I want to say in my music as well."
"I love 'Wicked Games.' It's a great, great song and at one point I thought, 'I might as well just do a cover and record it.' And I had a bunch of old footage and I just brought it back together and made a little video. I never thought it was going to boom that way. I really did not expect it. Actually, The Weeknd posted it on his blog, so more people have found out about it. Yeah, it's been great.
"Drake's not supposed to be a singer, but he still thinks he can do anything," she adds of her fellow Juno nominee. "The Weeknd's straight-up R&B. It's Sade, it's back to the basics and amazing and I'm really inspired by what he does. As a white girl, I feel really inspired."
Martin says her songs tread a similarly dark and self-lacerating lyrical line as both acts -- Blonde, for example, is "kind of a retrospective on how bad of a girlfriend I've been" since becoming famous -- even if her music sounds a lot lighter to an Anglo ear mesmerized by the soft sound of sung French.
"I feel like their music is about growing up too fast and numbing your feelings when things aren't going well and I kind of talk about that in my music, as well, because I started living at night a lot," she says of her sudden fame in Quebec and France.
"I wanted to please people, because all of a sudden you are everywhere, and you don't really understand what's going on and you don't know why it's happening to you. It gets kind of hard sometimes. But a lot of people can't understand that, because they're not in your shoes and they don't understand how lonely it can be sometimes. I was 18 when things started out. Like, I was talking to all these people and I didn't understand why they were interested in my life to begin with if nobody was interested before. When you've been invisible all your life, it comes as a surprise. Like, how did that change?"
Or as Drake famously put it in "Over": "I know way too many people here right now/That I didn't know last year, who the fuck are y'all?"
"You don't really understand how relationships work because you're thrown into a world where you don't really know how to get attached to people. I have no idea how to develop anything with anybody at this point. I don't even know who I am. So I'm still searching. You're supposed to be searching for your true identity from 18 to 25, but when you're thrown into a world where everybody knows who you are..." she trails off.
But Martin found out the only thing worse than her sudden fame was when she disconnected from it after her tour for the first Coeur de Pirate album.
"It got dark," she says. "It can be pretty bad when you stop doing everything because you get so much love from tour, you know, you get to play shows every day and people are, like, in your face and they're so nice and they're so intense and it's just like so much love and all of a sudden you don't have that anymore.
"I guess the fear of not being anybody the next day, that gets to you, too. But I have a different outlook now on things, I guess, after releasing a record again and realizing, 'Okay, I'm going to do this for a little while again and then we'll see.'"
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