Standing out in the musical landscape is not an easy thing: you need to blend talent, hard work, originality, seize every good opportunity, never give up no matter what happens, and perhaps most importantly, always believe in your lucky star. France has ideas and talents, but also a lot of complexities. An idea banned by Lescop and 1995, both musical revelations operating in different universes yet who successfully illustrate the reinvigorated musical creative force happening in France right now and who we were pleased to meet at BCKSTG.
Mathieu Lescop is not a newcomer: he has been scouring the Rock scenes for more than fifteen years as a band singer, before deciding to go solo. Then he changed everything: choosing to drain his creative power from his fantasy appeal to the punk scene, while having his feet firmly on the ground, quoting Baudelaire and Daniel Darc. Sing in French? Of course, after all, the English love it. Granted, La Rochelle is not Manchester, but Manchester seen from La Rochelle is perhaps funnier than the real thing. The real punk force is not about claiming it, nor following any school but doing things in your own way, with sincerity and emergency. Masters of the past will never do the work for you. To define yourself, it is then necessary to be influenced by daily life, watching, listening and absorbing everything in an almost unhealthy way. To create, you must leave your comfort zone and accept to evolve without safeguards, with the faith in your art as your only glimmer.
The same forces guided rap band 1995 which managed to give a welcome kick in the butt of the decadent hip-hop French scene. They did not have a headstart: a six-member formation, that’s quite a lot to make a name for yourself, they just left adolescence behind, they do not all come from the suburbs, they instantly walked into the territories of their icons and claimed to have a connection with the 90′s which displays the current leaders of the game as outdated. It would be forgetting that through the eyes of the collective, those years represents a model of musical exigence, combining genuine and sincere lyrics with tremendous artistic research. Back then, French Rap was not a game, but the liveliest and most iconic form of expression. According to 1995, the current energy boost is real and can be felt everywhere, hexagonal rap is emerging again as a vibrant culture being reinvented. The best year of French rap is not 1995, it’s the one that everyone currently helps to build.