Bigflo & Oli: “We are more optimistic in life than in our words”

Music

The word “siblings” resonates with them as a synonym. Representative of a generation that knows how to make the most of social networks, handling the punchline with a quick click, they leap from one project to another. A new album, a tour announced until the end of 2023, soon to be jurors at The Voice France… Meeting, in Liège, looking like ping-pong.


A very first concert at the Caserne Fonck, the success, The Voice Belgium, the Palais 12 where they will return next year. The duo feels at home in Belgium. But time flies, so much to laugh about it as in their last clip “Coup de vieux” with a hilarious Julien Doré. Conversation with the Ordonez brothers where each responds to the other, managing to surprise and move H24.

Paris Match. Is your album “Les autres c’est nous” that of assumed maturity?
Bigflo: Even if it’s boat and almost forbidden to declare “Here is the album of maturity”, it is clear that we assume it as such. We have evolved a lot as men. Our life has changed considerably over the past three years, with the impression of having grown up in express.

Oli : We have aged, like everyone else, except that we are lucky enough to be able to express it in music. Being between 25 and 30 marks a pivotal moment, at the crossroads of the world of young adults and the real world of adults in their own right. We have learned to live with bad news as well as good, to juggle too much information, to oscillate between hot and cold.

Is nostalgia, present in several of your titles, one of your character traits?
Bigflo : A sweet, age-related nostalgia. When I watch the videos of our first concerts, I tell myself that this period is well and truly over and will never come back. But we are, at the base, very nostalgic beings.
Oli : I think our Latin roots and our upbringing play a big role. Latin music exudes this nostalgia, this happy melancholy, in its chords and sounds.
Bigflo : Sometimes we want to say “But life is there, love it! “. Our father and his friends have it in them non-stop. They have a great meal together and the following week they are already talking about it with regret. But that was last week dad, you can invite them back!
Oli : Nostalgia also comes from realizing that time passes very quickly. As a result, we cling to the present for fear that it will slip into the future or be sent back to the past.
Bigflo : 25 years, it hurts. On the other hand, I can’t wait to be 30 years old, I can feel them, it’s going to be my “bonus”! We put our complexes in the closet, we take responsibility for everything.

Is delivering a part of intimacy to your audience the key to your success?
Bigflo : It took me a while to understand it, but intimacy is universal. For a long time, we censored ourselves on everything that touched us too personally. In “Real Life”, we dared to address some of our problems but we were afraid that people wouldn’t be interested. Yet the songs that mark the most fans, the titles that some tattoo themselves, all relate to very personal texts.
Oli : We are sellers of mirrors. We have put words on the evils, which leads to a phenomenon of recognition and identification. People often tell us that they feel like they know us or thank us for having accompanied them in such and such a situation.

Oli: “We are sellers of mirrors. »

“The others are us” seems like a rather philosophical phrase. A way to demonstrate that philosophy is not reserved for an elite?
Oli : Living is already a form of philosophy. Yet, talking to you I always feel like I’m not legitimate. “The others are us” is a sentence that may seem light but which nevertheless was a real trigger. We have never thought of others as much as during the Covid, being cut off from people. Florian and Olivio became Bigflo & Oli. We dreamed of being part of these others, the artists who live from their music. We come from the middle class and we have also crossed over to the other side, that of the people who earn money. We scratched in our roots, the others our ancestors to better find ourselves and write the song “José and Amar”. So much so that the title of the album has become a leitmotif in our writing and our life in general. And the others also designate this public to which we are so close. We never wanted to adopt a star status by playing on the mystery, we remain accessible by desire of frankness.

Is music a political act?
Bigflo : Any act is political, a fortiori when you write texts, you pass judgment.
Oli : We describe, by the choice of our words, the life of the city.
Bigflo : Hey, you’re in good shape right now with your formulas!

Not so bad… actually

©DR

Humor is an important vector in your artistic approach. But I feel, permanently, like a deaf anguish in your remarks. Is it intentional or unconscious?
Bigflo : People who know us well have quickly perceived this darker and more anxious part of us, they also come to the concert for this reason. The general public is of course familiar with our most festive and spirited titles.
Oli : I will contradict you! Already with the song “Dommage” we approached serious subjects like that of battered women.
Bigflo : As children, we imagined lyrics on themes such as death, the existence of God… Our parents admitted to us, afterwards, that they had been a little worried about us. Of the kind deprived in front of children’s drawings that freak out. We expressed very serious things while we were always happy. Our music has always allowed us to address our questions.
Oli : Our absolute dream was to become Bigflo & Oli, it had to work at all costs, we couldn’t imagine moving forward in life without this project. So we wanted to deliver with complete transparency. If you bet on sincerity, you are talking about humor as well as fear of the future or your anxieties.

You often claim, especially in this album, the right to make mistakes.
Bigflo : It is characteristic of any artist to sublimate imperfection. The different people, the lost, the left behind, like in our favorite song “Les gens tristes”. We tried to convince ourselves that stumbling wouldn’t happen to us, that sadness wouldn’t pass through us. But no, we make mistakes like everyone else.
Oli : We must also accept that changing our minds is not a fault. When your parents tell you all the time “You guys are good” and you become a kind of role model for a generation, the pressure becomes strong. We wanted to break away from it with this album.

Life should remain a party but the world is hell. That would be your message?
Bigflo : Surprisingly, we are more optimistic in life than in our words. Our texts sound like an alarm. Writing often responds to an emergency. However, we place a lot of hope in the future and believe very strongly in young people. Perhaps we are being too hard on today’s world. I have an idea: our next album will be called “Not so bad in fact”!

Were you aware very early on that it was absolutely necessary to surround yourself well to avoid cable breakdown?
Bigflo : This is the basis. The way would be so easy to meet people who brush you in the direction of the hair. The fact that we are brothers is essential. As long as it’s the two of us, the rest is just bonus. Attempts to scam or hypocrisy slip on us, we form an indestructible core. And we’ve felt it since we were little, the two Ordonez brothers were untouchable.

Bigflo: “We are more optimistic in life than in our words. »

You have your clothing line. Is style mandatory at your level of fame?
Oli : Fashion is part of the DNA of our universe, that of rap and hip-hop. And entrepreneurship is very present in this culture, it is quite common to create your own brand of clothes. Either way, we love starting new projects. Wearing a sweatshirt with our name represents a little pride. And we are going to sponsor the Toulouse football club. Frankly, we increasingly want to be jacks-of-all-trades while remaining Bigflo & Oli.
Bigflo : We even have separate projects. I’m opening a very medieval and geek heroic fantasy bar, a universe that’s not really that of Oli.
Oli : Yes, but our image remains linked to each project. We finally agree to go elsewhere to see what looks like us. My participation in “Rendezvous in unknown land” was a real game-changer. We allowed ourselves this freedom to live an experience separately, which would have been inconceivable a few years ago. We have come to terms with our differences.

Disc: Bigflo & Oli, The others are us, Universal Music
In concert on January 24, 2023 at AB (sold out) and on March 24 at Palais 12 in Brussels.

Bigflo & Oli: “We are more optimistic in life than in our words”