Saint Etienne. Barbara Pravi at Words and Music: “Feminism has changed my life”

After 4 EPs, how did you envision the design of this first album?

“Above all, I wanted to do something that looked like me. I think I was not mistaken because I never get bored on stage. After already more than 70 concerts, I don’t get tired of it at all, while I repeat the same words every evening. These songs are my whole story, they are so much like me that I’m always on stage. »

Listening to your texts, one has the impression that your writing is almost therapeutic?

” It’s the case. When I write songs like The Malamour (on domestic violence Editor’s note) or Flesh (on abortion Editor’s note), they heal me. Putting things into words is liberating because you confess your truth, regardless of the subject and how it may be perceived in the face, you assume to say: “That is me”. That’s what I do with my songs. Then we sing them again and again, as if we always had to remember, to remember why we wrote these things. »

Over time, are you still in tune with your words?

“Not always, we evolve. The song The Malamour , for example, after a while, I had the impression that I no longer found myself in the text, I had decided to stop singing it. But several women came to see me at the end of the concerts to tell me that they were disappointed not to hear it. It shocked me, moved me, and I felt guilty. These kind of songs, with strong themes, don’t belong to you, and you don’t sing them only for yourself, so I put them back in my repertoire. »

You compose a song every year for International Women’s Day. Equality between men and women is also a theme that is dear to you…

“It’s a fact: in the studio, there are only guys, on tour too. We are so used to it that we no longer pay attention. When we realize that and we decide that it’s not going to be the case anymore, that things can balance out, we try to do it. For example, when my cellist cannot give a concert, a man replaces her. And if my manager isn’t there either, I’m the only woman on the team. Well, on and off stage, it changes a lot of things, it’s not the same tour anymore. Attention, I love my musicians, but it’s not the same. And my fight is not that there are only women, simply that we are equal parts. »

Is this inequality something you’ve always felt?

“Not necessarily, the look sharpens over time, we pay more attention. All my life, I had an anger inside of me, a feeling of injustice, and I didn’t understand why. I felt uncomfortable in lots of places, in lots of situations, but I couldn’t explain it. And feminism changed my life, it opened my eyes and gave me a different understanding of the world. From there, I was able to understand why I sometimes felt out of place, and how I could rebalance things to change that. »

You sang in front of 200 million viewers during Eurovision, what does the scene represent to you?

“You have to realize what it is: for an hour and a half, all eyes, all thoughts, are turned towards you. I try to honor the promise that I make to the spectators. They paid their place, I have to offer them a real show, that they are touched, that it makes them laugh, that they live an intense moment. It’s like a pact between the public and me, I want at all costs to be worthy of it and to respect it. »

Practical information: Wednesday May 18 at 8 p.m. The Comet at Saint-Étienne. Prices: €26. Information and ticket office: www.festivalpm.com

Saint Etienne. Barbara Pravi at Words and Music: “Feminism has changed my life”