Brav: The confessions of a French rap poet

Brav : Les confessions d'un poète du rap français

Bravo, it is this artist who made his classes alongside eminent figures such as Médine, Tiers Monde and Ness&Cité. He is also this seasoned man, with his experience and commitment, who touches us with just his words. He doesn't just sing his rap, he also lives it, with his own authenticity, forged by his artistic career among the big names in the field. With It's OK , Brav questions the superficiality of this daily question, revealing deep torments. During our interview, the Le Havre rapper shared his experience with us, revealing behind the scenes of his latest single and the nuances of his artistic expression.

@yosra_far

How are you Bravo?

How are you ! I don't give myself time to wonder if it's okay or not, it's okay!

The title More Love explores human contradictions that are often overlooked. How do you think music can serve as a mirror for society? What was the idea behind this clip where you show a certain vulnerability?

Music is a projection of many things, beyond ideas, there is already a feeling. When you speak, you necessarily take a position, even if the subject is simple. It's a mirror of society, but also of myself, I try to be connected to the world in which I live. What I transpose into my music is a bit of what I feel in this world and a lot of people see themselves in what I do. I also try to be in a sort of neutrality. It's important to put strong words to ideas, but not to be definitive about your feelings, because that's how you feel right now! Tomorrow, you will surely come back to this idea and say to yourself: “I was wrong”. I always aspire to be as neutral as possible so that the song is timeless and that in ten years, people listen to it and say: “He is always right.” My positions are strong, but I am not trying to blame anyone. It's just an observation, a fact.

We asked ourselves two questions when making this clip: What is a clip used for today and how can we create a powerful clip without a large budget? I eliminated any possibility of studio production and lighting, I needed something simple. I like when the idea is stronger than the technique! I think that today we often make mistakes because we give too much importance to appearance rather than what things really say. I was incredibly lucky for this clip. Someone suggested this pretty crazy spot to me, saying: “We have a gravel pit near Strasbourg and we don’t work on weekends, if you want we’ll let you have it.” Another person gave me her piano that she had wanted to get rid of for a long time, I immediately said: “I’ll take it!” (haha). The piano was also symbolic, the idea of ​​setting music on fire, of burning one's passions to free oneself and discover new ones.

@yosra_far

The Café Crève project is a fusion of artistic and human experiences. How does this duality manifest in your creative process and interactions with your community, particularly with phygital drops?

I have always evolved in duality. When creating my first album Sous France , we felt the influence of Tyler Durden, the character in Fight Club . It's a projection of the protagonist of the film himself, who embodies a certain bipolarity and that really struck me. As an artist, I try to put my community at the center of everything and I consider that speaking out today means giving voice to those who follow me and who live a dream through what I do. It's my way of giving them the place I have today and putting them forward. I like to value them because they ultimately bring me the most. When I create something, I tell myself that the physical object is important, the experience of the music is important. How will we succeed in reaching a generation attached to the physical, to the materiality of music, beyond streaming platforms? While knowing that we are in a digital era of easy distribution... This is something that I put at the center of a real personal strategy. We all want to be number 1 in the Charts, but we don't try to be number 1 in our own niche. My goal is to be the best at what I do, starting somewhere, and this is the beginning of that journey.
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Your last project Parachute was also accompanied, but by a poignant documentary. Why is it important for you to add this dimension to your projects? Is it essential for you that your audience can discover behind the scenes of your music?

In fact, I've always done that. Often, when I speak up in my stories, it's to complain and say that I'm not doing well, everyone complains. But it's interesting to see it in the music world, because there is a lot of deconstruction to be done, a lot of fantasies around this profession. I have met many young people during different workshops who had stars in their eyes because I know such and such a person and who think I am a millionaire, but that is not true (haha). I had this need to show the reality of things and to demonstrate that it is possible to do it. When you have a desire, a passion, do everything to make it your life, regardless of what it may generate. After going through a complicated phase in music, I realized that everyone experiences a crash. 90% of artists are injured and it was important for me to explain what we don't necessarily see, on personal questions... Most artists think that they failed because of the record companies, but it It is perhaps because they were not ready at that time to get there, that they did not make the effort to get there. I questioned everything, I looked at myself as I was and I put everything into a documentary.

How are you. is your latest newly released single, where you talk about wounds and finally finding peace... How does this title reflect your own journey and the lessons you've learned about the true meaning of "Are you okay?"

Basically “Are you okay?” is often a question we ask, but the answer doesn’t matter to us. If I tell you it’s not okay, you’ll feel bad, so we respond “It’s okay” mechanically. It's an affirmation to convince yourself that everything is okay, even if we are all going through complicated times. My current perspective is the redefinition of “It’s OK”. Either I let it eat me and I'm not sure it's okay, which will reflect in everything I do, or I'm convinced it's actually okay. Since I have this conviction, people find me changed. I decided not to hide anything, to look at myself, to say to myself: “It’s actually okay. I have a real career in music. I have health, thank God!” Of course, there are days that are more difficult than others, but that's part of the game, so that you appreciate the positive moments. It's just a perception of life. If you wish for the positive, you will have it, because you will have done everything to look for it.

How has music been a support in the personal trials that you have been able to overcome?

Music is also painful sometimes! When I put Sade on, I don't feel well and yet I think it relieves me of not feeling well at that moment. Often, with all our worries, we don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves. You have to stay very focused, not falter, but when you isolate yourself to listen to an album, it arouses emotions. I really like it when it awakens painful feelings to remind me that it's okay. Music is a bit like a memory, because it reminds you of specific moments in your life. It's as if you put your finger on something that hurt you, a “bad good”.

@yosra_far

You founded the label AprèsMinuit . How does it influence the way you approach musical creation and collaborations with other artists?

For the moment, collaborations with other artists are not very advanced officially. But I see it as the solitary part of the artist, to represent the moment when we are isolated. Artists often work at night because there is another life that is much calmer, in a slightly more intimate spirit, which makes writing easier, and then there is a kind of letting go. During the day, you accumulate lots of knowledge, lots of meetings, lots of little sentences here and there, and in the evening, you make a kind of summary that you express more easily.

When writing for other artists such as Zaho, Kery James and Ouidad, how do you adjust your pen to represent their voices while preserving your own creative identity?

I'm still learning! At first, I didn't know how to go about it. I wrote for artists as if it were for me. Basically, I wrote the Post Scriptum piece for myself. I didn't have time to release it, because I was in doubt and Kery James asked me if he could take it, I obviously accepted, he's the pope of rap. There was also Shy'm, where I wrote for her, as well as for myself. Then, I understood that I had to be available to the artists, to be them, and I discovered another way of writing which pleased me even more, that of being able to be multiple through me. I learned to write for myself by writing for others, because I realized that when I spend two hours writing a sentence where the rhyme doesn't fit and the artist says to me, “I love that.” , I let go and even more so when I see that the music touches me once it is released. It's really a discussion, there's a bit of psychology. Some give in more easily and for others, where I don't need to, I understand. You talk better about yourself when you don't say things and I'm lucky to have a 6th sense (haha). It's also a question of confidence because I have a very French song placement and today, we lean more towards very modern music. But ultimately, it brings added value and some people recognize me through my writing!

@mendesthedude

Having been present in rap and urban music for a long time, how do you perceive rap today? What is your vision of its evolution over time?

I find it incredible. For me, rap has always been able to renew itself, to nourish itself. It's a codified music, but also very multiple, it's a sort of crossing of all influences. Tomorrow, you can find zumba rap, emo rap... There's also a bit of that in other musical trends like rock, but in rap, there's really everything! At the moment, Afrobeat dominates and it's constantly evolving. It's a bit like Super Saiyan music, we draw inspiration from others, we inspire and we are reborn. When there was the trap trend, it gave rap ten years of freshness! There are artists emerging from everywhere, now it's easier. There is an uninhibited side of music that I like, some manage to make an incredible punchline with three words.

Is there a song or artist that you are listening to on repeat at the moment that we should definitely add to our playlist?

Right now I'm listening to a rock artist called Bon Iver. It seems to me that his first album was created during a period of depression, following a romantic breakup from Justin Vernon, which introduced a touch of autotuned rock. I'm thinking in particular of the title Woods , covered by Kanye West, who collaborated with the singer himself. Then Tif, who I think, managed to bring her personality and her story into her music. When I listen to it, I feel like I'm Algerian! I loved his live session, his musicality and his incredible placements.

Thanks again Bravo, we hope to see you on stage very soon!

In the meantime, we'll let you listen to It's okay :

And follow Brav news on Instagram: bravworld

Written by Camille Noel Djaleb ( cosycam )

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