Pierre de Maere: sheer talent

Pierre de Maere: sheer talent

Category: Interviews
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In this exclusive interview, the talented Belgian talks about his jury experience at the International Festival of Fashion, Accessories and Photography – Hyères, his relationship to fashion, and why he reckons music should stick to making people happier.

© Marcin Kempsk

When faced with greatness, it is hard not to acknowledge it. Despite being in his early 20s, Brussels-born singer, writer -and composer- Pierre de Maere has obviously what it takes to become a household name. With his singular voice, provocative songwriting and dandyish allure, de Maere has already crafted a style of his own, and he seems totally fearless when it comes to music.

His first album, entitled ‘Regarde-moi’, had a strong impact on his fans, but also got him noticed by brand new audiences. It is fascinating to see how many gravitate toward the Belgian singer, regardless of race, age, nationality, or social background. In fact, pop is the perfect genre for de Maere, who wants to share his enthusiasm and livelihood with as many individuals as possible.

What did you learn from the Festival d’Hyères and how was that experience for you?

First of all, it was amazing to be in the South of France, surrounded with all this creativity and innovation. The jury itself was a great experience for me, especially because many of us were quite young. There were artists involved, as well as other people working in fashion. I was of course delighted that Igor Dieryck won the Grand Prix du Jury, because he truly deserved it. In fact, I was lobbying for him the entire time even though he clearly didn’t need it.

It’s very rare to get a unanimous vote from a jury, especially when it comes to a competition like this one.

Exactly. The thing with his collection is that everything was deeply creative, but also instantly desirable, which is quite a difficult balance to achieve within a first collection. It was also fresh, coherent and Igor has a great sense of humor, too, which you could actually see in the clothes. They all had funny details or surprises.

© Marcin Kempski
Do you like to collaborate with young designers when it comes to the stage or public appearances?

Definitely. There are two designers that are quite close to me now and with whom I worked in order to create my look. The first is Burç Akyol, who was the Guest Country Winner at the prestigious Fashion Trust Arabia last year. He dressed me for my first concert at La Cigale in Paris and he completely understood what I wanted. He’s doing really well at the moment, and it feels like we grew together somehow. Another friend of mine is Charles de Vilmorin, who was President of the Fashion Jury at Hyères last October. I’ve known Charles for years and he is an incredibly creative person. He has a very strong and dreamlike world, which encourages you to explore fantasy, color and imagination. He dressed me for my first television appearance in France, and I rarely met someone with so much energy and creative power.

Being a Belgian pop artist, do people expect you to be eccentric and slightly different, especially in France?

My music is not complicated, which is probably the reason why it speaks to different audiences, but I do like flirting with kitsch and bad taste sometimes. I want my music to stay fresh and emancipated from any notions of taste. I also think this desire for creative freedom is quite Belgian in a way.

There’s also something optimistic and uplifting in your music, which is very much needed right now.

Thanks for pointing that out. I hope my music can have this effect on people and I love the idea of romanticism through escapism.

© Marcin Kempsk
You’re very playful, too, which is probably due to your star sign.

(he laughs) I’m a true Gemini. I love changing styles and my image as well.

What was it like releasing your first album this year?

I know this is the first one -which means I can sometimes be critical toward it- but in the end I am quite proud of it.

What are your creative wishes for the second album?

I want more craziness, perhaps something more extreme. I think there was a lightness in the first album, which felt right for now. I’d like the second one to be quirkier.

© Marcin Kempski
Does playing live scare you in any ways?

No, it doesn’t, but at the same time I can no longer hide and have to be myself. I love being on-stage, because it’s a very intimate moment. During my first concerts, I remember talking to the audience quite a bit, mainly due to the fact that I worried about my voice not being good enough. Now I no longer worry about that and want it to be and intense -and above all- human experience.

It’s incredible to see how many different generations are attracted by your music.

It’s true. Mothers tend to love me the most, but I’m not sure why.

© Marcin Kempski
I think you’re the perfect son-in-law they will never have.

(he laughs) Who knows? Grandparents come to my concerts, too.

What’s your relationship with fame? Many artists despise it.

I have no issues with fame. A lot of things have become easier in my life. Actually, you’re perhaps more sheltered and protected when you are famous. It does not bother me in the slightest.

Pierre de Maere will be touring the following cities in Belgium next year:

15/02/2024 – OM, Liège
16/02/2024 – Théâtre Royal, Mons
09/04/2024 – Cirque Royal, Brussels
10/04/2024 – Cirque Royal, Brussels

Interview by

Philippe Pourhashemi

Promoting Creative Minds

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