VALERIE RENAY from NOBLESSE OBLIGE
1. Who are you?
I will spend my whole life trying to answer this question, trying to understand myself, refining my sense of identity. I most enjoy surprising myself discovering an unexpected part of my- self. Constantly transforming, evolving, reacting. If you’re asking the essence of what makes Valerie Renay who she is, a London based French singer/song writer (Noblesse oblige), performer/Director (In Bed All Day), DJ (Caligula), MC and so on, very versatile indeed. Some features remain unchanged: A taste for quality, an acute sense of aesthetic, a demanding attitude and a rigid discipline, a love of beauty, an inclination for passionate behaviour, a desire for unattainable ideals. An attraction for untamed spirits of a youthful nature.
2. No, really, who are you?
A control freak
3. What are you up to at the moment?
Mixing Noblesse Oblige’s album (12 songs), I recorded with Sebastian. It’s time consuming. We try not to be to anal about it, but we aim for perfection without sounding pretentious. Sebastian is a young and very talented musician with an incredibly raw energy and stage presence. He’s inspired me to start Noblesse Oblige. He’s also a very beautiful human being in every sense of the word. He gave me faith!
We started the club night Caligula together with Silencio, twice a month at Jaguar shoes in Shoreditch, and have a regular DJ slot at Electrogogo.
4. What three rules would make up your manifesto?
I don’t like the idea of rules and manifesto. People should be encouraged to take risks and pursue their dreams to become satisfied individuals. Finding their own criteria for a better life that fulfils their expectations.
5. If you were the dictator of a modern industrial country, what would
you abolish? What laws would you implement?
Stupidity, lack of sense of humour, bad style should not be allowed. A sense of pride and respect would be compulsory.
6. What are your lyrics about?
Personal obsessions. Power. Social comments. Self harm. Incest. Sex with strangers. Politics. Religions. Violence. Undefined subtlety. Things I love, things I hate.
7. What is your opinion on the contemporary music scene? What do you
Everyone makes music. There’s an overwhelming number of new bands starting every day. It’s scary and exciting to have some much competition! Call me old fashioned but I love a tune that makes me want to get up and dance or lie down in the dark and feel entranced. I consider music to be the most powerful way to instantly move people, something primitive that communicates directly with your body and soul, an intrinsic quality hard to describe. I just feel it when I hear it.
8. What distinguishes you from your peers?
A timeless quality. A wide variety of influences. A taste for musical theatricality. Something intimate and private. Thought provoking lyrics combined with powerful melodies.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully still inspired to create work that moves people.
10. Any regrets?
Regrets are a waste of time. I live in the now.