AucArt’s guest curator of the month, singer-songwriter Petite Meller talks film, philosophy, the music she grew up listening to and her latest single 'Dying Out of Love.'
Where are you from? Has this affected who you are as an artist?
I’m from Paris and Tel Aviv and grew up between those cities. Of course I’m inspired by French Chansons and the create before you die mode of Tel Aviv. I look like a delicate personality, but I’m a very strong creature.
What music did you grow up listening to?
From Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington to Bowie, Paul Simon, Vivaldi and Mahler.
Did you always see yourself becoming a singer?
I’m on the road to getting a PHD in Philosophy. So the path was originally academic, but as a kid I was always writing songs to myself and just happened to have the ability to write catchy melodies.
Who/what is your biggest inspiration?
Classical cinema, especially Italian, blows my mind and Vivaldi or any music at 135 bpm steals my heart.
Tell us one thing few people know about you?
My grandpa used to work in a milk factory and still to this day I drink only chocolate milk. I’m obsessed with hats and I’m a Lacanian.
Are you superstitious?
No, but I believe we create our reality.
You’ve mentioned you like exploring new places and cultures, but where do you feel most at ‘home’?
I think home is where your love is.
How would you describe your aesthetic in one sentence?
I’m an incredibly minimalistic person, I don’t need a lot, I live in 2 suitcases. I speak a little and I’m compact. I also love absurdity.
What are your optimum conditions for song-writing?
A philosophy lecture. Somehow I manage to keep good concentration when I do two things simultaneously. This sends my mind very high above into the lyrical space.
Tell us one thing you cannot live without?
My blush, a book, my hat.
Your music videos are visually both exciting and bewildering, from giraffes in ‘Baby Love’ to geriatrics in ‘Barbaric’, where do you get your inspiration?
Mostly cinema like Michelangelo Antonioni, but I’ve always loved images that play with absurd moments. In my first album I traveled to Mongolia and Senegal to find those. In my current project I go inside myself.
I’m also fascinated by orchestras esthétique.
What are you reading at the moment?
Aristotle’s on Coming-to-Be and Passing-Away.
Highlight(s) of your career so far?
Being nominated for EMA’s, being shot by Douglas Kirkland, working with Diane Warren, refusing to open for Duran Duran – this is something I’ll always stand firm on.
Who is the most inspirational person you’ve ever met? Why / where did you meet them?
Good Question, I think Darcus Beese, he is the head of Island records. I’ve never met a more powerful and ambitious character who is motivated by a true curiosity about music.
In general I adore people with a great vision. Other than him, I think if I were to meet Stephen Hawking or Vivaldi I’d feel a similar sense of awe.
What does art mean to you?
In my song I have a line, “and Art is just forever my love.”
I think it was Sartre that used to say that art is the thing that will make him live forever.
Which artists are on your radar right now?
Currently I listen a lot to classical pieces but also electronic that combines the two, like Ruusut and Rival Consoles.
What kind of artwork do you like to surround yourself with?
Love is art.
What’s the inspiration behind your choice of artists? Is there a story behind your sale?
Eliot, Ella and Rebecca are all close friends that I love and have collaborated with. They are all close to my heart and their creation is inspiring to me. I want to be surrounded by their art everywhere I’d go.
What are you allowed to tell us about your new album?
My new project is an epic space opera where I collaborate with The Moscow Royal Symphony and the American song-writer Diane Warren.
My song “Dying Out of love” Is out today on Spotify.