ZAZ Back in Ostrava Isabelle Geffroy, better known by her stage name ZAZ, is a young French singer who works mainly within the realms of jazz and chanson while fusing other genres into her repetoir. Listeners had a chance to experience her captivating live show at this year’s Colours of Ostrava festival. Though her songs are mainly about life, love, and “love without the addiction,” she also uses her voice to address global issues, and takes an erudite interest in supporting the protection of nature and the environment in relation to not only the planet, but also to oneself. Isabelle, your gripping music has bewitched Ostrava now for many years. Why did you decide to perform at Colours of Ostrava again? What do you like about the festival? I consider Colours of Ostrava to be something very special. The location of the festival grounds is crazy! The first time we played here, around 25,000 people visited the festival, many of which showered us in applause even fifteen minutes after we had finished the set. The connection I was able to make with the audience was unbelievable! Colors of Ostrava remains one of the most beautiful festivals I have ever gone to, even after I’ve participated in many others all over the world. It is definitely on my top ten list, I would say it would even make the top five. The second time we played in Ostrava, the festival held around 35,000 visitors, and all of them exhibited incredible energy at the concert. I am extremely glad that I was able to take part again! Also, our Czech audience is always so present, so absorbed in the music, full of love and very interactive. Concert tickets always sell out faster when we announce a show in the Czech Republic than anywhere else. In short, we have a great relationship! We know that you care a lot about the environment. What do you think about the use of the post-industrial zone Dolní Vítkovice as grounds for a festival, thereby returning it to the people and bringing a flash of modern culture to a place with so much history? I think using a place with so much character and history like this is amazing. I think that it’s a remarkable feat to bring modern people and culture to a place like this. The area has so much energy, all of which I could feel the moment I first stepped into the festival grounds. I am incredibly happy to be back!
Foto: Michal Augustini Text: Emmanuel Chilaud a redakce
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What themes do you build into your music--what do you usually write about? The main themes I most often cover are life and love. Love, for me, is not about addiction. I think that we should strive for something unconditional, even though that can sometimes be complicated. Often, we do not love unconditionally, unless we’re talking about children.
My lyrics also talk about death. It is good to let go of old demons, so that we can move on, get a grip on our life, and stop being its puppet. If there are things around us we don’t like, it is up to us to change them, and stop simply complaining, as that helps no one. All of us have something inside us that makes us responsible, free, and happy. I also often talk about love, children, about the fact that we need to learn to live together, that we are all different, which is beautiful. We are all unique, which means we have something to gain from one another. I also frequently talk about respect, about humanistic values, and that it is good to do things the right way. Mainly, it is important to learn to love yourself! I think that this is the basis for everything. When I talk about ecology, for example, I also mean “personal ecology.” That means that we should all think about our mindsets… If, as a person, you often complain, you must come to realize, that at the same time, you are polluting the personal ecological system around you, meaning it negatively affects others too. Ecology is part of everyone. This is not your first visit to Ostrava. Is there anything you would recommend to tourists visiting the area? Wow! You know, every time I come here for a festival or concert, I barely have time to visit the area, with the exception of Prague, which seems like a crazily hectic city to me. I remember that we went to visit the market and the Museum of Torture with my friends once. Later that night, we were wandering the streets, drinking mulled wine. It’s a day I like to think back on. My personal suggestion though, is to bring friends along whenever you come here. I don’t know the Czech Republic that well, but I would definitely recommend meeting the local people, because they are very welcoming and kind! Thank you for the interview. Emmanuel Chilaud and editorial Partner of the interview: VEOLIA ENERGIE ČR, a.s.