"I was looking for something in the past but what I got was forcing me to look to the future. It was an answer I didn't expect and made me evolve. I was looking for something old and got something new…it was crazy."
Fefe found that he had a rather Westernised view of what he was looking for when the answer was already in front of him. He found balance at a difficult time and the dignity to look forward and that Africa was the future.
In asking about his motto that Fefe lives by, he recalls something he read when he was 12-13 years of age, a phrase "Qui veut peut" which means "who wants can" something like "yes you can". At the time it was revelation, "Who wants can" which he defines as "if you really want something, nothing can stop you unless death, so if you want something, you get it".
Enquiring about his go to song to sing at any time, I'm surprised to hear the answer is Amazing Grace. "I don't know the lyrics but I love the melody", before breaking into a hum in a busy café. Fefe explains there is a warmth, a calming sound vibration that makes him feel happy.
"The French language is spoken in many different countries and if you look at its one those countries, it has a rich diversity in terms of music genres, from classical, hip hop, blues, to pop, rock, electronica."
"When you look at music from Germany and Japan for example, they are known for electronica music, so I believe French music is a good alternative to Anglo Saxon dominance of the music world".
So what does Jean-Francois want people to get out of the 2018 Festival? "For people to have a good time. The motto of this festival is La Joie de Vivre which is important to me. With all the things that happening in the world, it's about appreciating the moment."
"If you can appreciate the moment and be in the moment, you have something. The idea was to create an atmosphere with the artist and audience communicate and people spend time with their friends. For me, that's why we did this in the first place."
So Frenchy So Chic is a family friendly event welcoming kids under 12 years of age for free as well as entertainment from face painting, bubble artists, drumming classes to a game of petanque or croquet to keep them amused. So I'd advise to get your tickets before they sell out.
What about food you say, not to worry hampers are available for those who plan their picnic ahead of time, with options of roast chicken baguettes, berry salad and vegetarian and gluten-free options. Or there is your choice of wine, aperitifs and specialty bites of mussels, oysters, crepes, charcuterie, cheese platters, raclette, macaroons from the local French foodie scene.
And not to forget chilled Champagne from Laurent Perrier which will be flowing all day, along with French beer, Rose from Provence, red and white wine for Bordeaux and cocktails.