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So Frenchy So Chic 2018

Home > Sydney > Family | Festivals | Food and Wine | Music
by lilbusgirl (subscribe)
http://3eggsfull.blogspot.com.au/
Event:
Enjoying the best of France without the jetlag
France comes to Australia for the day in the form of So Frenchy So Chic. From humble beginnings to its 10th year, this inaugural French Festival will be held again in Sydney 20th January 2018, Melbourne 14th January 2018 and Adelaide 12th January 2018 for the first time.

So Frenchy so Chic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Music festival, France, French music, French food, French musicians, French wine, Picnic in the park, Sydney Summer, weekendnotes review, Interview, lilbusgirl, music, Sydney local, fun for familes, life with kids, France for the day, free for kids
So Frenchy So Chic 2018 (courtesy SFSC)


With French food, fashion, arts and fresh music acts with diverse sounds including the likes of Féfé, Lou Doillon, Brigitte, The Dø, Deluxe and Nouvelle Vague to name a few.

I recently chatted to Fefe, a Nigerian-born, French rapper who will be performing at the upcoming So Frenchy So Chic Festival 2018 about his upcoming showcase and new album Mauve.

So Frenchy So Chic
Fefe performing (courtesy SFSC)


Fefe's first trip to Australia was for World of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD) March 2011 when a last minute cancellation meant he was playing the prime spot for 2 shows. The unsuspecting crowd went crazy, beginning Fefe's love story with Australia and his involvement with So Frenchy So Chic in 2012 and 2014.

I asked him to describe his music in 5 words to those who had never heard of his music. Fefe ponders for moment and exclaims "hip hop, soulful, joyful, thoughtful, free…. That's five but can I include playful," with a smile.

Fefe tells me he can't live without his music, his two daughters, love, his need to see the world via travel and Japanese anime which he was introduced to 20 years ago when he worked with 'Saïan Supa Crew', a French rap collective which got its name from Super Saiyan from the anime series Dragon Ball.

So Frenchy so Chic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Music festival, France, French music, French food, French musicians, French wine, Picnic in the park, Sydney Summer, weekendnotes review, Interview, lilbusgirl, music, Sydney local, fun for familes, life with kids, France for the day, free for kids
Chatting with Fefe (courtesy SFSC)


Fefe tucks into a late breakfast of well done scrambled eggs at Café Cuckoo in the bustling hub of Surry Hills as I ask what I would find on his recently played list.

He tells me his playlist varies from the soulful tunes of Michael Kiwanuka (Suits fans may recall the Love and Hate track), an American rapper Kendrick Lamar, legendary Bob Marley, an English singer James Blake and his friend Leeroy Kesiah, French singer, rapper and expert human beatbox.

Querying Fefe in regard to his favourite process of making music, Fefe explains to me that "there are two processes" that he undertakes whilst writing his music. The first being a private almost selfish journey as he prefers to be alone with his thoughts to write the lyrics.

But then again he loves being able to perform his music and share this with the public which is a complete contrast to the writing process. Fefe explains "the process is different, so I like both these aspects".

So Frenchy so Chic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Music festival, France, French music, French food, French musicians, French wine, Picnic in the park, Sydney Summer, weekendnotes review, Interview, lilbusgirl, music, Sydney local, fun for familes, life with kids, France for the day, free for kids
So Frenchy So Chic festivities (courtesy SFSC)


As the Australian audience are not proficient in the French language, I asked Fefe if he felt when he performed, if a lot of meaning associated with his songs was lost with the audience.

He responds "Yes and no. They may not understand the lyrics but they understand the vibe.... Music is a vibe before anything else, I think. Sometimes I feel people understand me more and choose not to understand the lyrics. It's very weird but true. So I don't think I'm losing something."

His favourite song on the Mauve album is 'Aussie fort' due to the personal nature of the song which resonates with the audience each time he plays it. Fefe feels that "this song touches so many people" and he believes "the more you're true to yourself, the more your truth is true to everyone".

The kids and I have been listening the album for the past few weeks and as soon as 'Avev Toi' plays, they dance and jump around so I asked Fefe what the song was about.

Fefe grins and tells me, "This song is about my love of music, titles of songs, lyrics I love, classic lines from artists such as Prince, Wutang spun into a song and paying homage to them. It was written really quickly in one afternoon but the music took many months to get just right."

I did question which song he had the most trouble writing and he responded with laughter, "Let me think, usually the songs that I have trouble writing are not on my album, as it means there was a problem that something wasn't quite right".

The album Mauve is about Fefe's journey of finding his ancestry but instead he found that "we are always moving on as human beings, you know, so you have to find yourself again. So this album I found my balance."

Fefe speaks of a difficult time in his life that he wanted to give up many things and the album gave him many answers. "I went to looking for my ancestry… my journey took me to Cuba, Brazil, Nigeria and what I saw was these people had a lot of dignity and were looking forward."

"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.

So Frenchy so Chic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Music festival, France, French music, French food, French musicians, French wine, Picnic in the park, Sydney Summer, weekendnotes review, Interview, lilbusgirl, music, Sydney local, fun for familes, life with kids, France for the day, free for kids
Being in the moment. (courtesy SFSC)


To Jean- Francois Ponthieux, the founder of the So Frenchy So Chic, the story of its beginnings has always been organic, "nothing has really been planned except for the concept and ideas and making it grow". Speaking about its origins of "starting out as a compilation project, to a standalone show and a realisation that the audience wanted something else and the idea of picnic in the park was born."

So Frenchy so Chic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Music festival, France, French music, French food, French musicians, French wine, Picnic in the park, Sydney Summer, weekendnotes review, Interview, lilbusgirl, music, Sydney local, fun for familes, life with kids, France for the day, free for kids
Enjoying the performance (courtesy SFSC)


The weather plays a large part in festivals and Jean- Francois points out, "Festivals are risky business but that's part of the adventure and there has been a few close calls with weather but so far we've been lucky."

With the vision to keep providing a good experience to people and showcase great French music, Jean- Francois seeks talent in France for 6 weeks each year. Keeping an eye on the up and coming artists and what they have to offer.

So Frenchy so Chic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Music festival, France, French music, French food, French musicians, French wine, Picnic in the park, Sydney Summer, weekendnotes review, Interview, lilbusgirl, music, Sydney local, fun for familes, life with kids, France for the day, free for kids
So Frenchy So Chic picnic in the park (courtesy SFSC)


Asking where he thinks the music scene in France is going, Jean responds "It's going in many directions, France is a crossroad, with inferences from all over the world, from North Africa, West Africa, France."

"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.

So Frenchy so Chic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Music festival, France, French music, French food, French musicians, French wine, Picnic in the park, Sydney Summer, weekendnotes review, Interview, lilbusgirl, music, Sydney local, fun for familes, life with kids, France for the day, free for kids
Chilling out with some tunes (courtesy SFSC)


Sounds like a perfect fit with the Australian summer to sit back with friends and family and imagine yourself in France for the day without the angst of sitting in a long flight with kids. Oh la la la, to that thought I say.

I'll leave you to hear for yourself Fefe's newly released third album 'Mauve'. Using a mix of afro-influenced beats, hip-hop, reggae, pop and dubstep, he'll have you jumping up and down and singing along from the beginning.





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Why? France comes to Australia for the day.
When: SAT 20.01 — 1PM TO 11PM
Where: BICENTENNIAL PARK GLEBE, Glebe Point Road and Chapman Road
Cost: Adults $85, Teenager 13-17yrs $45, Children under 12 years FREE, Hampers from $33
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