His latest music video, released last week, is called “The Swarthy Face”. “It’s a love story with a girl from the upscale neighborhoods. It was in adolescence. I was convinced that she did not want me because of my origins ”, explains Kerredine Soltani. This disappointed romance took place in Argenteuil. The girl of her dreams lived in the pavilions of the Orgemont district. A distant universe, seen from his HLM.
A gold record that has remained in the shadows, the one who grew up in the city of Joliot-Curie (he now lives in Paris) now wants to make a name for himself as an interpreter. But if her name might not ring a bell, you’ve probably heard her songs before. Because Kerredine Soltani produced Zaz’s debut album in 2010 and wrote the hit song “I want”, which toured the world and was awarded a Victoire de la Musique in 2011.
Previously, he was the author of Digital’s “Turn Up the DJ” in 2003. Then, Eilijah’s “Question of Feeling” the following year. Well established in the music industry, he has also collaborated with many artists Julie Zenatti, Natasha St-Pier, Lââm, Sofia Essaïdi, Élisa Tovati, Tal or even Kendji Girac.
His source of inspiration, his childhood, his family
After “Our Child’s Dreams”, a clip shot in Joliot-Curie and released in early September, the artist continues the story of his childhood. The next one, to be released in November, will be called “First Line” and will evoke his parents. “It’s like a novel in several volumes. It’s a series about my life, he confides. There, I want to take my time, to give importance to each song. “
This story begins in 1976 in these building bars. “I only have good memories. I had a very balanced childhood, ”he emphasizes. The neighborhood has changed a lot since that time. “He looked like that but better. There was more ethnic and social mix, he adds. Today, we have the impression that it has become a ghetto. “
He remembers the Moroccan grocer where he went to get candy. The neighborhood center was like a playroom. “We saw movies, we played board games. There were buffets that had a shelf life of two minutes. We threw ourselves on it – it looked like shopping at Enghien – and we filled our pockets for fear that there would be none left, ”he recalls, laughing. He concedes that even now, he finds it difficult not to rush to the petits fours during cocktails.
A writing work started at 8 years old
In this universe, the living conditions of his comrades in the lodge are like Eldorado. “Each child had their own room, they even had a garden, where they went to pick strawberries and cherries. When we ate it, it was rare, it’s because there was a promotion, ”he explains. Not having the Playmobil garage, he made it with blankets. His drawings, they made them with his fingers on the mist of his window.
The music came to overcome his shyness. “I was the smallest of the siblings and the group of friends,” he explains. I had this culture of respect for the elders. We don’t talk when there are older people around. It was writing that first allowed him to express himself. “I think I started at 8 years old. They were rhymes with spelling mistakes, ”he says.
The song came around 10 years old. “I started singing to get people interested in me,” he says. Later, he takes up rap. “I was trying to improvise. I practiced rhyme all the time while speaking, ”he adds.
Music has never left him, but it was not immediately his profession. After studying law and business, he became a project manager at the Ministry of Culture and for the Elysée, then worked as a film promotion manager. In 2002, he set up an actor agency specializing in dubbing. “It was luxury food jobs,” he comments.