MUSIC. Continuation of the adventures of a Reunionese woman in the United States started in this section last May. Laura Bontemps, heir to the founders of the School of Current Music at Le Tampon, who left for Los Angeles to study the ropes of show biz, has just released online a first alternative rock opus “In case you didn’t get it, i don’t love you! “, Under the nickname” Her name is vengeance “… To listen, in particular, on Deezer where, like her mother, Hanitra, on Spotify, with” Habakabaka “, she risks causing a disaster. Tell me Laura….
How could you resist so far with the pandemic? Could you get out of LA a bit?
The situation hasn’t really changed since the last time I spoke to you. Still as many cases, but no confinement, no curfew or other … I found a little job while waiting to resume the event which is stranded as everywhere, in a daycare … for dogs! Yes Yes! It’s very Californian, but super popular. Today I take care of all contracts for specialized training and coordinate our classes, hiking trips and beach trips. Working surrounded by dogs is quite pleasant. If I get a little bit of a blues, I know I can have lots of love with them, but it’s just while waiting to be able to return to the entertainment world which I miss so much. I also started a new job on January 1st for Insomniac, one of Live Nation’s little sisters, which specializes in Rave parties and electronic music. They’re slowly starting to have drive-in concerts and drive-thru experiences type events, so I’m very excited about these projects. It’s far from being real concerts, but it’s better than nothing and it’s nice to be on the ground again. The situation is not easy. But hey, nou tyembo! We really have no choice but to wait, in fact… It’s just hard to see the end of the tunnel when we realize that nothing is being done to slow the virus down or improve our situation.
The political context, is not the most optimistic either Trump etc? What do you think?
Ha! It’s so incredible and improbable to me… Sounds like a TV series getting worse and worse (American production, of course). I don’t like to talk too much about politics in general, but when it comes to Donald Trump, it’s hard to stay silent about his actions. Okay already, let’s start with the fact that the government is doing absolutely nothing to help its people at this time. In eight months of the pandemic, we only received a check … for $ 600! When you know that an average rent in Los Angeles is 1,300 dollars a month, it seems a bit complicated to get by. Then, what happened at the Capitol a few days ago is simply unbelievable! but in a bad sense. I see it as a terrorist attack greeted with open arms by the Capitol police. We are even shown some cops taking selfies with these people, it’s just … serious! I can’t wait for Trump to be out of power! I hope the next president can bring something good to the United States, because they need it …
What about your musical evolution?
I am proud to announce that my first single “in case you didn’t get it, i don’t like you at all” was released just before the end of 2020. I wanted to end the year on a positive note so I made sure to finally finish this song which took me months. Working on my music lately made me realize how long and complicated it is! I’m continuing and working on the rest of the songs from my EP “it was fun now it’s over” which I hope to release by June.
Delighted to hear in any case the voice of your alter ego “Her Name Is Vengeance” on Deezer. By the way, why so much hatred?
Before I could release my single, I had to ask myself and think about what I wanted to call myself. Indeed, I needed a “stage name” and I didn’t want to use my real name, Laura Bontemps. Not because I don’t like it, or anything, but simply because I see this musical project as a character that I made up. “Her Name Is Vengeance,” (the name is vengeance) was just my mood right now and that’s what kept coming up when I brainstormed myself to find the perfect stage name. It took me during this long year 2020 which finally made me want to get into music: the Black Lives Matter protests, the pandemic, the fires, the destruction of the planet and all the painful experiences I went through. It is simply revenge on all the people who have hurt me, whether in my friendships, love or work. Stories that drive me to write today.
Do you sing “you make me sick, I want you dead…”… Stumbled upon “the worst of men” in real life?
Unfortunately yes. But this kind of person is everywhere, on every street corner and often at the head of big companies. The companies that have always made you dream, you know? I wrote this song not for an ex-boyfriend, but for my old boss. You have to know that when I work and I like my job, I invest 300% in what I do. My job becomes my life. I thought I had found my dream job when I first came here, and this person used me, my passion and my drive to succeed. Obviously, it ended badly and I decided to leave this box. Fortunately, I did! I learned that since then they got rid of the department in which I worked. All my former colleagues were fired, by email. Unfortunately, this is also the United States: no job security. You can be fired without notice and for no reason.
Can the song be an outlet?
Yes, totally. Surely the only way for me to express myself. I am very shy in real life and don’t like to talk about my feelings at all. This is also why I created the character “Her Name Is Vengeance”. It’s the only way I’ve found to express myself without feeling judged. It is as if this part of me protects me from possible attacks and speaks for me. It’s quite simply a kind of shell, a shell that can do what it wants, say what it wants and I, I remain intact underneath.
Musically this first single is particularly addicting! The impression that after one or two listening, it settles familiarly in the meninges. Did you do everything?
Very happy to know that it stays in the head! This means that I have achieved my goal! Ha! ha! ha! In general, I write my songs with either a guitar or a piano. I find the melody of the voice, the chords, the lyrics but for the rest, I worked with a local producer called Connor Weinstein. He was the one who basically turned the draft into a real song. We start from the recordings I made on my phone and we cross it all on a real production software. Then we add all the other necessary instruments. Producing music is a really great job to do. I became addicted to it. Unfortunately, I absolutely do not know how to use this software, and that’s why, like many artists, we call on producers!
Have you made new encounters that matter in the last few months in the music industry?
Yes, my vocal coach and co-songwriter, Bradley Walden, lead singer of Emarosa. He’s been helping me so much since we met that I don’t know if I would have been able to do all of this without him. He’s the one who helps me translate my feelings into words and check that my English is correct. I see him a bit like my mentor, he teaches me a lot and always reassures me as soon as I lose confidence in myself (which happens 9.5 times out of 10).
You told us last May how much you missed Reunion, I imagine that has not been arranged since?
It’s getting worse and worse … I had to be there and meet my whole family for the end of year vacation, and everything was canceled. You can’t even imagine how much I miss it. But, the good news is that I took a plane ticket for the end of May until the end of June and hope to be able to go this time. I keep my fingers crossed that the situation will improve and that I can finally travel!
This is the first of your wishes for this new year?
YES !!! Return to Reunion Island and France, and also quickly resume work in the entertainment industry and release my EP (which will be an introduction to my future project, a first album) And of course, that all my relatives are happy and in good health health!!! I would also like people to realize the harm we are doing to the planet and to animals and to start treating them better. Are we all fingers crossed for a better year? See you soon 🙂
Interview by Marine Dusigne
* Laura Bontemps can be reached on the networks. @hernameisvengeance on Instagram and Facebook.
▪ Its track can be streamed on https://ampl.ink/prMQQ?fbclid=IwAR3CtxHOsp_qAcFoPbVNkkwG4fIBt-wqg7W5EftBtQyu_LbUR-gCt_wI67E
Rock, Metal…. “Since I was little, I’ve only listened to rock music, in absolutely all its forms. I am particularly drawn to Alternative Metal, but I always thought that my voice did not fit on this kind of music at all. So I tried there to start a kind of softer Alternative Rock. Only lately I’ve been trying something much more “heavy” for the future. We’ll see what happens! My inspirations? Always Bring Me The Horizon, Paramore, Evanescence and Nothing But Thieves. I am also currently working with some friends from Réunion to try to add colors from my island to my music! It is very important to me to share our culture with the rest of the world ”.
Small pleasures of the moment….
Music: “There, I listen to Eddy de Pretto a lot, whom I discovered in France in 2017. He is incredible so I really recommend him! I also listen to Nekfeu’s latest album, “Les étoiles vagabondes”, which is very inspiring from a production point of view. Book: “I recommend you to read” The subtle art of not giving a damn: a guide against the tide to be yourself “, by Mark Manson”
Série, film : « Queer Eye, Ready Player One, White Chicks et The Holiday, j’adooore « !
Gluttony: “Sticky rice with mango, a Thai dessert that I love!” “
Who’s who ?
27 years old, has lived for two and a half years in Los Angeles where she went to work, for the largest organizer of musical events in the world. Born in metropolitan France where she spent her childhood, she joined Reunion Island at the age of 10 with her family. At 18, after high school, she took off for LA where she joined the American University (LACC) to study psychology. Return to the island and internship at the Luc Donat Theater, then return to Reunion as schez Luc Donat and volunteer for the IOMMA and Sakifo. She then decides to join Toulouse to prepare a Bachelor in Communication and Marketing. In 2014, she took part in the American lottery, and was soon one of the 50,000 people in the world who won their green card, allowing them to live and work in the United States. Forced to wait two years to take advantage of the windfall, Laura worked in the meantime for RTL2 and Fun Radio in Toulouse, to better perform in 2018 in LA. where, since, she lives.