After sharing a duet by Elsa Esnoult on “My heart tells you I love you”, the timeless Frédéric François played his own role in “The Mysteries of Love”, the main series of TMC. A great first for the Latin lover … to follow on channel 10 on TNT!
Frédéric François is in the cast in the new season of season 29 of mystery of love, broadcast on Sunday, May 22 at 7:50 p.m. on TMC. This winter, we met the Variety star who has sold 35 million albums and topped the charts with her latest album: DUET. Interview, under the spell:
Frédéric François tells the Journal des Femmes, obviously, your audience is mostly made up of women, isn’t it?
Frederic Francois: Make no mistake, I love singer, but I can tell you that in shows there are more men than women. My discography is so family-oriented, actually!
The first picture I kept of you was in front of my TV, I was 5 years old and you were the guest ofFan SchoolThe fire
Frederic Francois: I have fond memories of those kids singing my songs, the parents in the room … Jacques Martin was like a father to me. It remains etched in my heart.
You’re celebrating your 70th birthday, 50 years of career, 50 years of marriage too… is it time to stock up?
Frederic Francois: I don’t count. Life shocks me every day on a personal and professional level. I always have the same desire, the same fear when I’m recording a record wondering if it’s going to be enjoyable. I try to accept the spirit of the times of musical development because the listeners ’ears are accustomed to the sounds, without distorting myself of course. On the private side, it’s good to make your couple last, to change your relationship …
“It’s so nice to have your couple last, to change your relationship …”
Physically, what is the secret of your eternal youth?
Frederic Francois: I’m not my age. People tell me I’m not old, that I stay the same look, same silhouette, same voice… I really do sports and that I eat my spaghetti every day (laughs). Honestly, I think it’s a matter of energy. I am a very optimistic person. My brain controls my body. As long as there are projects, the balance tips on the positive side, light and life will make you smile.
“I eat my spaghetti every day”
This smile, exactly, that you wear all the time: is it a form of courtesy, a way to never show what’s wrong?
Frederic Francois: The joy of being there, the recognition I have for the public and what it has done for me. My smile is to say thank you for fulfilling my dream, that of my father who left Sicily to work in the coal mine… and that one day I could be a singer. I don’t even smile at all. This is the happy reality of Francesco Barracato. I will not cheat.
“I made everyone smile, happy. I wasn’t cheating.”
You always talk about your parents. Is memory development important?
Frederic Francois: My dad means everything to me. He wore his impresario cap, was looking for orchestras for “his son singing” and I joined. The Sparrowhawks then The Wild Tigers. He bought me equipment with his savings as a miner… and he only came back to see his parents in Sicily two or three times in his life because he sacrificed everything for me. This abnormality is very nice. I miss my parents and can’t thank them enough.
You made this new album in a particular context of health, the threat of disease, of decline, of the loss of loved ones… How do you find strength?
Frederic Francois: There have been major pandemics before, like the Spanish Flu, and it’s over. It’s about being careful, being careful. I restrained myself, before others, after a show on March 7, 2020 in Montpellier. My sound engineer set up a home studio in my basement… and there I recorded all the songs!
Does your wife appreciate being with you around the clock?
Frederic Francois: This lockdown brings us closer. I haven’t been with my wife very much yet, this is the first time we’ve been together day and night. You don’t even have to give up. I changed my way of doing things, I started in the kitchen, I set the table, I cleaned the glasses …
“I started in the kitchen, I set the table, cleaned the glasses”
You lived 50 years on the street, in concert, moved from one town to another … The pandemic locked you in for months … You left your children, you were Italian, touch, warm, you are the singer, there is something to take away from the one you love …
Frederic Francois: It was so hard, a real pain, because I always hugged my kids, I always kissed them … There, I never went out without two masks and a scarf … Paradoxically, it was imposed imprisonment resulted in Simple pleasure like watching series, TV soap operas. All this with Bella, our young Golden Retriever next to us … And the desire to go back to the restaurant, to the cinema … We will bite life completely!
You’re from a background that doesn’t have anything artistic in the sense of show business. How do you integrate codes in this “ruthless” world?
Frederic Francois: I have thanks to my father who played the harana in a small group with a violinist and mandolin in a small village in Sicily. When a man was in love, he went in search of my father and he said to him, here you are ready to sing a serenade that way, under such a balcony … When my father emigrated to Belgium, he continued the moves every Sunday with his guitar, opera tunes… My mother, who was preparing lunch, came out of her kitchen and came to hum a few words in a romantic fight with him. At the age of 10, I sang with them and strummed some chords he taught me.
Better than showbiz: my dad realized with me what he had always dreamed of doing. He became my manager, my agent, enrolling me in singing competitions.
Until the day where?
At 66, at 16, I won the Microsillon d’argent and the record of a 45 rpm and a passage in the first part of Johnny Hallyday and Michel Polnareff who also drove me home … We had no car, no television, no home … And he, Polna, the star, took me back to the Rolls -Royce red convertible.
Success came like a fairy tale, or like a Hollywood movie, from mine to Paris. I was restless, caught up in a beautiful movement, a whirlwind, a dream … until Disco arrived, a new trend swept me away, wiped me from the scene …
“It was brutal. I was drowning in spasmophilia, pain, I stopped pleasing, thinking it was enough to put my whole heart into it …”
There were two short years of disruption when I no longer wanted to be Frédéric François, I wanted to heal myself of my illnesses by becoming Francesco Barracato again. I left for America with my whole family… When I came back, I realized that I shouldn’t be touched by people who don’t like my style, that I would accept criticism, ridicule, close doors … Armed with it shield, I was able to chain big hits throughout the 80s.
You’ve been singing about love for half a century: do you have the impression of being loved so much, that “love luck”?
Frederic Francois: I believe in love more than anything, as the primary quality of people. I’ve given my whole life to music, on stage, what excites me, my DNA for love songs. That’s my dad’s song, that’s how I feel deep inside. This emotion is equal to the Delta frequency, it is the strongest, the one that keeps you in shape, in good health.
“I can never be ‘hip'”
So the passage of time is not your enemy?
Frederic Francois: It is not a fear, not a fear, but a command to take advantage of every opportunity. The present moment is very important: it draws the line of life in the future. Every morning, I get up, look at the trees, admire nature and take a deep breath.
A discreet public listens to you, many generations attend your concerts, but how do you react to the contempt of others, elitist and distant?
Frederic Francois: I was quick to oppose Eric Zemmour in Ruquier, I had the favors of Thierry Ardisson … I could never be “fashionable”, but a kind of respect settled …
What’s left in Italian or Sicilian in your home?
Frederic Francois: Lots of stuff! The blood flowing in my veins… I lived until I was 4 and a half years old with my grandparents, I remember the smells, the flavors, the pasta we ate at every meal. If I talk to my wife, I’ll say 3 words in French and 3 words in Sicilian, I can’t help but … Sicily, in my imagination, is a paradise … but I’m definitely European.
Didn’t you miss the day in the Mediterranean?
Frederic Francois: In Belgium, the days are gray and rainy, it is true that the weather in the South is milder… I take vitamin D and Zinc tablets to strengthen the immune system.
“I’m proud of this little family I create, having met a beautiful, intelligent woman”
What are you proud of now?
In my private life, I am proud of this little family I have created, of meeting a noble, intelligent woman, whom I am grateful for because since I met her my life has really changed … long ago .. .
And what is your most memorable memory? Your greatest professional achievement?
Frederic Francois: I think it was sung for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican because I am a believer… I was also impressed by this commemorative plaque affixed on July 19, 2019 on the wall of the house where I was born, in the small village of Lercara. In this village there is another plaque: that of Frank Sinatra, whose father and grandfather grew up on the same streets as me…