PASSIONATELY IN LOVE WITH MUSIC: LARA FABIAN

SHE BLEW AWAY THE MUSIC LISTS WITH HER SONGS SUCH AS “I WILL LOVE AGAIN” AND “JE’TAIME”. HER ALBUMS SOLD OVER 20 MILLION AROUND THE GLOBE.

I couldn’t hold my tears as Lara Fabian couldn’t hold hers in front of her audience when she began to sing Je T’aime on the stage and they began to sing with her. Lara Fabian who considers music as an inseparable part of who she is says that words cannot be enough to explain her feelings on the stage. We had a pleasant chat with her before her concert at Zorlu Performance Arts Center.

How did your musical journey begin?
I never felt that I chose this musical journey, I was chosen by music. When I was five, I turned to my father and said, “Dad, I am a singer.” He said, “You mean, you will become a singer.” I replied, “You heard me right, I am a singer right now.” I was only five.

You write lyrics; what are the things that inspire you?
I began to compose when I was eight. After receiving music education, I realized that there was no recipe for this job. Composing and writing lyrics have completely to do with inspiration. Life and people are my inspirations. Melody and words just come to me all of a sudden when they are least expected. For instance, a melody comes to my mind when I am driving my car and I record it immediately to my cell phone. I play it on the piano when I go home.

What does music mean to you?
Music is the essence of my artistic identity; however, it is also a part of my character. I communicate with people through music and this communication is the reason why I do this job. I can never imagine a life without music. Living without music means rejecting who I am. Where I grew up, everybody, especially women, sings. My mother used to sing when she was cooking or doing the laundry. My father plays guitar; he used to be Petula Clark’s    guitarist. My husband is also a guitar player and has a beautiful singing voice. Music is in every part of my life.

You came to İzmir Çeşme to give a concert when you were eighteen; after all these years, how did you feel while giving another concert in Çeşme?
Çeşme was the place where I gave my first big concert in front of live audience after the Eurovision song competition when I was eighteen. That is why it takes an important place in my life. It was such a coincidence that I came to Çeşme this year as I was celebrating the 25th anniversary of my first album. It was so meaningful giving a concert here after all those years; singing once again Croire, the song that I sang on the same stage when I was eighteen, was a wonderful feeling.

You sing in many languages; in which one do you enjoy singing the most?
All languages have different structures. The English version of Je T’aime probably wouldn’t evoke the same emotions in me. I cannot imagine singing “Curuso” in another language but Italian. Or without the dialect of the Napoli region. “I will love again” has an Anglo-Saxon melody, so it would be very hard to translate to another language. It would not keep its meaning in another language; it would lose its power. Turkish songs have great power; they make people laugh or cry. I am sure they wouldn’t have that much power in another language. My repertoire consists of English and French songs mostly; however, I like to sing Italian songs, too. I sing in Spanish or in other languages as I find the opportunity.

You made a duet with Mustafa Ceceli; was singing in Turkish hard, how did you work on your pronunciation?
Pronunciation was not so hard for me. My manager has Turkish origins. I like the fact that Turkish is pronounced as it is written. Your language sounds similar to Italian to me. The lyrics of “Al Götür Beni” belong to Sezen Aksu. My manager and Mustafa Ceceli helped me. I think I performed it well, I hope my listeners appreciated it, too.

I have watched a video of yours; as you get ready to sing “Je T’aime” the audience begins to sing and you become surprised; could you tell us about your feelings at the time?
It was a very emotional moment for me. It was a huge wave of love that was sent to me from my audience. I couldn’t hold myself and cried. I can do this job for centuries. Every concert is a new emotional wave. If I don’t experience these feelings some day, I’d stop singing. You cannot be a singer if you don’t feel these dense emotions. I love studio works. It is a great feeling to record new songs. However, the actual magical moments are experienced on the stage. Communicating with the audience, getting in touch with so many people at the same time is a wonderful feeling, touching every one of them. This is not something I can explain with words. These special moments are the reasons why I continue to sing.

How do you like the Turkish audience?
Every audience is different. This has nothing to do with the country. There were three different types of energies in every one of the three concerts that I gave in İstanbul last year. I believe that I have a special connection with the Turkish audience. Maybe, I gave my first big concert here, that is why. Turkey is always in my concert tours.

Did you have time for sightseeing in İstanbul?
İstanbul is a special city. It is magical. I can feel the centuries old history. On the other side, it is a city that is alive. It carries many aspects to inspire artists. I love İstanbul. I can communicate with people easily since I carry Mediterranean blood.

Have you tasted Turkish dishes?
I love eating. I love cooking, too. Trying new flavors is a great feeling. I tried the Ottoman Cuisine and I enjoyed it. Everything is so delicious in Turkey. Tomatoes, eggplants, vegetables are even so delicious all by themselves.

How do you describe your music style?
I don’t like categorizing my music. I love every style of it. My repertoire has pop dance music as well as piano sound ballads, and French chansons. I also sing symphonic arrangements and pop rock. I enjoy singing in different styles. If you stand at the right place, people recognize you.

To whom do you listen among the international singers?
Barbara Streisand has always been my inspiration. I love her since my youth. Adele, Beyonce, and Sam Smith are other names that I enjoy listening to.

What do you do together as a family?
I cannot stay away from my family more than a week. They are my priority. I go back home right away after my concerts. I want to be next to my daughter when she wakes up. Our days are routine. We have breakfast together; I send my daughter to school. I cook for dinner. I meet with my team for work and then we get together again as a family in the evening. I really have a quiet life.

Does your daughter sing, too?
Yes, but as much as other kids do. She is nine now. We will see what her talent is. It is not music. She enjoys cooking. She wants to become a chef. We watch cooking channels together. She is so creative in the kitchen already.

You have become a singer who is so successful; are you proud of yourself?
It is actually beyond being proud; I am a happy person. I am grateful to have a wonderful daughter and a great husband. I have a family that I adore and lovely friends. I am so lucky to live a life filled with music. I am able to share my music with the people all around the world. Health, peace, and happiness are the greatest things in life and if one has these, nothing else is important.