Belgian singer Blanche released her debut album Empire during lockdown in May. She launched it with an incredible live performance from the Magritte Museum in Brussels. The “City Lights” singer spills the beans to wiwiblogger Tom about her new album, performing at such a prestigious venue and being overwhelmed at Eurovision in 2017.
Let’s do this!
Interview: Blanche on debut album Empire and Eurovision 2017
Performing live from the Magritte Museum
Blanche first explains why the Magritte Museum, dedicated to Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte, was an ideal place to launch the album and has such a big influence in her work:
“The visuals of the album were inspired by surrealist paintings, especially the artist Gertrude Abercrombie.
“Magritte was also an inspiration for the visuals of the album and as he was a Belgian artist. He has a museum with all his paintings in Belgium; I thought it would be super cool to make a concert there surrounded by all the paintings.
“I had the idea during quarantine when we couldn’t go to any museums, to make the museum live through something else.”
For anyone who missed the concert at the Magritte Museum, check it out here.
Blanche’s debut album Empire
Blanche reveals that Empire was the ideal name for her debut album because it took an empire to create it! Going to countless writing sessions and collaborating with lots of artists. She explains that the “Blanche Empire” wasn’t built in a day, it is the result of three years of hard work:
“I know some artists start with a name and then they write the project. For me, it was not like that. I had no idea what I would call the album. I worked on a lot of songs without knowing how to put it all together but I had this one song called “Empire”. I felt like the song gathered everything about the album, including the visuals as we made visuals of all the songs. It felt like it all came together through this one Empire that includes so many different people, so many different feelings, so many different stories.
“There are some people that I worked a lot with including Rich Cooper and Francois Gustin – the two producers of the album. I worked on the album for three years, I went to a lot of writing sessions in London with a lot of different people. For example, “Summer Nights” I wrote with Anthony Whitling and Emily Phillips who has worked with some of my favourite artists.”
Being overwhelmed at Eurovision 2017
After a 17-year-old Blanche blasted her way into our lives through her success at Eurovision 2017, we were all desperate to see what she would do next. However, Blanche admits that she needed to take a step back before she could carry on moving forward:
“After Eurovision, I went to song writing camps because I had never written a song before, it was so new to me and I started my career at Eurovision! It was a strange way to do it. I needed time to write and step back to decide what I wanted to do next and it took three years.
With all its pomp and enormity, Eurovision could make even the most seasoned pro stop in their tracks. That certainly was the case for a 17-year-old Blanche who was new to the attention and stepping foot on the biggest stage of her life:
“Either you get fully into it and live it 100% and I wish I could have lived it like that. But there was a part of me that was like, what is happening? This is unreal. I tried to realise that it was happening for real but it was so hard to take, it’s so huge and I couldn’t handle it. I was not sad or angry or disappointed, I was just trying to process everything, it was tiring.”
Finally, Blanche sends a message to her fans during this very unique time in history.
“Thank you for all the messages that I have received. I really hope we can see each other for real when I tour Europe. I hope Empires will be an album you will listen to for months and years and become important to you as it is for me.”
What do you think of Blanche’s debut album Empire? Where in Europe would you want Blanche to tour? Let us know in the comments below.