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.

Read more Eurovision interviews here

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Purple Mask
Purple Mask
17 days ago

I have been a fan of Blanche ever since the LEP 2017. “Empire” is art using art to bring art. The whole concept and execution are stunning. Thanks for the interview here, and I really do wish Blanche the very best: just keep on recording. 🙂

ausss
ausss
17 days ago

aitana has anew song with katy perry 🙂

Sabrina
Sabrina
17 days ago

“Empire” is a solid album, I’m very happy for Blanche. She was understandably overwhelmed by the whole Eurovision experience, but who whouldn’t be while starting a carreer right with an Eurovision performance? In the end, her tone and the song were so good that she achieved a great result anyway.

Kosey
Kosey
18 days ago

A very good song and a well deserved placing. Also, a classic example of how nerves can complement a performance. “All alone in the danger zone”. She was all alone, she was risking it all, she was filled with doubt, the nerves complemented the overall package perfectly.

Now compare to Belgium 2019. I would argue this was an equally high-quality song by the same composer, but the song demanded confidence, urgency, energy, and here Eliot’s nerves were grating against the song.

It really goes to show that the whole package has to work to do well in Eurovision.

Preuss
Preuss
18 days ago

Meh, I might be in the minority that thinks that Blanche’s performance was vocally and visibly very underwhelming and left a lot to be desired, especially because the song was one of the best that year. Given the year it competed in, I can see how it came 4th, because it was just not a strong year, which the scoreboard also reflects. I know that there are lot of fans out there defending that the song was meant to be presented vulnerable on stage as a way to defend Blanche’s nerves and stage fright, and I agree that it was… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Preuss
TheDr Mistery
TheDr Mistery
18 days ago

All I remember from 2017 pre-contest coverage was the Wiwibloggs pack claiming how terrible Blanche was during rehearsals…

123
123
18 days ago
Reply to  TheDr Mistery

Cause she was

Darren
Darren
18 days ago

I still listen to “City Lights”. A masterpiece. One of those rare Eurovision songs that could have a life outside of the contest (there has only been a few and they don’t come along often) Such a well written, contemporary song, I definitely put it up there with Euphoria and Arcade as one of the best entries. Would have easily accepted it winning in 2017, if it wasn’t such a strong year. Glad the voting viewers/fans got behind it even if the juries didn’t. Would always welcome Blanche back, she was nervous at the time but I think that showed… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
18 days ago
Reply to  Darren

I rewatched ESC 2017 and had Belgium my no 1 and Sweden my no 2. While watching the jury votes I got starteled with the Ukrainian guy introducing Filomena Cautela as a “Eurovision host”. I hadn’t caught that during the live show. Surprise suprise. She was indeed one of the hosts in 2018.

Whisker
Whisker
18 days ago

Blanche did SO WELL, she should be proud of herself. And “City lights” is a fantastic song!

Sale
Sale
18 days ago

She is on the best things eurovision gave us!

Whisker
Whisker
18 days ago
Reply to  Sale

TRUE!