Pony X – one of the duos selected among the 12 finalists of Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez – like to cultivate mystery. Formed of singer Clarence and a mute Pony DJ, the duo, who almost never take themselves seriously, have only one goal in mind: to get the whole of Europe dancing. During an interview, Clarence and Pony took us into their atypical universe.
Clarence and Pony grew up among the cows and ponies of Creuse, in the French countryside where they met as children. This is one of the few bits of information they are willing to reveal. Both fans of manga, comics and colourful characters, their common passions bring them closer together musically. Although they have worked on separate projects for some time, trying to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest together resonated as a natural objective:
“We want to make France and Europe dance and sing to the crazy rhythm of our music. The French touch in this musical style is exported all over the world and yet it is under-represented at Eurovision and above all France has never attempted this daring gamble. We really believe in it and we hope that the French public will follow us.”
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The least we can say about Pony X is that they do not go unnoticed. The main reason for this sudden interest is the identity of the DJ, masked by a psychedelic Pony head. Many Eurovision fans have made the connection with the staging of Dihaj, who represented Azerbaijan in 2017, but they tell us there is no relation:
“Pony is not an acquaintance of Dihaj but he respects this artist even if he doesn’t know them. A lot of mystery hovers around himself in the field of equidae.”
Should Pony X continue this adventure to Rotterdam in May, we will have to get used to the idea of never hearing the sound of Pony’s voice. Clarence describes his companion as mute and that he would be the only interlocutor of the duo. Thus, revealing Pony’s true identity is by no means on the agenda.
Clarence is much less mysterious about his identity and his career. Of Martinican origin, he is best known for having collaborated with the French electro group Ofenbach.
There have been many rumours that suggest one of the members Ofenbach is actually hiding under the Pony mask. However, Clarence tells us that Pony’s career is more out of this world:
“I did work with Ofenbach on their last tour and it was a great experience to play in front of so many people. As for Pony, he does have a career behind him, but that was on another planet, so we don’t have a reference to communicate to the Earth singles.”
Author’s note: It is almost certain that it is not one of the members of Ofenbach under Pony’s mask. After some investigations, we noticed that Pony has a tattoo on their right forearm, which is not the case of either Ofenbach member.
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“Amour fou”: The story of a universal love story
“Amour fou” – Crazy love – is a track that could be devoid of its lyrics and still recognised as a French electro-dance track. Close to the sounds of other famous French DJs such as Martin Solveig or David Guetta, Pony X also add a personal element but always with the desire to let the audience get a glimpse of the “French touch” they talk about. Clarence sings about a love story in which everyone can recognise themselves, regardless of age, gender or even species:
“This song is a universal love story, it could work between humans, but also between ponies, wolves and even between a coffee maker who would secretly be in love with a teapot.”
Clarence is more than just an electro-dance singer. If we can hear some soul music in his voice, it is because he was trained in gospel singing in Florida:
“Of course my interpretation in “Amour Fou” is influenced by my background and of course by the gospel that I practiced a lot in Florida. My influences are electro/pop/jazz/soul and even rock.”
As previously mentioned, Clarence was born into a family originally from Martinique, located in the French overseas territories. The last Martinican to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest was Kali, in 1992 with the song “Monté la riviè”. The culture and languages of the French overseas territories have been very little represented at Eurovision, despite strong national presence. As for the singer of Pony X, he believes that it is necessary to be able to communicate with the whole of the nation represented, without limiting oneself to a single regional space:
“It is necessary to communicate with an entire country to win this competition and it is difficult from our point of view to achieve this when we represent only one region in terms of language. We can allow ourselves a little fantasy but it must be in homeopathic doses.”
If their universe catches on, it is not the first time that the pony is a source of inspiration for the musical world. In the 1960s, the “Pony” was a popular dance, made famous by the Chubby Checker song “Pony Time”. Pony X defends themselves from any similarity:
“We just found out that we had competitors. We’re going to take the DeLorean and go back in time to shoot them on the racetrack… on the spot.”
It must be said, to show up at Eurovision with an electro-style song is a risky bet. From Gromee to Darude, it is difficult for electronic music to qualify for the finals. Not impressed by these predictions, Pony X intends to give back to electro its letters of nobility and prove that this genre has its rightful place in the competition:
“There is always a risk, whatever it is, but perseverance always pays off, once again there is no reason why electronic music should not be recognized at its true value.”
For the C’est vous qui décidez national final, the duo promises a majestic show to carry their title to victory:
“Expect something grandiose, a real show worthy of the energy and atmosphere of a title like ours. First of all, if we win, we’ll start by jumping to the ceiling, then we’ll come back down and consider what’s next. That’s not in the news yet, so for now we’re focusing on the first step: Eurovision France – C’est vous qui décidez.”
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To conclude, Pony X have a message for all those who have fallen in love with their song:
“Hey Ponyz, you discover us and we discover you too, we can feel your energy! We think that the Eurovision audience is one of the best in the world and we hope that you will all follow us on social networks, support us and vote for us. We hug you very much and we say see you soon! Show Me Dat Booty Pony!”
Are you excited for the Pony X experience? Could an electro song win C’est vous qui décidez? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!