Lynda Lemay, singer-songwriter and guitarist from Quebec, is inseparable from story songs. It has conquered a large audience since its beginnings: more than four million albums sold and the greatest number of appearances at the Olympia for a foreign artist. Since November 11, 2020 (11.11.2020), she embarked on the somewhat crazy project of making 11 albums in 1,111 days, a project called It was eleven times.
franceinfo: What does this adventure represent? It was eleven times ?
Lthen Lemay: After my fifties, I experienced a good challenge. I asked myself all the questions that need to be asked at some point in our life: Am I still on the right path? Am I doing what I love? I lost my dad in 2017 and that obviously meant a lot to me. Everyone knows, by my song The strongest is my father that my daddy was a good person. Of course, accompanying him in his last moments was both heartbreaking and nourishing because when we lose someone we love, we also face our own fragility, our own imminent disappearance. . It’s like an upside-down childbirth, we take someone to the next step and it shakes up a lot.
I couldn’t stop writing.
Did writing build you?
It was my first passion and the one that still lives in me, the strongest, the most powerful. I might hardly be able to stop singing if I really had no choice but to stop writing, nobody could do this to me.
You served as a sacristan until your adolescence with your sisters. You listened to Iron Maiden while washing the floors of the church, you also prepared the priest’s stole. One day when the nave was empty, you began to sing. Is this anecdote true?
It is totally true. I was cleaning the church in Portneuf, the small village where I come from, with my sister Diane and when we were alone in this large space filled with echoes, I had fun testing my voice in a microphone. It was my first steps as a singer but I would add that even today I am not a real singer, I am initially a storyteller. I feel like telling stories and if I was only given musical notes to hum I would be unable to do so. I need words, a point, it is the basis of my profession as a singer.
On November 25, 1988, you made your first scene. In front of you, only rock fans … who all end up in tears.
Yes. I saw the emotion that I was able to communicate with these chords, with my tiny voice that had never lived, without experiences. I managed to reach this audience with the stories I was telling. It was like a good pat on the back and I thought to myself: “OK, I’m right to believe it. If these people who weren’t there at all to listen to stories, songs like the ones I do, end up getting that emotional, maybe I have something to do with this business.”
In 1996, there will be a meeting with a person that we know well, us, here, and who will literally melt for your personality, your voice. It is Charles Aznavour who will have this crush and who brings you back in his luggage.
Charles Aznavour said loud and clear that he liked the way I wrote, the songs I created. He invited people to come and listen to me.
I still can’t believe the day he opened his arms to me with all his generosity. When you’re a young songwriter and you have a monument like Charles Aznavour that invites people to listen, the doors open a little faster. He always told me: “But you don’t need no advice, you know what to do“He trusted me extremely. We had great mutual respect and I will always feel very privileged all my life to have had this place in his heart.
In this new project, there is My drama. It’s a song about these men or women who are not born in the right body. Was it important to be present on this subject?
I wanted to describe this reality more than 30 years ago and I said to myself: “We were so silent on the subject, we were so silent, it was taboo for a long time that even if I repeat myself eleven times on the same subject, it will never be too much“. So, maybe that’s why I chose this text to do the exercise of creating eleven different musics on the same text. I found that interesting.