Popular Swiss band Aliose is currently performing in Armenia within the framework of Francophonie season; this is Switzerland's contribution to the month of Francophonie (mois de la francophonie) organized in Armenia. The concert is initiated by the Swiss Embassy in Armenia in collaboration with KASA Foundation. Aliose was founded five years ago as a duet, with new members joining the band later. PanARMENIAN.Net presents an interview with Alizé Oswald and Xavier Michel from Aliose.
What projects are you working on now?
Alizé: We had three concerts in Nepal; two concerts are planned in Armenia and two in Georgia. Our current schedule is very loaded and interesting; we are full of energy and eager to work. Switzerland where we come from has four official languages. This is an excellent opportunity for us to sing in our native language, and, why not, contribute to promotion of the French language.
Xavier: In addition, this is a wonderful chance to communicate with people, discover other cultures and languages.
Alizé: We perform mostly in folk-pop style. Though we sing in French, we have participated in various festivals in non-Francophon countries as well. We had a tour in Belgium, and in China we had 8 concerts in 12 days.
Do you often take part in Francophonie-related events?
Alizé: Within Francophonie framework, we performed last year in China and this year in Armenia; we hope we will have a chance to perform in other countries next year as well. I'd like to say that we advocate for the use of French language, for singers and bands to perform in their native language both in their homeland and abroad. Xavier writes books, he is fond of French. The interesting thing is we were invited to sing in Nepal within the framework of Francophonie events. This demonstrates the popularity of the French language worldwide.
Why did you decide to participate in the Eurovision International Song Contest?
Xavier: We took part in the national selection round; that was sort of a challenge for us. There are very few French speakers in Switzerland, and the Swiss TV suggested that we sing in French. Unfortunately, the contest winners feature mostly English language songs.
Alizé: That was a success for us; we ranked rather high with our score.
Xavier, please tell about your writing career.
Xavier: I've been writing since I was a child. I wrote a short story, novels and poems in 2003, part of which is not published yet. Actually, the music ousted my writing. Currently I'm writing only lyrics for the songs.
Did you manage to get an insight into Armenia?
Alizé: We haven't seen anything so far. Ben, a member of our band saw a beautiful mountain, and later they told him it was Ararat. We hope to get to know your country better tomorrow, on our way to Gyumri.
Xavier: We are very curious and we want to see your culture so that we can come back here in the future.
You often perform in different countries. Do you have some kind of tradition with regard to this?
Alizé: I don’t know whether this is tradition or not, in every country we visit spots that are characteristic of the country, like its visit card. As a musician, I try to buy some national musical instrument in each country.
What would you like to wish to the Armenian audience?
Alizé: I wish them love for music, and also more contacts and such meetings. Our aim is not only concert performance but also communication.