Friday, March 1, 2013

Françoise Hardy: The Folkish Popstar

Françoise Hardy
On January 17, 1944, Françoise Hardy was born to an about to be single mother in Paris, France. She immediately took on much responsibility when her sister Michèle was born only eighteen months later. These two young girls had a different childhood than many, only seeing their dad a couple times a year. The combination of difficulties sent the children quickly into adulthood. For her sixteenth birthday Françoise got her very first guitar, strangely from her father. About a year later, to kick start her music career, she applied for an ad that was looking for young singers. Then on November 14, 1961, Françoise Hardy was offered a recording contract with Vogue. In April 1962, she recorded her début single. Thanks to her song "Tous les garçons et les filles" Hardy's look completely changed as she was now seen on the cover of many magazines. She has been able to accomplish many things over the years including the recording of many albums,  modeling, receiving abundant French titles (including the "French 60s Covergirl"), and starting her very own family with her husband Jacques Dutronc and son Thomas Dutronc. Françoise Hardy is still going strong at the age of sixty-nine today (2013).

Françoise Hardy
What about your musicians sound do you like? How does it affect your mood? What does the sound remind you of?

Hardy's folk inspired yet pop music allows for a very unique sound. Its incredibly upbeat tune and beautiful, flowing lyrics give a sense of a happy, soothing sensation. The overall sounds of her voice and her guitar blend very well together. Her tunes make you want to sing along, especially during the choruses. She really found the right combination of sounds for each of her pieces. 

How does your musician's music reflect his or her time period? Was there anything happening in the world or music industry that influenced the music or sound?

Hardy started singing many of her own compositions but seemed to embrace
the themes of "young love". She also incorporated the French pop music of the time and progressed to very moody music such as rhythm and blues. The major themes of her songs included ballad type music about young love and the turmoils involved. Playing the guitar at a very early age enabled Hardy to accompany her own songs with her musical talent on the guitar. Her knowledge of music and her love for singing enabled her to progress to almost any style.

What does your musician sing about? What are some of the major themes or subjects of the songs? If they do not sing, how can you interpret the music or sound?

The music that most inspired Hardy were the "chanson" songs, also known as lyric driven songs. This was the music that she steered toward at the beginning of her career. Some of her early musical influences included French chanson stars  such as Charles Trenet and Cora Vaucaire and singers Paul Anka, the Everly Brothers, Cliff Richard, Connie Francis and Marty Wilde. This was a time when peace rallies and other antiwar movements were more prevalent. Many songs of love and harmony were circulating. As Hardy became more experienced and well-traveled, she emerged with singers of rhythm and blues in which her voice allowed her to emit the true feelings of her soul. Growing up in a one parent home and attending a strictly run school led to much of the singer's inner feelings being put to music.


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