Benjamin Biolay released his first album, Rose Kennedy, in 2001. He soon became one of the most known figure of the nouvelle chanson française, a musical genre that is inspired from singers such as Brel, Brassens or Edith Piaf but with a more soft pop music style.
Benjamin Biolay has since written 11 further albums, the latest being Grand Prix that was released this year. He worked with famous singers like Vanessa Paradis or Keren Ann. He also worked as an actor. His ex wife Chiara Mastroianni, is an actress and the daughter of the very famous Catherine Deneuve.
Although he was rapidly seen as one of the most gifted singers of his generation, he has often been mocked too. His low key vocal style, which is very characteristic of his work, is loved by some and scorned by others. He was also often seen, somewhat unfairly, as moody and arrogant.
Actually, I first had little interest for his work and I did not like his public image that much either. In the early 2000s, I was more a fan of Vincent Delerm. However, when I first heard the songs of Grand Prix, I really loved them and had to change my opinion on Biolay. Since then, I have been listening to his older songs too.
Grand Prix is a nostalgic, autobiographical album. It is both sensitive and intelligent. There are very beautiful texts and in comparison to older albums, the melodies are much more pronounced, with a new rock sound. I particularly like the song Comment est ta peine? You can watch the official clip for the song here