INTERVIEW – Natasha St-Pier: “My son forces me to be the best version of myself”

In 2001, Natasha Si-Pier finished fourth at Eurovision. While she thought her career was over, the singer multiplied her successes. Eleven after her participation, she confided in her career, her daily life as a mother and her love life.

“But I only have my soul to tell you about me, oh only my soul, my soul and my voice”. From the height of her 18 years, Natasha St-Pier bewitched the Eurovision jury on May 12, 2001. She finished fourth in the famous European competition, the singer did not expect to see her life shake. Pushed to the head of the stage, the beautiful Canadian won the hearts of the French. After leaving the music scene for a while, the 41-year-old artist is back stronger than ever. Satisfied mother of little Bixente Maxence, satisfied and loving yoga teacher, Natasha St-Pier radiates happiness. For Gala.frthink back to his career, his family life and his sweet plans.

Gala.fr: On 12 May 2001 you arrived at 4th place at Eurovision in Copenhagen, Denmark, how did you experience this participation that suddenly boosted your career?

Natasha St-Pier: I had a great time at the time. It was a great experience to live. Then, I struggled to live with the defeat. I was 18, I was still young, and I had never faced failure before. I thought my career was over. And in the end, I realized that this experience has been a wonderful springboard for my career.

Gala.fr: You created a surprise by keeping the French version of this song. Why this choice?

Natasha St-Pier: The text of I only have my soul, written by J. Kapler is magnificent. So I wanted to keep it as it is. At the same time, I wanted people to understand what I was talking about in this song. By doing the last third in English, it allowed them to understand and be able to identify with the text.

Gala.fr: What does Eurovision look like from behind the scenes?

Natasha St-Pier: The contest lasts one week. There are several repetitions, it is extremely well framed. Each country has a specific time. It is indeed a very large codified and highly regulated production. Around this working time, we have the opportunity to meet with foreign media. All countries want to interview us to know our song. There is really an excitement around Eurovision.

Gala.fr: Any little anecdotes on this topic?

Natasha St-Pier: I remember the stage fright before taking the stage. I passed immediately after a Spaniard. I’ve seen people singing and dancing. For my part, I was trying to be like “it’s okay”. But deep down, I really had a lump in my stomach. When you listen to my performance again, you can hear it. I don’t have optimal breathing. I have shortness of breath and a stress-blocked diaphragm. Not my best performance, but it was due to the stress.

“I had to stop to find the love of music”

Gala.fr. : Do you regret your performance?

Natasha St-Pier: I can’t regret it because I don’t think I could have done better. On the other hand, with age, if I had to do Eurovision again, I wouldn’t do it like I did when I was 18.

Gala.fr: At the end of your participation in Eurovision, Pascal Obispo will largely produce your album Of love the best. How it was born this collaboration ?

Natasha St-Pier: Pascal Obispo saw me at Eurovision. At the time, my old record company wanted me to record an album in France. So they told him about me. After the race, I met him on a television. At that time, for me, my career was over and I was about to return to Canada. When I was about to return the next day, Pascal Obispo asked me to come and listen to his songs in his studio. That’s how I finally decided to stay.

© Denis Guignebourg / BestimageNatasha St-Pier and Pascal Obispo in the backstage of the concert “Dandy Symphonique” by A. Chamfort at the Grand Rex in Paris, March 23, 2022.

Gala.fr: After this huge success, you have decided to take a break from your career to get back into force in 2012. How has this break been beneficial for you?

Natasha St-Pier: I realized that I loved music and that I needed it. At first I thought it was a job like any other, but not at all. I needed to stop. Since I was 14, I have been moving forward without taking the time to savor and look back. I was in a kind of success race that wasn’t mine but my producer’s at the time. I was no longer in pleasure. I had to stop to rediscover the love for music.

“Bixente makes me grow”

Gala.fr: Three years later, you started a new chapter with the birth of your son Bixente Maxime characterized by his health problems. How has this changed your career?

Natasha St-Pier: If pregnancy was difficult to live with, I found motherhood easy and beautiful. It is a challenge that has allowed me to grow and evolve. I wanted to combine my career and my private life. I made my homework resonate. My son really has a place in everything I do. Before, it all revolved around my passion. I just got that. As soon as things went wrong in my job, my whole life went wrong. Today this is no longer the case.

Gala.fr: What kid is he?

Natasha St-Pier: Bixente is fine and growing too fast. He is very artistic. Both in drawing and in music. He likes to attend big concerts like Vianney’s or those of street artists. He takes guitar lessons. In addition to music, he loves artistic expression. I think he is a very sensitive person. Through art he manages to free himself from his emotions. For me he is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. His thoughts and his worries make me grow. He forces me to be the best version of myself. Thanks to Bixente I have become a much more balanced person.

Gala.fr: You announced that you have been separated from your son’s father. How did you get close this single mom life ?

Natasha St-Pier: It wasn’t always easy at first. We had to find an organization and a routine. I had to force things on my team. I could no longer say yes to everything and accept impulse contracts. I’m mom. Of course, missing out on a musical opportunity is disappointing. But when I have my son in my arms and I kiss him on the neck, he is worth all the opportunities in the world (she laughs).

Gala.fr: In parallel with your career as a singer and presenter, you are also a yoga teacher. How has this practice changed your outlook on life?

Natasha St-Pier: Thanks to Bixente I understood the notions of balance. And this is yoga. Having the ability to be a mother, have a lover and do yoga allows me to have a balanced life. When a layer of my life isn’t perfect, it doesn’t all fall apart. I’m trying to teach my son. You need to have a broad outlook on life and gain height to understand that one small misfortune does not sum up your whole life.

Gala.fr: With this hindsight, what is your evaluation of your career?

Natasha St-Pier: If I hadn’t lived my career to the full, as I could, I wouldn’t have had the same success or integrated my ego. All singers need to be recognized and applauded to feel good about themselves. Today my ego is at peace. It allows me to reject certain proposals and to accept that I am not everywhere musically. I share my life differently. There is nothing to regret. It has allowed me to be who I am and to be good to this person.

Gala.fr: Your mantra is “love”. You are a woman involved in many causes. Are all her commitments partly the cause of your departure from the Enfoirés?

Natasha St-Pier: There was no priority commitment. The Restos du Cœur always hired the most important artists who would bring together as many people as possible. At some point in my career, when I chose to prioritize my son and no longer do big theaters, I was probably attracting fewer people. Less interesting for the organization of the Enfoirés. It is always a pleasure to go to the Restos du Cœur. If my participation can make a difference, I’ll be back. So far, the artists are doing the job very well. I prefer to put my energy where people need it. It is important to give back some of everything we receive.

“Playing on stage with my partner brings another dimension”

Gala.fr: You are a generous woman for whom spirituality has an important place. You present your new show To believe in churches throughout France. Why did you accept this project?

Natasha St-Pier: One day I was asked to sing the poems of Therese of Lisieux through lyrics composed by the singer Grégoire. I really enjoyed it. At first I didn’t know who she was. It was during the second album that I really researched this woman and developed an affection and admiration for her. Then, from album to album, I decided to talk about the women I admire. Today women are often asked to have very masculine qualities. However, I find it great when feminine qualities, such as patience, kindness, and resilience, have as much space as leadership. They thus become complementary. So I wanted to sing about women who show off these things.

Gala.fr: In this show, you share the stage with your partner, Vincent Bidal.

Natasha St-Pier: I am fortunate to be accompanied by him on the piano. He is an established pianist in the world of jazz but also in pop. Being able to play with him on stage brings another dimension to songs.

Gala.fr: Was your meeting love at first sight?

Natasha St-Pier: No, I don’t think it can be called love at first sight. The older we get, the more reasoned we are. You don’t enter into a relationship with your eyes closed. We know what we no longer want. Of course, our common passion for music connected us. But beyond all this, our desires have also brought us closer. It is a little cocoon in which my child feels good and in which I feel good. It is very important to me that my child is happy and satisfied. I feel safe.

Gala.fr: In a previous interview, you said that you felt like you were living your life as a woman.

Natasha St-Pier: I don’t think I’m a young woman anymore. I don’t feel young or old. I feel in my place. This sentence is certainly an old sentence (she laughs). However, I can’t think of anything else to express how I feel.

Gala.fr: What are your projects?

Natasha St-Pier: There are many writings and many compositions. I find it very fun to do so. I’m also getting a little closer to comedy. On stage, sometimes we are actors playing the songs. I want to work on expression. Then, I want to take my time to watch my child grow up and see my spouse blossom musically. I always try to find new ways to stay in touch with the people I love. So far knock on wood, it works!

Photo credits: Gorassini-Moreau / Bestimage

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