full of ambition, Bilal Hassani prepares for a busy start of the school year. The representative of France at theEurovision in 2019 returns to the small screen this Friday, where he goes behind the table of jury of Dance with the stars, after reaching the final of the TF1 show last year. He is also preparing the release of his third new album, Theoremwhich will be released on October 7th.
His new role as a jury, diversity in the media and the artistic choices for his new album are at the heart of the interview that this more protean artist than ever granted to 20 minutes.
You put on the jury suit of Dance with the stars this season, you are not too apprehensive?
Not that much. I’m not going there with the pretension of saying that I have the same technical expectations as Chris Marks, but he is still there, we will be complementary. People don’t know that I write and co-choreograph all my music videos and concerts and that I’ve been at the conservatory since I was 5 years old. I have danced all my life even though I am not a professional dancer. We don’t expect every food critic to be a chef in a starred restaurant. I will try to give my artistic eye and guide each candidate towards success in terms of interpretation.
What lessons do you draw from your participation in the show last year?
Dance with the stars brought me a rigor that I no longer had, it was a real exercise in endurance. What I liked was participating in writing the history of the show in France by dancing with a man, but above all by making him forget very quickly. People were quite surprised with my performances, beyond the person I was dancing with. I wanted everyone who needed to see someone like me on TV to be able to see me and I think a lot of people recognized themselves through me… I had a blast so much that at the end I said “ see you next year” to everyone when I didn’t know I would still be there. We will say that it is the law of attraction (laughter).
This year, Clémence Castel will dance with a woman. Is this a new victory for you?
I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. It makes sense that the stars can go where they feel most comfortable on the court, as I was able to do. What is good when you open doors is not to close them behind you. In the United States, the first same sex couple only appeared in the thirtieth season, we are only on the twelfth in France, we are not that late.
Isn’t this also a sign of acceptance of greater diversity in the media?
It’s true. For my part, the welcome is warmer each time one of my new adventures begins. By the time I arrived, the personalities openly LGBTQIA+ were few in number, so when things move forward, it’s a victory. But it’s really happening beyond me, because right now, great shows are popping up and bringing out some incredible code-breaking creatures that we love.
Despite everything, you are still the target of very strong criticism, how do you protect yourself?
I am surrounded by a team that takes great care of my mental health and my well-being. Like last year, I wouldn’t let myself be fooled into the social media game. I’ve been on social media for seven years and I know that not everyone is always happy, that’s how it is. So I focus on what I know how to do: write songs, sing them, put on shows, and then be artistic.
With the release of your new album next month, the year promises to be intense for you.
The 2022-2023 schedule is a big start for me. I hope to be the tidal wave of France. Big things are happening for me with the album, a show at the Crazy Horse on September 28, a show at Gaïté Lyrique on December 14 which may announce a tour. I have rested enough. The last album came out in 2020, I’ve had two years of calm so I’m very fit and ready to be in the oven and the mill.
How did you approach writing and composing Theorem ?
The album has been my therapist. Without knowing it, I needed to rewrite myself and know where I was going to go next. I took more time on the texts, on the composition with GrandMarnier de Yelle. The album is about rebuilding, writing your own golden ratio and finding the perfect equation for yourself. In production, it looks like nothing at the moment in France. The final point of the creation of this disc opened a lot of doors to me that I had not imagined, including this role of judge in Dance with the stars. There is also cinema and a lot of beautiful things that are being written.
How do you envisage the continuation of your career?
I know my trajectory. And I think we live in a world and a generation where everything goes fast. What will make me do well is having an end goal. In the meantime, I do as much as I can to exist artistically, in the media or not. I write a lot for others, I do artistic development, I also work closely in fashion, especially with jean paul Gaultier. I’m a little hyperactive and it’s not at all to be under the spotlighteven if I go for the biggest spotlight at the end.