Yelle is a French pop group that consists of lead singer Julie Budet, GrandMarnier and Tepr. The group got their break after the MySpace release of their single “Je veux te voir.” Yelle is on their way to perform at Coachella for the second time after ending their one-month tour with Katy Perry. Budet talked with the Daily Bruin’s Brittany Taylor about the history of the band, touring with Katy Perry and their upcoming performance at Coachella.
Daily Bruin: Can you explain how the group got together?
Julie Budet: We just met at the beginning with GrandMarnier. We began to work together in 2004. I didn’t know what I really wanted, but I remember I wanted to find a good person to work with and I met GrandMarnier at a party and we began to work. We put a song on MySpace in 2005 and it was “Je veux te voir.” We met Tepr who plays the keyboard and then we began to be a real band on stage in about 2006.
DB: How did the name come about?
JB: The name at the beginning was just YEL for You Enjoy Life. It is a way of life and thinking. I’m a positive person and wanted something happy and full of fun and joy. We decided to add another L and E because it was more feminine and in French we say “Elle” for she.
DB: Who are some of your influences?
JB: I grew up with lots of different bands. My father is a musician so he inspired me at the beginning. After that I was listening to rock, pop, and classical. When I was a teenager I was listening to the radio and I listened to Snoop Dogg, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m a big fan of Beck, Robyn, Daft Punk, and Seal. I like to think it’s not because you are doing a certain style of music that you are locked in that style of music. So it’s easy for me to stay open minded and discover different styles.
DB: How would you describe your music?
JB: I think we are doing pop-electronic music.
DB: What are some of the themes we can find within your music?
JB: I think its just happiness. Like in the name (Yelle), I just want to enjoy my life. It’s difficult to live in this world sometimes, but I think I’m a lucky girl and I want to share that. I just want to talk about love and feelings even if it is sometimes a little sad.
DB: Have the fact that your music is in French affected your international fans?
JB: It’s really weird. We thought it would be a problem in the beginning for us, but once we toured outside of France, we were really surprised by the good reactions we have gotten from different crowds around the world. We don’t have any explanation for it. It was totally unexpected at the beginning and it still surprises us. We have been performing with Katy Perry for one month and every night we can see how people have fun and dance in the moment to our songs. People tell us they don’t understand anything, but they have fun.
DB: How is it opening for Katy Perry?
JB: It’s really good. The crowd of Katy Perry’s fans is full of love. They are really happy and want to have fun even if they don’t understand us or know us. Every night the fans are crazy and dance a lot. Our show is really nice and full of colors and dancing. The show even smells like candy. It’s totally fun.
DB: Are you excited about performing at Coachella?
JB: We already performed at Coachella in 2008. We are really excited to go back to Coachella. I think it’s amazing because it is sunny and hot but people are still filled with happiness.
DB: What can we expect from your performance at Coachella?
JB: Something really intense and powerful. You probably will have to bring another shirt because we will sweat a lot during the show. It’s going to be hot and wet.
DB: How do you bring the high energy of your songs to the stage?
JB: I just like being on stage. It’s the place I prefer to be in the world. When I’m on stage it’s like everything is possible. It’s easy and natural for me. We will be doing a lot of remixes and mixing two songs into one. We like to do something that is very powerful.
DB: Who are you excited to see perform?
JB: I didn’t really see the lineup yet. I know I will miss Kanye West because we are leaving Sunday morning to head to Phoenix. I’ll be sad because I really wanted to see that show. I will see Robyn Friday night for sure because I am a big fan of her.
DB: Anything else you want to say?
JB: I’m just really happy to be at Coachella again and to be on tour in the U.S. We are excited to be a headliner on our own tour. I hope people will like our new songs and enjoy the show and outfits.