Today’s track of the day comes from Pi Ja Ma, the moniker of French visual artist and singer Pauline de Tarragon.
‘Radio Girl’ is the impressive lead single from her EP of the same name, which was released earlier in July via Bleepmachine. With deep, velvety vocals and quirky video-game worthy synths, the song has a chirpy, sixties pop vibe while also channelling modern influences like Cat Power and Kate Nash. Singing about the complexities of fame, the singer has a strong message to share; be yourself. It’s a strong debut offering from the singer, giving the listener an upbeat slice of indie pop, perfect for summer.
With a background in visual art, she moved to Paris to pursue studies in illustration and met composer Axel Concato, who is responsible for the dreamy instrumentation on her EP and writing the song ‘Radio Girl’. According to Pauline, ‘artistic-wise, it was love at first sight’ for the pair, as she enjoys combining her different creative influences by providing her own cover art. If ‘Radio Girl’ is anything to go by , then it looks like it could be a fruitful partnership.
GIGsoup caught up with Pauline about the new song, her influences and ambitions..
‘Radio Girl’ is the leading single from your new EP. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Radio Girl had to be the single! It’s a song that can make you dance like a fool on the dancefloor or in the car driving to the beach. It’s about a girl being embarrassed by her big radio head (celebrity). She’s tired of it and she just wants to have fun and chill all day long…
What influences your song-writing?
I didn’t write it, Axel Concato did, but he was inspired by my TV experience at Nouvelle Star (french American Idol). I would like to write songs later but so far, I don’t think I’m ready. I prefer writing stories or drawing dreams and reality.
How did you come about your sound?
Axel and I had the same influences and we wanted to create something new but with good old vibes. We are proud of this first EP because it was made with love and not with fashionable commercial tricks.
Who are your big musical influences?
Since I’m a kid I’ve been in love with The Beatles melodies. When I was 15, I discovered The Doors and I fell in love a second time. At the same time, I was listening to Jefferson Airplane, The Kinks and Patti Smith. I also like Gainsbourg, Devendra Banhart, Cat Stevens, Françoise Hardy, Daniel Johnston………….. There are too many…
You’ve got a background in visual art. How does this affect your music? What inspires your cover art?
Music and illustration is a very good mix, it’s like cheese and fig’s marmalade. Both are about creating stories and sharing them with people. The girl on the cover art (we don’t know if she’s a baby or an adult) is surrounded by a blue cloud, metaphor of her mind, like a sphere she has created to fight the violent world around her.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I’d like to create a book with the text of one of my songs with a super hero who could be SUPERPIJAMA. Or maybe do concerts mixed with exhibitions !
This Pi Ja Ma article was written by Suzanne Oswald, a GIGsoup contributor.