Sofiane Pamart, first pianist to offer Bercy solo – Music

“I have the chance to blossom on the piano. But I never forget that the destiny of my family in France began underground (…) thanks to my Berber grandfather who came from Morocco to work in the mines of the North”, confided Sofiane Pamart, on the sidelines of a recital in Toulouse, before Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Berlin…

Wrapped up in a plush white sweatshirt, from which a thick silver chain sparkles, he hides his gaze under a black vinyl bucket hat and large glasses with yellow lenses. His outfit reflects his fierce desire to not “fit into any box”: elegant Chelsea boots add an offbeat note, like the long silk kimonos brought back from Japan and which he wears on stage.; “When I am at my piano, they cover my back, I feel protected”, explains this 31-year-old musician who attributes his other passion, travel, to his nomadic ancestry and a childhood in contact with the cultures of the world.

Between the street and the conservatory

“My mother teaches French in college, and to foreigners, with my father who runs a specialized center (…) As a child, I (them) accompanied them on their job and lots of cultures came to me”, he says, referring to these “Koreans, Zimbabweans, Afghans, etc. which broadened his horizons.

His parents are not musicians, but realize that he has a good ear. “On a toy with twelve keys, I reproduced melodies that I heard on TV. At six years old, he entered the conservatory of Lille. Until the age of 23 and a gold medal, he will make his “piano weapons” there. With Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, “I discovered a world that ended up fascinating me and completely transformed me”.

He grew up between his “friends, the street, the conservatory” and an uncle “with all the attitude of street culture, incredible clothes”, who introduced him to hip hop. “All these greats, I wanted to look like them (…) That’s how my love affair with rap developed. »

“I don’t want my music to be scholarly (…) Above all, I want to touch hearts. »

Leaving the conservatory, “I unlearned to feel free”. “The career of a classical virtuoso did not interest me because I dreamed of the life of a rapper (…) extreme, with moments of grace, of vertigo. »

He composes and plays with SCH, Maes, Vald, Scylla, JoeyStarr, but also Arno, Kimberose, Bon Entendeur… Then he launches his own albums: “Planet” in 2019 and last February “Letter”, a love letter to his public.

Après The Who, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga…

This year, he goes on dates, solo too. Wanting “shows that embrace several genres”, he speaks of “shows” rather than concerts and wants to “make people travel intensely”. In a futuristic atmosphere, an airport voice invites you to “leave for an emotional adventure”. Blue, purple and orange neon tubes surround the piano. In the background, his cropped portrait. The laser eyes sweep an audience who ovation him between each piece. “It’s as if he were telling us a story (…) He manages to make the piano accessible to everyone”, enthuses Émile Metrat, 20, student, among the 1,200 spectators of all ages at the Toulouse recital. .

To critics accusing him of a consensual style, the pianist replies that he “likes simple melodies” and those “which have fire in them” such as tango and flamenco. “I don’t want my music to be scholarly (…) Above all, I want to touch hearts. “If he is not afraid of a big head, the one who calls himself “Piano King” in self-mockery on social networks, admits to being ambitious: “That’s how we achieve the greatest feats”.

Sofiane Pamart does not hide her happiness either in filling “very intimate” places but also the prestigious Salle Pleyel “which made him dream”. High point of his tour: Bercy and its 15,000 seats in Paris, where The Who, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga have been… In November, the 17th, he will be the first pianist to play there alone.

After “Planète”, Sofiane Pamart’s new album, “Letter”, released on February 11, is a letter of love and thanks to her audience.