Yelle in December 2008. From left to right: GrandMarnier, Yelle and Tepr.
|Genres||Electronic, pop, dance, electro|
|Labels||Source Etc, Recreation Center, Caroline Records|
Yelle is a French band founded by lead singer and namesake Yelle (Julie Budet) and GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier). A third member, Tepr (Tanguy Destable), joined the band before the recording of its debut album. Budet and GrandMarnier began working on music together in 2000. The band came to prominence when it posted an early version of the song "Je veux te voir" on MySpace in September 2005, which later reached the top five in France. The success of the song on MySpace attracted the attention of a record label, which set them to work on its debut album, Pop Up, which was released in 2007. The group's second album, Safari Disco Club was released in 2011.
They have enjoyed a significant following overseas in non-French-speaking countries as well. They toured the globe for three years in support of Pop Up.
Budet met and became good friends with producer GrandMarnier in 2000 and in 2005 they began making music together when both wanted to start a French electropop band. The name of the band, Yelle, began as an acronym of the phrase "You Enjoy Life", "YEL", but was later feminised to "Yelle" because a Belgian band had the name already. Yelle rose to fame on MySpace when they posted a song titled "Short Dick Cuizi", which later became "Je Veux Te Voir", with their account in late 2005. The song's original title refers to Cuizinier of French rap band, TTC, and was released as a mock dis track. It received a positive response and soon attracted the attention of record label, Source. The song later charted at number four in France. Yelle then began working on and recording their debut album, Pop Up in 2006 while performing at night, producer Tepr had been roped into the band in 2007 after meeting GrandMarnier while working as a journalist. They were in need of a keyboard player on tour.
Pop Up was released in September 2007. Allmusic called it "a perfect storm of glossy production values, smart songwriting, and Budet's sparkling delivery." The album produced another charting single, "A cause des garçons", which reached number eleven on the French singles chart. Yelle was featured on Fatal Bazooka's French number one song "Parle à ma main" in 2007. The band has enjoyed success outside of France despite making songs exclusively in French and have toured extensively overseas in non-French speaking countries. In the US, they were featured as MTV's Artist of the Week at the end of March 2008. After touring for three years, Yelle took a few months off. They started their own record label, Recreation Center, overseen by GrandMarnier and began working on their next album in September 2009.
Yelle's second album, Safari Disco Club, was released in March 2011. Budet explained that unlike their debut, there was no deadline for the album because they were on their own label, thus allowing them to focus more on the harmonies and melodies and Budet's singing voice. They were also able to focus on writing and recording the album for a year as opposed to having to perform at night as well like for Pop Up. The album received generally favorable reviews, with The Independent declaring that the album was "essential for anyone who appreciates dancefloor-friendly European synth pop." The title track was released for free on their website in January 2011 and was released as a double single with "Que veux-tu". Katy Perry asked them to open for her on her 2011 California Dreams Tour in the UK. They embarked on their own tour after, returning to the US in the fall. On February 5, 2013 they uploaded a new single called 'L'Amour Parfait', which was released on February 12.
GrandMarnier and Tepr produce the music, while Budet writes the lyrics. GrandMarnier acts as the intermediary between the two. While working on their second album and meeting with American labels, they were repeatedly queried about singing in English in the future. However, Yelle maintain that they would not be able to express themselves in a language that they were not familiar with. Their debut, Pop Up is of the electropop genre with 80s influences. Their lyrics are playful and sarcastic. Debut single, "Je Veux Te Voir" was a humorous reply to the misogynist lyrics of some French rap bands, especially Cuizinier of TTC. For Safari Disco Club, they retained the sound of Pop Up while incorporating more rhythmic drums into the production, such as Caribbean influences and new wave influences in the synthesizers. Budet described it as a marriage between "hotter rhythms and cooler synthesizer", highlighting the sense of humor and melancholy coexisting in the lyrics as well. The melancholy was attributed to Yelle having toured for three years for their first album and having that experience abruptly end to begin work on their next album.
The three members of Yelle draw from different influences in contributing to their music, GrandMarnier is influenced by rock music, such as Rage Against the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers, while Tepr enjoys rap and minimal techno. Budet has cited Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Madonna and Blur as influences. They have also listed Prince, Cyndi Lauper and Etienne Daho as influences. Budet's colorful stage outfits are influenced by designers such as Jeremy Scott, Andrea Crews, JP Lespagnard and JC de Castelbajac.
- Yelle (Julie Budet) – vocals
- GrandMarnier (Jean-François Perrier) – drums, backing vocals
- Tepr (Tanguy Destable) – keyboards, backing vocals
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions|
|2011||Safari Disco Club||77||76||92||4|
|2013||L'Amour Parfait 
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"À cause des garçons"||2007||11||40||52||95||4||—||—||Pop Up|
|"Parle à ma main"
(Fatal Bazooka ft. Yelle)
|"Je veux te voir"||2008||4||60||—||—||—||—||—||Pop Up|
|"Safari Disco Club"/"Que veux-tu"||2011||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Safari Disco Club|
|"Comme Un Enfant"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"L'Amour Parfait"||2013||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||L'Amour Parfait|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
|2007||"À cause des garçons"||Nima Nourizadeh|
|"Parle à ma main"
(Fatal Bazooka ft Yelle)
|2008||"Je veux te voir"||Nicolas Benamou|
|"Ce Jeu"||Yoann Lemoine|
|2011||"Safari Disco Club"/"Que veux-tu"||Jérémie Saindon|
|"Comme un enfant"|
- 2007: "Parle à ma main" by Fatal Bazooka (T'as vu)
- 2008: "Hot N Cold (Yelle remix)" by Katy Perry (One of the Boys)
- 2008: "Fresh Like Us" by Chiddy Bang
- 2009: "Qui Est Cette Fille ?" cover of Who's That Girl by Robyn
- 2010: "Emmène-moi au Futur" by Tomoya Ohtani (Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll)
- 2010: "Cooler Couleur" by Crookers (Tons of Friends)
- 2010: "Ophélie" by Nouvelle Vague (Couleurs sur Paris)
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