Alma (French singer)

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Alma
Alma (Alexandra Maquet) Kyiv 2017.jpg
Alma in 2017
Background information
Birth name Alexandra Maquet
Born (1988-09-27) 27 September 1988 (age 29)
Lyon, France
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active 2012–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website alma-music.fr

Alexandra Maquet (French pronunciation: ​[alɛkzɑ̃dʁa makɛ], born 27 September 1988), known professionally as Alma, is a French singer and songwriter.[1] She represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song "Requiem", finishing twelfth.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Alexandra Maquet (Alma) was born September 27, 1988 in Lyon as the eldest of four daughters to businessman Alain Maquet and the painter and contemporary artist Marie-Pierre Maquet, a.k.a. MPM.[1]

Alma started singing and playing the piano during childhood. When she was 16 years old, the family moved to Miami. After spending a year at an American high school, she decided to move back to France, on her own, to study at IESEG School of Management in Lille where she obtained a master's degree in Business Administration and Management in 2011. During her studies she spent more than a year as an exchange student at FEA-USP in São Paulo, Brazil where she learned Portuguese.[1] After her studies at IESEG, she was assistant Manager at Abercrombie & Fitch in Milan during 2011, and moved thereafter to Brussels where she started to compose.[5]

In addition to French, she speaks English, Italian, and Portuguese.[6]

Career[edit]

2012–15: Early career[edit]

In 2012, Alma started her music career by publishing one of her first compositions, "Gone", dedicated to the memory of a close friend from her elementary school Collège de Marcq who had died in a traffic accident 2009. The song was recorded at Studio Dada and posted on YouTube, January 14, 2012. It was followed by the release of the song "Again", February 3, 2012 and "Elsewhere" May 19, 2012. The songs got positive reviews in the French online magazines Bulle Sonore[7] and La Bande Sonore.[8]

Alma gave her first public performances May 13 and June 3, 2012 at Rooster’s Bar in Brussels accompanied by the guitarist Alain Goossens with a mix of both covers and own compositions.[9] Their covers of Lana del Rey's "Video Games", Tears for Fears’ "Mad World" and Nadeah's "Odile" were recorded at Avalon Studios in Brussels and posted on YouTube and also on her newly started official Facebook-page. She started studies at ACP la Manufacture Chanson to train her singing and composing techniques and gave training concerts at Les Jeudis Chanson during autumn 2012.

Alma was discovered by Chris Corazza and Donatien Guillon at Chic Acoustic which led to a radio broadcast December 10, 2012, an interview[10] and a one-hour concert at Le Malibv in Paris December 12, 2012.[11]

Alma had a concert at Le Connetable in Paris April 27, 2013[12] and on June 14, 2013 she participated in the closing concert of ACP la Manufacture Chanson at restaurant Les Trois Baudets in Paris.[13] During this time she also worked with promotion. Téléssonne broadcast a video portrait with extracts from her songs. She also started to use her artist name Alma and Vigie Discographique made a video interview and recorded four songs "Libido", "Mr Unsatisfaction", "Sitting down" and "What do you want from me" in the Pixel Room Studio, Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, that were published on YouTube. She released a cover of Julia Stone and Benjamin Biolay "Let´s Forget" with Benjamin Ollive, June 29, 2013. On September 19, 2013 she was a guest in the program Ça reste entre nous in RadioVL[14] and made an interview[15] where she promoted her first major concert at the concert boat La Péniche in Lille, September 27–28, 2013.[16][17]

Edoardo Grassi[18], who at the time worked for Carson Productions, invited her to join the weekly television show Les Chansons d'abord on France 3 hosted by Natasha St-Pier, where she participated irregularly from December 1, 2013 to June 15, 2014. In her first program she performed the song "Entre nous" and got praise from Celine Dion. In December 2013 a successful crowd funding project at Kissbankers was started to record the duet "Trinquons" together with Benjamin Ollive at Studio Davout[19] and the single was released February 26, 2014. She met the composer and singer Nazim Khaled, who is her current boyfriend, on the show Les Chansons d'abord early 2014, and they decided to start a musical collaboration. During the remaining of 2014 several songs were composed, among them the song "Requiem", which was written by Nazim Khaled in late October 2014 and first performed by Alma at the festival for emerging French performers La Créative in La Bellevilloise de Paris, January 24, 2015.[20] During July and August 2014, Alma was an actor in Odah & Dako’s online comedy video series Punchlife.

2015–present: Warner Music, Eurovision Song Contest and "Ma peau aime"[edit]

On April 10, 2015, Alma signed a contract with Warner Music France. During 2015 and 2016 the collaboration with Nazim Khaled continued which led to the single "La Chute Est Lente", released on June 10, 2016,[21] and the song "Ivre". She performed as pre-artist to Amir Haddad during autumn and winter 2016-2017: Maulaunay September 17, Arnouville October 18, La Cigale Paris November 17, Rock School Barbey December 6, Nice February 4 and Samer February 14. Around December 10, 2016, she was informed by Edoardo Grassi,[18] since September 2015 the head of the French delegation at Eurovision, that the song "Requiem" had been selected as the French entry for Eurovision Song Contest 2017.[22]

On February 9, 2017, Alma was officially announced as the French representative to the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, with the song "Requiem", composed by Nazim Khaled. As France is a member of the "Big Five", she automatically advanced to the final, held on May 13, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine where she finished 12th. Alma's debut studio album Ma peau aime, was released on May 5, 2017 and contains 13 songs. The album peaked at number 50 on the French Albums Chart.

On January 27, 2018, Alma was part of the domestic jury for the final of Destination Eurovision as a substitute for her Eurovision predecessor Amir, who was unable to participate due to prior commitments. She will be one of the commentators for France 2 at the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 along with Stéphane Bern and fellow Destination Eurovision judge Christophe Willem.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
FRA
[23]
BEL
(Wa)

[24]
Ma peau aime 33 79

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
FRA
[23]
BEL (Wa)
Tip

[24]
SWE
Heat

[25]
"Trinquons" 2014 Non-album single
"La chute est lente" 2016 Ma peau aime
"Requiem" 2017 5 29 14
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c HB-Abada, Gabrielle (2 April 2017). "Eurovision 2017 : ALMA, itinéraire d'une enfant de Miami gâtée par la voix..." Le Courrier de Floride (in French). Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest Kyiv 2017". Retrieved 2017-05-14. 
  3. ^ Adams, William Lee (9 February 2017). "FRANCE: ALMA WILL SING "REQUIEM" AT EUROVISION 2017". wiwibloggs.com. Wiwibloggs. 
  4. ^ Jordan, Paul (9 February 2017). "Alma's "Requiem" for France in 2017". eurovision.tv. EBU. 
  5. ^ Fannemel Espeli, Hedda. "Alma (28) studerte business og vokste opp i en familie med millionlønninger. Så valgte hun kunsterlivet". www.dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Après Amir" [After Amir]. Paris Match (in French): 30. 16 February 2017. ISSN 0397-1635. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Alexandra Maquet – Elsewhere". Bull Sonore. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Elsewhere – Alexandra Maquet". La Bande Sonore. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Live Music with Alexandra Maquet". Rooster's. May 13, 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Alexandra Maquet une voix en or [+interview]". VUSURLEWEB. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Chic Acoustic fête Noël avant l'heure : Vernissage + Cabaret Chic + Showcase + DJ". Chic Acoustic. 12 Dec 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Concert Connétable". Alma. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  13. ^ ECD La Manufacture Chanson (14 June 2013). "Concert de clôture ACP la Manufacture Chanson". PARISEBOUGE.COM. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "Ça reste entre nous #24: Voltageman et Jérémie Dethelot". Radio VL. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "Alexandra Maquet ou le fabuleux destin d'une artiste en devenir". Radio VL. 22 September 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "ALEXANDRA MAQUET (Folk/FR)**Dernières places pour le 27/09**". Le Peniche, Lille. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  17. ^ Bienaimé, François; Maquet, Alexandra (22 September 2013). "Alexandra Maquet Live". Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  18. ^ a b Rocher, Olivier (27 December 2015). "Edoardo Grassi: 'Big changes are up for France this year'". Oikotimes.com (in French). Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Enregistrement Alexandra Maquet/Benjamin Ollive". Kiss Kiss Bank Bank. Le Nouvel Eldorado. 
  20. ^ "La Creatiive le 24 janvier 2015 à La Bellevilloise". Ben et Joss. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  21. ^ Nicolas, D. (19 July 2016). "[Chanson du jour] Alma – "La chute est lente"". aritmuzik.fr (in French). Aritmuzik. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  22. ^ Knoops, Roy (1 March 2017). "France: Alma talks about her Eurovision adventure". esctoday.com. L’Express. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  23. ^ a b "Discographie Alma". French Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  24. ^ a b "ultratop.be – Discographie Alma". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  25. ^ "Swedish Heatseekers Chart - 19 May 2017". Retrieved 19 May 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Amir
with "J'ai cherché"
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
2017
Succeeded by
Madame Monsieur
with "Mercy"