Lou Doillon

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Lou Doillon
Lou Doillon Cannes 2008.jpg
Lou Doillon in 2008
Born (1982-09-04) 4 September 1982 (age 37)
OccupationActress, singer, model
Years active1987–present
Parent(s)Jacques Doillon
Jane Birkin
RelativesKate Barry (half-sister)
Charlotte Gainsbourg (half-sister)
Judy Campbell (grandmother)
Andrew Birkin (uncle)
David Birkin (cousin)
Anno Birkin (cousin)

Lou Doillon (born 4 September 1982 in Neuilly sur Seine) is a French singer-songwriter, artist, actress and model.


Daughter of writer/director Jacques Doillon and actress, singer Jane Birkin, Lou has 6 brothers and sisters, Kate Barry and Charlotte Gainsbourg, on her mother's side, Lola Doillon, Lili Doillon, Lina Doillon and Lazare Doillon on her father's side. She spent her school years in between France and Saint Barthelemy till the age of 15, when she dropped out, to become a full-time actress. At the age of 19 in 2002, she gave birth to Marlowe Mitchell[1], her son with musician Thomas-John Mitchell. Marlowe is named after Christopher Marlowe.


Cinema and TV[edit]

She started acting at the age of 5, in Kung Fu Master, directed by Agnès Varda.

She has since worked with directors including Jean Pierre Améris, Jacques Doillon, Guillaume Canet, Abel Ferrarra, Maiwen


Lou Doillon started modeling at the age of 16, becoming the ambassador of Givenchy.

She since has since been the face of Vanessa Bruno, Eres, Mango, H&M, MiuMiu, JBrand, Barney's, Gap, Maje, Chloé, and starred alongside Sophia Loren and Penélope Cruz in the Pirelli Calendar

She has worked with photographers Inez and Vinoodh, Mario Sorrenti, Mario Testino, Terry Richardson, Bruce Webber, Paolo Reversi, Corinne Day, Mert and Marcus, Ryan Mc Ginley, Glen Lunchford.

She has collaborated with Lee Cooper, La Redoute as a creative consultant / designer, for 6 collections.


Lou Doillon alongside director Michel Didym, created a show based on letters written by French authors and singers ( Louis Ferdinand Celine, Marcel Proust, Édith Piaf…), and monologues. She toured French-speaking Theaters throughout Europe, by herself for over 2 years.

In 2010, She started working with director Arthur Nauzyciel on Samuel Beckett's one sentence monologue « L’image », in the National Theatre of Orléans. Alongside dancer Damien Jallet, and conceptual musician Meelice, they performed through France, and in NY for the festival : Crossing the line.

She has since collaborated on various performances (Paroles d'Exil/Musique Interdite with the French national Orchestra, Calamity Jane with singer/ musician John Mitchell, and as a reader for many French-literature festivals …

In 2017, for the National Theatre of Rennes, she performed L’Image directed by Arthur Nauzyciel for a week.


Lou Doillon has been drawing since she was 10, and has often included her drawings in her other crafts (the vinyl edition of her album in 2016, and most of her merch on tour is drawn by her). She has been keeping a drawn and written diary since the age of 12.

In September 2017, she released a book, including 80 ink and pencil drawings, alongside diary drawings with Astier de Villatte editor. The released was followed by an exhibit of the original drawings at « La maison Molière » in Paris.

She has also, for the brand Astier de Villatte, collaborated on a project of 18 different types of hand backed ceramic mugs, and 15 unique pieces, presented and sold in Tokyo, during the launch of the collaboration in November 2017 with creative duo Benoit Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli.

She works with a Sailor Pen, Extra fine on Sennelier paper, or Moleskine Diaries.


Lou Doillon's love for music was enkindled by her father : « When my parents split, I discovered with Jacques, his taste for eclectic and a strange form of radicalness in music » «  He would say : sit down, shut up and listen to the music » while playing records from Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nirvana, Nina Hagen, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Zappa…. » The singer songwriter often quotes Leonard Cohen, Lhasa, Lead Belly, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Patti Smith, Nick Drake, Nina Simone, Tim Buckley, Bobby Gentry amongst others as her influences.

She recorded with many formations in NY and Paris, during the 2000s before starting a solo career in 2010.

Lou Doillon's voice has been described as « equal parts Marianne Faithfull, Nina Simone, Antony Hegarty and Joanna Newsom

She writes her songs on Canadian Guild guitars (D55) or the piano and performs on an Eko electric guitar.


In 2012, Lou Doillon signed her first recording deal for 3 albums, with Barclay (Universal Music France).

Her first EP I.C.U came out in June: and was produced by Étienne Daho and mixed by Philippe Zdar, from the band Cassius.

Her genre is described to as Haunted Folk.

Her first album was recorded in France, over a 15 days period in the Studio La Seine, with French musicians François Poggio, Marcello Guliani, Alexis Anérilles and Philippe Entressangle.

In September, her debut album Places is supported by an important critical success, followed by a public success, reaching n°3 in the French charts. She was on the cover of influential magazines Magic, Telerama and Les Inrockuptibles.

The first single ICU, was followed by a video directed by Antoine Carlier, reconstituting her wanderings through Paris. Then came Questions and Answers, directed by Gaetan Chataigner while she was on tour, and Devil or Angel directed by Christophe Acker in Scotland .

In October 2012, she started her first tour in French rock club La Flèche d'Or and played France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and England). This tour resumed at Paris's Le Trianon venue.

On 8 February 2013, during the Victoires de la musique ceremony (French equivalent of the Grammy's), at the Zenith of Paris, She was awarded Best Female Performer of the year , competing alongside prestigious artists such as Françoise Hardy and Celine Dion.

It was the first time a newcoming English speaking performer won in that category.

She toured for the rest of the year 2013, including many festivals ( Eurockéennes de Belfort, Francofolies de la Rochelle, Osheaga festival…)

Places reached number one on Canadian iTunes, number Two on French iTunes and was released through Verve in the US and decca in the UK.

The artwork for the cover was done by Inez and Vinoodh.

Lay Low[edit]

In January 2015, She started recording, and co-producing alongside Timber Timbre front man Taylor Kirk, her second album in Canada.

She recorded in the Montreal mythical studio Hotel2Tango, over a period of a month, with fellow band members of the band Timber Timbre.

She completed the recording between Studio la Seine in Paris, and Rack studio in London.

Lay Low was mixed by Nick Launey and Adam Greenspan in Los Angeles in April.

The album came out on 9 October, preceded by the first single "Where to start".

The song "where to start" was featured in Jean-Marc Vallée's’ movie Demolition soundtrack (starring Naomi Watts and Jake Gyllenhaal).

She was nominated for best rock album of the year at Les Victoires de la musique.

The album received critical acclaim in France, Belgium, England, Canada and the US and was released through Verve in the US and decca in the UK.

In 2016, Doillon started a world tour, performing in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Korea, Germany, Poland, England, France. She performed for Jools Holland, alongside Iggy Pop and Graham Nash.

As a final touch to this world tour, she performed 2 sold out gigs in La Flèche D'or, named « Kitchen Acoustic », and « Lou Doillon and friends » ( performing with fellow musicians Woodkid, Keren Ann…)

The front cover for the album is a « selfie » shot by Doillon in bed, and inner pictures shot during the recording in Canada by french photographer Zelie Noreda.

She is currently working on her 3rd Album.


Lou Doillon's band includes François Poggio on the guitar, Nicolas Subrechicot on Keys, Pierre Lavandon on bass and Franck M’Bouéké on the drums;

In May 2016 She was chosen by John Cale to perform Femme Fatale during his tribute show to the Velvet Underground, at the Philharmonie de Paris, alongside Mark Lanegan, Saul Williams, Animal Collective, Étienne Daho and The Libertines.

In 2017, She participated to the Hommage to Leonard Cohen, at the MAC, alongside Jarvis Cocker, Chilly Gonzales, Half Moon Run, producing a cover of "Famous Blue Raincoat".

On 3 October 2017 for the « 3 Ring Circus » with John Grant and Richard Hawley, she performed 3 acoustic sets by herself, at 3 different venues.

On 6 October 2017, she repeated this performance in Sheffield, with Richard Hawley and James Dean Bradfield.




Other media[edit]

  • "Pigalle", narrator—an audio walking tour of the Paris neighborhood Pigalle created by Soundwalk.[2]



Year Album Peak positions Certification


2012 Places 101 5 3 22 7 FR: Platinum
2015 Lay Low 118 3 3 6
2019 Soliloquy 18 25


Year Album Peak positions Certification Album
2012 "I.C.U" 57 Places
"Defiant" 125
"Devil or Angel" 69
2015 "Where to Start" 40 Lay Low


  1. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (15 March 2008). "Fast and louche". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  2. ^ Soundwalk. Accessed 21 September 2009.
  3. ^ Ultratop.be: Lou Doillon
  4. ^ a b LesCharts.com: Lou Doillon page
  5. ^ Hitparade.ch: Lou Doillon
  6. ^ http://www.snepmusique.com/les-disques-dor/?awards_cat=65&awards_awd=or&awards_year=2015&awards_artist=&awards_title=&awards_edit_distrib=&awards_sort=date_certif-desc&awards_nb=100&submitAdvanced=Rechercher#awardsform
  7. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 6, 2019)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 11 February 2019.

External links[edit]