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About Lou Doillon
Much like her half sister Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lou Doillon is a multi-talented artist whose gifts include singing and songwriting. Boasting a rich alto that draws comparisons to Nina Simone, Marianne Faithfull and Chan Marshall, her voice sounds equally compelling on the haunting mix of folk, pop, and jazz of her award-winning 2012 debut, Places, and the harder-edged mix of rock and electronics of 2019's Soliloquy.
Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, to actress and singer Jane Birkin and director Jacques Doillon, Lou Doillon grew up with six brothers and sisters: Kate Barry and Charlotte Gainsbourg on her mother's side and Lola Doillon, Lili Doillon, Lina Doillon, and Lazare Doillon on her father's side. She began acting as a child, making her film debut in Kung-Fu Master at age six and working steadily in European cinema after appearing in her father's 1998 film Trop (Peu) d'Amour. During the time she spent with her father after her parents' divorce, Doillon learned about musicians ranging from Chet Baker and Billie Holiday to Siouxsie and the Banshees, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Nirvana. In her teens and twenties she became a French fashion icon, and she represented Givenchy as their face and muse. By the mid-2000s, however, Doillon's passion for singing and writing songs led her to work with American pianist Christopher Brenner, with whom she wrote "The Girl Is Gone," a song that appeared on a picture disc included with a 2007 issue of Visionaire Magazine.
Doillon's musical career really began to take shape in the 2010s, when she was urged by Etienne Daho to release an album of the songs she had written. In 2012, the ICU EP arrived. For her debut album, Places, she worked with Daho and Cassius' Philippe Zdar at Paris' Studio La Seine on songs that blended folk, pop, and jazz in organic ways. Upon Places' release in September 2012, the album reached number three on the French Album Charts and ultimately went double platinum in France. The following year, the album earned Doillon the Les Victoires de la musique award for Best Female Artist, making her the first person to win that award for a debut release in decades.
In January 2015, she began making her second album, collaborating with Timber Timbre's Taylor Kirk as co-producer at Montreal's Hotel2Tango and also recording at studios in London and Paris. Released in October 2015 in Europe and in February 2016 in the U.S., Lay Low delivered more smoky, intimate songs and was nominated for Best Rock Album at Les Victoires de la musique. Following the Lay Low tour, Doillon embarked on other artistic ventures that included a week of performances of Samuel Beckett's L'image at the National Theatre of Rennes in 2017. That September, she released a book of her ink and pencil drawings that was commemorated by an exhibit of her artwork at Paris' La Maison Molière. She returned to music with Soliloquy, an eclectic set that incorporated rock, reggae, post-punk, and electronic sounds as well as Doillon's usual fare. Featuring collaborations with Taylor Kirk, Cat Power, the Shoes' Benjamin Lebeau and and the Dø's Dan Levy, the album appeared in February 2019. ~ Heather Phares
- Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
- 4 Sep 1982
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