Your career is impressive: you are a flagship French-speaking artist, the most listened to French female artist in the world. It seems like nothing is stopping you. How does this affect your daily life, your mind?
I’m a bit in my bubble. I try to do normal things, go walking, go shopping, and also go crazy with my friends as simply as possible. We must not forget that notoriety generates too much information, especially when you are a woman and mother, like me. It stirs up a lot of emotions. At one point, I had trouble: my head was all over the place, I was a little lost. I had to learn to channel myself, to no longer let myself be overwhelmed by these different energies. I learned to put this overflow of emotions in order. I try to have a tidy framework so I can think.
Do you feel like you’ve become a character in the public eye?
I feel like more and more women are looking to me as a role model. It surprises me, because sometimes they are women a little older than me… without really surprising me because I know that I have always looked good in my sneakers. I’m a role model for my sisters, for my friends… that’s what I am in life. I’m the friend that many girls wish they had. People like me for my sincerity, my authenticity and my joy of life. I am true and spontaneous, I am myself. And on top of that, I am sure of myself, it attracts.
Precisely, you show your confidence, you are quite proud of your talent and your body as we can hear in your title “Dégaine” with Damso. It is rare for a woman to assert herself like this. Where does this come from?
Maybe it’s my Malian side, we Malians – especially the Bambaras – are very arrogant! (Laughs) I come from a family of griots: we show off, we like everything that sparkles. I was raised like that by my mother, who is very flirtatious and who has always made a point of valuing us. I am the eldest of siblings. My sisters and I have always been throwing flowers at each other, saying who is the prettiest, who is the most sulky, bickering… but in a very positive way. And I think it stuck. For me, it’s not a shame to give yourself compliments. On the contrary, it’s a very good thing, I’m in the best position to do it for myself.
You wrote your first texts as a teenager. Was this a need for you? And how did the inspiration come to you?
When I was 15 or 16, I had a sort of diary, where I let out my emotions a little. I was just writing, without necessarily there being any meaning in the sentences. I made those around me read them. And little by little, I told myself that I could write a song, and see what it would be like. When I started singing along, I thought it was cool and continued like that. I have never been afraid to show all my emotions. For me, that’s strength. Whether I’m sad, angry, whatever, the most important thing is to realize the state we’re in.