The Heroine’s Journey of Caroline Mercier

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best thing I love about my work is how free I’m able to be. Creation in music is fantastic. I feel I can go to almost anyplace I want while writing, making up music and melodies. It’s like crafting a tale each time.

What is my idea of happiness? Happiness to me is heavily related to freedom and quiet strength. It’s about being content of where you are in your life, of how you’ve progressed and how you will. Being confident in life and what the future holds for you. I feel it’s also related to being overwhelmed by the sincere joy of others: seing people being happy makes me feel extremely complete.

What is my greatest fear? Being forced to live a life I would not want to live, being forced to live as someone else, to conform. I mean it’s pretty much been my experience for years and it gives me great anxiety just to think about it.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Honestly my crippling lack of self-confidence and having had to battle with chronic depression and anxiety since childhood.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? There are many, but off the bat I would say Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – with whom I’d love to work one day, I’ve actually dreamt about it at the point that it makes me laugh –, the Russian band Shortparis also, the Irish band Kíla and the great Joan Jett. Asmahan is also one of my favorite Arabic singers.

What is my greatest extravagance? I’m obviously not the best person to answer that. I’d say the autistic spectrum I’m on allows me to do things that are not looked upon as being normal: regarding my sharp and dark sense of humor for example or the fact that no matter where I am people think I act somewhat strangely (lying on a bench in the middle of nowhere or sitting where I’m not supposed to for example). It can be tricky sometimes.

On what occasion would I lie? To protect someone.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? A that point doing everything myself (roughly curator, press and marketing team, administrator, technician, studio, manager, art handler, social media manager, web designer, application writer, archivist, photographer documenting the work all at once). It’s tiring and questions legitimacy all the time, the trick is not to be discouraged at the point to stop everything.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? On stage, definitely. It’s the best feeling. Also while writing when you have that little flame in you gut that you’re onto something good/beautiful/important to say.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would get rid of the recurring anxiety, sadness and depression that have been following me since the cradle, it would help feeling lighter and progress faster than I can right now.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Knowing that I have no artistic background or network whatsoever, I would say having assembled a huge repertoire in more than 12 languages and having been able to play it across France for 10 years or so by myself. Having been able to federate people around that project. After a concert, it happened that someone actually cried in my arms, saying I should never stop singing, that the experience had been incredibly transcending for her and opened ‘windows’ in her soul – that, THAT is what I call doing my job right.

Where would I most like to live? Ireland, no contest. Second choice would be Greece if the globe wasn’t getting hotter and hotter. I feel very drawn to both of those countries. Past lives, maybe. 😉

What is my most treasured possession? My sense of humor, my freedom and my cats (but they’re not possessions, are they?). 🙂

What is my most marked characteristic? My curiosity.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I’d say the Frioul Islands in Marseille, a little mix of Greece and Ireland: the cliffs, the wind, and the Mediterranean sun reflecting on the sea. This is dreamy to me. Especially at night, when the moon and stars reflect on it, it is fantastic.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? O Faon, for the amazing 100% vegan French pastries, at Nour d’Égypte for the lovely Middle- Easternish surroundings while eating mezzes, I’d also say La Caravelle for the great view on the old port of Marseille, the great wines and homemade iced tea.

What books influenced my life and how? Cyrano de Bergerac, to whom I feel very drawn to, I mean cannot help but identify myself to him for many reasons. Thank god for the poetry of Charles Baudelaire who helped me get through childhood and adolescence feeling understood (even though his misogyny is something else). The illustrations of Irish painter Patrick James Lynch helped me so much too, mainly his version of East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon, I got all his works. To this day I’m still obsessed with children books illustrations, their poetry and atmosphere can help a healing process a great lot.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Off the bat I’d say “Song for Jesse”, written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. It’s a very dreamy piece, makes me feel like I’m floating in milky stars while listening to it. But ask me the same question tomorrow and I will answer something else. Choosing one song is always sincerely hard.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I’ve always loved the first Lara Croft in Tomb Raider I since when I was a child (any woman with a weapon at this point). Give me a good Catwoman, Morticia Addams or Dana Scully anytime.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Okay, I’m gonna give the classic “my mother”. But other than that I think we can all look up to Cleopatra, come on, speaking 9 languages, being a strategic genius and a brilliant scientific while doing the best ruling your country? Yes.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Fall, by Tarsem Singh. I’d just add Breakfast on Pluto, by Neil Jordan and Todo sobre mi madre by Pedro Almodóvar.

What role play stories in my life and work? A very important role, as I said, I’m still a reader of children stories and love their illustrations. So much that I’m planning to write an album dedicated to tales.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? I take it as an empowering sentence. The fact that you can chose to be a good person whatever happened to you or where you come from. It is also the idea that you are the own heroine of your life, you must put yourself first because nobody is going to do it for you. Then and only then you can shine and be of help to other people and society. So do inner work, take care of yourself, take care of others, and shape your dreams.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I’d say my greatest fans are my friends, whom I’ve come to consider as family, they also are my sponsors and partners in crime. That said I am always surprised when I come to understand that they say great things about my music to people I don’t even know and how supportive they are. It is deeply important and touching. Reciprocal too.

Which people or companies would I like to work with? As I mentioned earlier, I would love to work with Nick Cave & Warren Ellis at some point, I feel we have as much in common as complementary counterpoints poetically and so on (love of words and melodies). I’ve also been thinking about working with Till Lindemann as a duo (I had an idea about Hansel & Gretel and how both our voices could match). As I’ve been listening to Danny Elfman’s work since my childhood it’s only natural that I’ve also been thinking about writing something together. I’ve been wanting to sing with Nikolay Komyagin (Shortparis) for years now: the way they manipulate electronic magic and melodies amazes me, his voice is haunting. Shall I continue? Not today.

What project am I looking forward to work on? So many! I’m working on a concept album about tales from all around the world (mainly featuring Ballake Sissoko and Kengo Saito), another one about trobairitz (women troubadours), I’m also working on a rock project (I’ve been missing rock so much) and synth-pop one. Who said hyperactive?

Where can you see me or my work?

You can hear me sing mainly on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/carolinemerciermusic
Also via my website (soon to be published in English): https://carolinemerciermusic.com/
Here on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolinemerciermusic
And/or follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinemerciermusic/

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? The fact I would like to die doing what I love, singing, on stage (o so cliché). Well I’m French so let me be romantic.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

How can you contact me?

You can contact me at info@carolinemerciermusic.com or via my website.

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