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Juliette Noureddine is a French artist better known as ‘Juliette’, her stage name. With her wit, humour and exceptionally close relationship with the public, this passionate performer has carved out a unique place in the world of the French chanson for almost 30 years.
A words and poetry lover, she handles language with an unparalleled precision that undoubtedly places her in the circle of great female songwriters. Although she makes no great play of her French-Kabyle background, Juliette tackles a wide range of music styles through her lyrics and inspirations. Her atypical artistic world encompasses genres as diverse as French chanson, rock, tango, fanfare and rumba. With some ten albums already in her pocket, Juliette never ceases to surprise.

Juliette in a few words

Born in Paris in 1962, Juliette spent part of her youth in Toulouse, where she made her debut as a singer. It was her father, Jacques Noureddine, a renowned saxophonist and clarinettist, who inspired her love for music from a very young age.

She grew up in Toulouse listening to jazz, popular songs, Arab and classical music – all influences that come through in her work today. It was also in Toulouse that she began to sing in piano bars and restaurants based on a 1930s repertoire that anchored her in the realist chanson tradition. Every evening, the young singer of those years revisited Boby Lapointe, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Barbara.

In 1985 and 1986, Juliette took part in the Découvertes du Printemps de Bourges music festival and began to gain public recognition. In her first album, ¿Qué tal ? (1991) she created a wild version of Edith Piaf’s “L’homme à la moto” with a tango feel – Spanish accent included! This early record was a reflection of the personality of this “jack of all trades” artist, who showed no hesitation in exploring a range of music genres, even sometimes within a single song. Juliette has a taste for the unexpected and likes to surprise her audience: on her concept album, Mutatis Mutandis, released in 2005, she sings “Fransicae Meae Laudes”, a Charles Baudelaire’s poem, along a pseudo-mediaeval tune with a Cuban-inspired refrain. Consciously or not, Juliette makes her songs an ode to intercultural dialogue.

Juliette takes literature as a major source of inspiration, thus in her creative process lyrics become as important as the music. She pays tribute to literature in her song “A Voix Basse” (Bijoux et Babioles, 2008). The Countess of Ségur, Fernando Vallejo, Guy de Maupassant, Dino Buzzati and even Tolkien are all authors who have inspired the fabric of Juliette’s songs.

Along her career, she has emerged as an unparalleled creator of atmosphere, with a powerful voice, who excels in the genre of the theatrical chanson. Recognition by both the public and her peers came gradually, earning her two Victoires de la musique awards, in 1997 and 2006, and two awards from the Académie Charles Cros – in 1993 for her record Irrésistible and in 2002 for Le Festin de Juliette.

In her album Nour (2013) which means “light” in Arabic, Juliette experiments with funk, Celtic music and even hard rock. In “Belle et rebelle” she writes the mischievous refrain “Vaut mieux être belle belle belle et rebelle / Plutôt que moche moche moche et remoche” (“Better to be a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful rebel / Than ugly, ugly, ugly and uglier still“), whilst in the fanciful “Légende” she makes fun of fairy tales. But she also tackles more sensitive themes with real poetry, for example in “Une petite robe noire” and “Nour (Lumière)” The album is a fine example of Juliette’s virtuosity in expressing the most contradictory emotions.

In 2014, she sings in duet on the album Paris-Milan of Jean Guidoni,  on the title "Trafiquants"  written by Allain Leprest.

In late 2016, Juliette releases a set of her complete work Intégrale 14 CD (October 28, 2016). The talented songwriter will also be one of the recipients of the SACEM Grand Prix 2016 and will be receiving the Grand Prix de la chanson française, in the singer-songwriter category, at the Folies Bergères in Paris on December 5, 2016. 

Photo credit : © Marthe LEMELLE
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