Multi-talented artist, Laurent Bàn became famous through his performance in numerous musicals and rock operas: he performed in shows like "Notre Dame de Paris", "Zorro, the Musical", "The Little Prince", "Mozart, Opera Rock", "Hair", "Mistinguett", "Aladdin, Make a Wish" ...and the list carries on! Currently, he performs in "Priscilla, Queen of The Desert" musical in Paris. Laurent amazes by the variety of roles and shows, proof of his extraordinary talent.
Following his debut album Ante in 2005, Laurent Bàn releases today his second opus. Prima is composed of 14 tracks. Most of them are original and personal compositions and others are rearranged covers. The tracks are inviting us into his artistic universe with lyrical flights, moments of kindness and emotion, and one can sometimes being carried away into a movie in this album.
Laurent Bàn also alludes to his own experience, with lyrics that are touching, poetic and melodious, and always full of hope. He worked with a team of same-minded artists, including Sorel and Christophe Houssin, and this album reflects this “family spirit”.
Among the covers, there is an outstanding rearranged version of "L’Assasymphonie" (from "Mozart, Opera Rock" musical), and we are also open-mouthed by a reworked version of "Dangerous" (from David Guetta) performed with Stacey King.
With this second album, Laurent Bàn really invested himself with passion in his production: the lyrics, the instrumental texture and the arrangements are extremely all well-balanced, and make Prima a little gem that we keep listening to with pleasure. Prima is a great success and I strongly encourage you to discover this artist with his exceptional singing voice. This album touches you, leading you through a whole range of emotions. It’s the kind of album you’ll want to play on repeat!
The Interview: Laurent Bàn tells us more about Prima...
Would you say this album is a continuation of "Ante", or is it something totally different?
Laurent Bàn : It is both similar and quite different from it. Let me explain: Ante was more a chance not to be missed. "Notre Dame de Paris" was so successful in Asia, and I interpreted the role of Phoebus. A huge number of new fans of French Musicals gave me the opportunity to create an album which repertoire consisted mainly of cover versions (9 out of 13) rearranged in a very personal way thanks to several friends (Cyril Niccolai, Erik Sitbon) who then went on stage to sing it with me.
This album was an opportunity to sing songs that I had already performed on stage in several shows ("Déchiré", "Moi, Je", "The Phantom of the Opera"), and others I dreamed of performing ("Heaven on Their Mines", "Confrontation"), but in rock and expressive versions.
Prima is a more personal album. I never felt like a pop singer. I never really wanted to be a solo artist who would tell his life with a band behind him.
And then, I experienced a few setbacks and tragedies which suddenly allowed myself to do a kind of therapy to let the steam off: tell these dramatic events by drawing the inspiration through words, music and arrangements.
So I considerably invested myself and this new artistic landscape excited me greatly. I surrounded myself with a trusted team, close friends, artists I respect with obvious talent and sensitivity close to mine, and I started writing my lyrics, composing my melodies, adding my personal touch to arrangements to make these titles become a second skin. The 6 covers have been chewed, kneaded, twisted in all directions incorporate and blend them with the other songs, which makes the album a unique experience.
How would you describe the atmosphere of this album?
Laurent Bàn : I wanted each title to evoke a movie. I feel close to a melodious rock style with great lyrical flights but also moments of intimate sweetness. I wanted people to sometimes feel that I whisper in the listener's ear.
It's pretty nostalgic, philosophical and impactful! It’s like a journey in one’s deeper self, and suddenly it becomes a bumpy ride! I like to excite and shatter the walls, then gently lift the blanket to keep warm. I would compare it with the chocolate profiteroles, with hot chocolate on voluptuous vanilla ice cream.
What does the album evoke for you and why did you want to make it?
Laurent Bàn : It reflects my inner maelstrom, my weaknesses and my doubts, my sadness and my hopes. In this album, I’m not serene, and Prima is probably what represents me the most. It's up to everyone to have their own interpretations and inspirations.
For the last few years, I felt like repeating the same thing over and over again on stage through my musicals, even if this was a beautiful adventure. It's time to move on to something more fulfilling, just like musical theater was for me almost 20 years ago. Right now, I’m just dipping my toes, but I might take a plunge later on, who knows…
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Sorel and Christophe Houssin during the production of this album?
Laurent Bàn : Sorel is a close friend, probably the closest now. We’ve known each other for 10 years and we know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. I couldn’t think of writing Prima without his support. We created these songs together, step by step. He gave me the courage to write my own texts when he could have done it himself. He pushed me to go ahead and write it all, and I am now really pleased with this experience. My texts are what they are but they reflect who I am.
Talking about the loss of loved ones can quickly become quite depressing, but I wanted to move away from that. I spoke of my sadness and my broken loves without tears. Thus everyone can translate his own experience into my texts... or not.
Christophe Houssin is a quiet genius like the rest of his friends, including Franck Harscouet who made the cover of my album with Kristof, a sort of twin brother!
I’ve admired his work since La Fille d’Octobre
and I never thought that he would like to collaborate with me. I was therefore delighted when he decided to join us, and our collaboration was surprisingly easy. He listens, translates and sublimates my proposals thanks to his talent and his network of exceptional musicians who have agreed to participate in Prima
I was also joined by some amazing voices discovered in the show "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" - the fabulous Divas, as well as music orchestrated by Karim Medejebeur or Sylvain Ott.
Can you tell us more about the booklet illustrating "Prima" and your collaboration with Franck Harscouët?
Laurent Bàn : I let Franck take the ship’s helm. For me, he is a revolutionary artist, quite eclectic and still misunderstood - for now -. If people could enter his world, they would be stunned by so much creativity and innovation. I’ve been honoured to have him on this project and the universe he created for the booklet makes us once again travel on another planet...probably on Mars. This is a David Bowie atmosphere, with strong dark tones, with leafy and fruity touches, a real land of contrast and rupture, perfectly in line with the musical universe of Prima and with me.
If you had to choose the song that best represents this album, what would it be and why?
Laurent Bàn : Probably the first one: “Terre-Mère”. It is the link between the album front cover and the path that begins through these 14 titles. It’s like a kaleidoscope where each mirror would be a part of me, and it takes you through the compositions but also the completely assumed covers.
What are your next projects around the album?
Laurent Bàn : I want people to discover it and also make video clips / short films, concerts ... and explore all the possibilities.
Where can we find the album?
As from early 2018, we can find Prima at the merchandising area of all the shows in which Laurent Bàn appears, as well as on all existing media.
Official release of Prima
2 January 2018 in Shanghai and Seoul
23 January 2018 in Tokyo
26 May 2018 in Paris
(available in France, at the Casino de Paris from 9 February 2018)
In the coming months...
In January 2018, Laurent Bàn will play the roles of Leopold and Salieri in Mozart, Opera Rock, in Shanghai.
As from 9 February, he will play one of the title roles - Dick / Miss Mitzi
- in the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
, in Paris. More informations on www.casinodeparis.fr
On 26 May, a special concert for the official release in Paris, on the boat-theatre Le Nez Rouge.
His impressive musical career:
From 1999, Laurent Bàn embarked upon Musicals, Rock Operas and Musical Theaters in France, Italy and Asia. He performed in:
- "The heartaches of a French cat" (Alfredo Arias), 2 Molière awards (Best Musical Show, and Best costumes), 2000
- "Notre Dame de Paris", 2001-2006
- "The Little Prince" (Richard Cocciante, Elisabeth Anais), 2002-2008
- "Chance" (Hervé Devolder), 2003-2009
- "Il conte di Montecristo", in Rome, 2008
- "Hair", 2008-2012
- "Zorro" (Stage Entertainment) in Paris (Folies Bergère), 2009-2010
- "Amleto, Drame Musicale", in Florence, 2013-2014
- "Aladdin, Make a Wish", in Paris (Le Comédia), 2014-2015
- "Mistinguett", in Paris (Le Comédia), 2015
- "Mozart, Opera Rock" in Asia, 2016-2018
- "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", in Paris (Casino de Paris), 2017-2018 ...
- Concerts of covers or compositions (One O one, Hello, Yougatoussing),
- Movies and musical series ("Alive" in 2005, "Chante" - season 3 & 4 in 2009-2011)
- Concerts in Asia (Japan, China, South Korea)
- Stage Director of 4 musicals for the “Studio International des Arts de la Scène” in Paris (“West Side Story”, “Hair”, “Starmania”, “Evita”).
- Author and adapter of “MARLENE D.” (“Marius” of the best Stage Adaptation, 2009) in Paris (Lucernaire Theatre and Vingtième Theatre), as well as “Le Journal d’Adam & Eve”.
- French version of "Phantom of the Opera" in Joel Schumacher's eponymous film, in 2005.
(And the list goes on...)