WANA offers you an exclusive interview of Philypa Phoenix, actress, model and former member of “Les Déesses”. She comes back on her artist life, her past in the music industry, her link with Africa and much more. Chilling confessions !
WANACorp : You managed to change career successfully and start comedy! It seems like this path was natural for you, wasn’t it…
Philypa Phoenix : (smile) Natural: I don’t know. But it’s true that, when I was a kid, I liked imitating adults I knew, dressing up and making my peers laugh. When I was 8, my mom enrolled me in a company of musical Theater because, paradoxically, I was very introvert. So I’ve been on stage to perform and sing since a very young age.
W: According to you, what are the differences between musical and theatrical rendering ?
Philypa Phoenix : Singing is lay bare. Performing is too, but with the excuse of being someone else… Even if some singers can create their own character, an alias.
W : Could you say more on the film you’re shooting with Fabrice Luchini ?
Philypa Phoenix : The film is called “Le Mystère Heni Pick”, it’s an adaptation of David Foenkinos’ novel, produced by Rémi Bezançon and the cast also includes Alice Isaaz, Camille Cottin and Bastien Bouillon. I play Wendy Bellamy, a columnist alongside the critic Jean-Michel Rouche, played by Fabrice Luchini. My character doesn’t talk much in the movie but it was a very enriching experience to be able to learn alongside an artist I really appreciate. Plus, he was very benevolent to me. The shooting ended at the end of April and the release is planned on March 2019 !
W : Musically speaking, we’ve missed you all these years… Have you changed ? Do you still feel like a singer ?
Philypa Phoenix : (laughter) To be sincere I don’t think I’ve ever felt like a singer. On the contrary, when I was a child, I didn’t dare to sing, even at school. I didn’t like my voice. My mom has a strong voice, lyrical, and me, I considered my voice small, soft. But I’ve always been passionate with music because my grandfather was a complete musician. He often played saxo, violin or even diatonic accordion at family events. At home my mom listened to music to do any task, from Sade to Serge Gainsbourg. She often told me that it was a bit thanks to music she met my dad, one night in a club where he danced “like Michael Jackson”! It was love at first sight at this moment.
My desire to sing really came at 15 when I enrolled in a group of singers and rappers in Rennes, my home town. At 18 I left for Paris to pursue my dream. I quickly started to work with a record company with the group Les Déesses. The adventure lasted two years with exceptional shared moments but also the discovery of the other side, behind the scenes, when music is good but not the people surrounding you… After that I wasn’t able to sing for two long years and, one day, I took France’s roads again but for another purpose. I performed in pubs and nightclubs within a group of multiple artists. Maybe one day I’ll be back at it, at the music, for real, but for me it’s a bit like a first love… And the question is: Can we go back to our first love one day?
W : Are you still in touch with the other Déesses, especially with Lylah who went for more “afro” beats ?
Philypa Phoenix : We haven’t seen each other in years but we three kept good relationship. Some supportive texts are sent here and there, for birthdays or New Year’s Eve. There is no resentment between us.
W : You are always stunning on your stories. What is your secret to stay in a good mood ?
Philypa Phoenix : (laughter) Thank you! I am very positive by nature. At a very young age I understood that being happy was a choice, that nobody could build our happiness but ourselves, even if people obviously contribute to it. I am very passionate and I love discovering new countries, meeting new people. I think that my secret is to think that there’s always something to learn and, above all, put things into perspective… Being aware of the fact that we are all passing through this “big theater” that life is, so we may as well smile as often as possible.
W: What is the “thing” to discover in Africa? (If you have a crush to recommend)
Philypa Phoenix : In Africa, wow! But it is huge… I would say that what the Western world has to discover in Africa is the joy of life and the resilience capacity of those who populate it. Otherwise… I’d say a good n’dolé with shrimps! (Laughter)
W : How would you define the New Africa?
Philypa Phoenix : For me, the New Africa is these new generations of women and men, working in different fields like arts, politics, technology, and many others who knowingly decide to stay in their home lands – for those who still have the possibility to stay – to make things change, some mindsets, but also to tell their own stories. Those who refuse the miserable vision of the continent as it is how the media depict it too often. But on the other hand it is also the external actions taken by the diaspora, converging to the same direction: the emancipation of Africa. It’s a breeding ground. I follow many people from different countries and I think, I hope, that it foresees a real change for the coming decades… Especially when it is time for the old leaders to leave their thrones…
W : What can we wish you for the rest of your career?
Philypa Phoenix : To stay happy and optimize my art. To keep living on my passion, meeting interesting people and maybe one day to travel to the other side of the Atlantic to shoot other nice projects… If you read us Sir Spike Lee…! (Laughter)
W : A last word for your fans and our readers?
Philypa Phoenix : First, thank you for taking the time to read us and I can’t wait to be in 2019 to introduce you to the three TV-shows I’m working on right now… (Smile) No matter the challenge you face, believe in yourself and listen to your inner voice. The choices made with your heart aren’t always the easiest… But in the end I think they allow us to meet and be more in line with our truly selves, thus with the others. Love !
To Follow Philypa Phoenix
Here is the link of the French version !