Artist of the Week: Yelle

Parlez-vous français?

This week’s BTR Artist of The Week, Yelle hails from France and yes, her music is in her native language. However, if your answer to the question above is “no!” or even “huh?” it does not matter. Yelle’s poppy, electro tunes transcend the language barrier, and one listen to her debut album, the aptly titled Pop-Up will have you hooked. Expect to be singing along to every song, even if you are kinda mumbling and messing up the words.

Yelle, born Julie Budet, developed quite the following after posting a track entitled “Short Dick Cuizi” to her MySpace page. The title alone is a bit provocative, but the fact that the song was a diss directed at Cuizinier (a member of the Parisian hip-hop group TTC) helped it attract even more buzz.

The bouncy tune has been changed-up, with the help of Yelle’s friend and producer GrandMarnier (a.k.a. Jean Francois-Perrier). The title of the re-worked version is “Je Veux Te Voir” and it is one of 13 catchy synth-pop tunes on her colorful debut release. The song even appeared on the HBO hit series Entourage, while some of her other music has been heard on MTV’s The Hills.

Now, the question is, will her crossover into American pop culture continue? The U.S. release of Pop-Up in late 2007 was strictly digital, but Caroline Records dropped a CD version of the album on April 1, 2008. Still, the leap from studio-phenom to international crossover artist is a big one, and much of Yelle’s future success in the States hinges on her first ever U.S. tour. It begins this week and includes a highly coveted spot in the Coachella Festival lineup (April 26 in Indio, California).

Joining her on stage for what is sure to be a peppy and energized show will be GrandMarnier on drums and Tepr, co-producer on the album and the master of “keyboards and stuff” for the live set.

Only time will tell if Yelle will enjoy the same type of success as fellow Parisian crossovers like Daft Punk and Justice, who both have sold out entire tours through North America. For now though, the music speaks for itself. Her addictive pop music, combined with her colorful and unique personality, make for an irresistible combo. It is pretty safe to assume her future is just as bright as her persona.


Catch Yelle LIVE!!!

Apr 22, 2008 The War Room – Seattle, WA
Apr 23, 2008 Rotture – Portland, OR
Apr 24, 2008 Independent – San Francisco, CA
Apr 26, 2008 Coachella – Chicago, IL
Apr 29, 2008 Mansion – Chicago, IL
Apr 30, 2008 The Great Hall – Toronto, Ontario


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