Invariable |  Mary-Mai learns to slip things through her fingers

“People are afraid to go deep with me in an interview, and that’s where I have the most fun,” says Marie-Mai, who is celebrating her 20-year career. immutable, a televised celebration of its rich list. A meeting with a designer who would rather talk about his music than his clothes.

We are in Rimouski during the tourShe and I, Marie-Mai’s sixth and latest album, was released five years ago. The 38-year-old singer reminisced about this unforgettable scene in one of the interview segments.immutable, In a special Télé-Québec program he revisits a dozen of his best songs,Another night up to I’m leaving.

“At the time, I was very concerned about what other people thought of me because I knew people had this misconception that it was Fred. [St-Gelais] He wrote his own hits and this is the first album I’ve done without him,” he recalled in an interview. Pres. “I wanted to prove myself so badly that it wore me out. That evening, in Rimouski, Marie-Mai forgot her words and sat on the stage and addressed her audience.

I was so embarrassed and I felt so bad that I said it in front of everyone. For me, having spent my entire life not wanting to show my vulnerability, it was like 50 pounds being lifted off my shoulders.


An obsession with authenticity

She knows it intimately from this crucial moment: “Being strong is also how you show your weaknesses. An idea already known in his subconscious, we notice when we hear the stripped down version it’s me (2009), the charged moment of the second actimmutable.

The triumph turns from a brisk memoir into a disturbing dive into the psyche of a woman in distress who prides herself on having “a smile on her lips whether we adore her or hate her.” Refusing to let anything slip through her fingers, as she sings about it, isn’t that something that’s never satisfied?

“That’s the beauty of writing,” observes Mary-Mai with a smile. “Fred came up with the beat, it took me 15 minutes to write the lyrics and the melody, but I just understood the meaning. It was a song about self-confidence that was actually slowly destroying me because I refused to let my guard down. »

lie, save your tears, Conscience, betrayal in my skin. The question of authenticity – could not have been more obvious immutable – is always at the heart of Marie-Mai’s texts. Paradoxical for an artist who is often criticized by the media for not being.

“It always surprised me because I never found myself convincing,” he exclaims. I always feel like I’ve said everything about myself. The only thing that didn’t help me was my desire not to disappoint and to show only the best of me. I thought that was what a model of positivism was all about. »

Photo by Hugo-Sébastien Aubert, The Press

Mary-Mai will look back on her 20-year career in the show immutable.

Does she have the impression that women are criticized more often than men for not providing enough or for overflowing their allotted boxes? An album that didn’t rock enough, it was said) or when did she go anime?

I think there are many things that happen to women more often than men, and that is one. I have to be careful, because I don’t want to be sour, but with the number of things I’ve done in the last 20 years, I’m surprised that I tend to look so often. Picture.


As Anas Favron called her Everyone is talking about it About the underwear she was wearing (or not) in a scene last Sundayimmutable ? Mary-Mai prefers not to elaborate, knowing full well that gossip websites are crazy about these kinds of reports.

“But let’s talk about it in a broader sense, and if we put together all the times I’ve been asked about my appearance in an interview, we’ll find that it borders on judgement. We never put too much emphasis on Pierre Lapointe’s clothes or, when we do, enhance him, because Like me, it’s part of his way of expressing himself. »

Everything to win

“It’s over, the race to win”, Marie-Mai announced to our colleague Josie Lapointe in September 2020, in which she says she subscribes to a seventh album, while releasing two more new songs. for youHowever, it has all the power of a tube.

“It’s over because I’ve never been so sad that I’m up, up, up [en 2016], she says. I thought that bell centers and number 1s would fill me up and the doors of happiness would open, but at that moment I realized that I had sacrificed my whole life for something so tasteless. The walls fell around me and this was my chance to finally express the faith I had been singing about for years. »

Where does artist Mary-Mai find her happiness now? In this simple and mysterious songwriting process. In collaboration with new voices (Alex, Amai Laoni, Naomi), he has proliferated in recent years. Duets are recommended to her that she personally gets nothing from.

Mary-Mai politely contradicts us. I could say, “No, I already want to collaborate with big artists,” but that would be stupid. These encounters are everything to me because they nurture me. »

How did writer-composer Mary-Mai transform herself? “I don’t know if this sounds hippy, but I don’t want to control everything, I’m learning more and more to trust inspiration. I still worry about expressing myself in the right way, but I’m learning more and more to respect what’s there. Sometimes you have to be smart enough to let things slip through your fingers.

The unchanging Mary-MaiSaturday, 8 p.m., on Télé-Québec

She already saw herself …

Photo by Martin Chamberland, Archives Law Press

Marie-Mai in September 2004

Twenty years ago, Marie-Mai Bouchard, 18, was doing Star Academy His “first steps in adult life” are simultaneously “his first steps in show business”.

“I was young, but I was ready,” he recalls. I’ve often heard Lady Gaga say in interviews that she already knew she was a star, and that I had it in my head before she became a star. I was walking down the stairs in my house and I looked like Madonna walking to her stage. When I came to shoot Star Academy, that’s all I’ve visualized so far. »

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