Meet Her, A Sensual French Band Invading The States [Exclusive]
Sitting in the penthouse of The Standard, East Village, it’s hard not to get distracted by the adorable accents of two handsome French men as they talk about their approach to songwriting and producing. The duo, Victor Solf and Simon Carpentier, are minutes away from walking on stage to perform their first ever U.S. show for the Annie O Music Series as a new band called Her, and they look equal parts nervous and excited—no doubt because breaking out overseas has been a goal of theirs for years. With only a five-track EP called Her Tape #1 (check it out below), a few tailored suits, and a trio of sensual videos to accompany their smooth R&B-infused sound, Her has electrified fans back home, catching the attention of everyone from Pharrell Williams and Zane Lowe to The Weeknd.
Now, they’re capitalizing on the viral success of their single “Five Minutes,” and bringing it stateside (the song even got picked up for an Apple commercial). Her’s newest video for “Union” solidified their status as one of the year’s most sensual new bands. Before they played through a setlist that won over the packed crowd and paired perfectly with the Manhattan skyline, we had a chance to talk to them about how the band came together, what they do when they’re not making music, and why two guys named their band Her.
How did the band come together?
Victor: Simon and I have known each other for seven or eight years now. We were in high school together and we had another band. It was quite famous in France. We did a lot of tours and played in Brazil but we never came to the U.S. This is the first time ever, and Her really only started about two or three years ago.
Now you’re doing your first U.S. show here in New York. What’s been your favorite part about being in the city so far?
Simon: We’re in a flat in Brooklyn next to a little park and we play basketball there. He plays.
V: Yeah, I play.
Do you ever dream of a career in basketball if singing doesn’t work out?
V: [Laughs] Nah, I’m too old. Too fat. It’s over.
When you aren’t making music or playing basketball, what are you doing to unwind?
V: I love to cook! I cook for the whole band!
S: I love to cook, too! We find some recipes together. We improve recipes together.
V: We won’t go to a restaurant because I’ll cook for everyone. I have a very good recipe for rougail saucisse [a stewed sausage dish]. You know it? It’s really really tasty.
This is making me hungry now! [Laughs]
V: I will cook for you!
I’ll take you up on that offer! Going back to the music, for Her Tape #1 you went for a very sexual vibe. It’s a very sensual album!
V: [Laughs] That’s the thing we love because when we talk about seduction or sexuality, it’s really in a French way. The way we wrote “Quite Like” was for American people, but from a French perspective. That’s how we want to approach it.
It worked out well! Now, why focus your sound and the name of the band on this mythical “Her?”
V: For us, women represent a lot of things. They’re still a mystery and they will stay a mystery forever. Her represents a lot of sensuality and it’s in all of our music.
S: Actually, we work almost exclusively with women.
V: Our manager is my wife and she’s in the “Union” video. It’s quite a family band. We’re very close with the women who are with us.
That’s great! Before you hit the stage, you’ve been getting a lot of airplay from Zayn Lowe and Pharrell Williams on their radio shows. How has that been?
V: It’s amazing! It’s really cool.
S: Especially for a French band, you know? We were so happy when we heard they were playing our song.
V: We thought so much about U.S. TV shows and musicians when we wrote lyrics and composed songs. It was crazy when “Quite Like” came out on Soundcloud, we had nothing and nobody—even in France. Then The Weeknd helped us a little bit when he put the song on Instagram. Pharrell called our manager and said he was going to have a radio show on Apple and wanted the song. It’s really a dream come true! The power of the Internet is crazy.
Stay tuned to Milk for more emerging artists.
Images via Nicky Digital.