A career spanning three decades, Lara Fabian has become one of the best-selling artists in Belgium. During the 1980s, Fabian entered a number of European competitions and won several prizes. She released her first single, “L’Aziza est en pleurs” / “Il y avait” in 1986. In 1988, Fabian was invited to represent Luxembourg at the 33rd Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Ireland. The song, “Croire”, reached fourth place and became a hit in Europe, selling nearly 500,000 copies. She followed her success with her 1991 debut self-titled album which reached gold in 1993.
Lara Fabian’s breakthrough came with the release of her 1994 album Carpe Diem. The record reached triple platinum within a year and went on to receive two Félix awards at the 1995 ADISQ gala – Best Show Of The Year and Best Female Singer Of The Year. In 1999, Fabian made her first English record, Lara Fabian, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard ‘Heatseekers’ album chart, reached #1 on the French album chart and #2 on the Belgian album chart. “I Will Love Again”, her first English single, reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play, and peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Over the years, Lara Fabian has continued to release records and tour extensively around the world. In 2017, she released her English-language album Camouflage, which showed Fabian embarking on a new musical direction. The record contained 12 original tracks, written by Fabien, Moh Denebi and Sharon Vaughn, with new electro-pop production and classical orchestration. Soon after its release, Fabian embarked on The Camouflage World Tour, beginning in Miami on February 2, 2018. She toured throughout the world, making 40 appearances, ending the tour in Paris, in June 2018.
Now the multiple award-winning pop star, kicks off her “50” World Tour 2019 to celebrate her 50 years of life and her 30-year successful music career selling over 20 million albums worldwide. From September 16-23, Fabian will hit four major US cities — New York City, Chicago, San Jose, and Los Angeles. She will continue on to 20 cities throughout Russia and Europe through March 2020.
I was lucky enough to catch up with the global music superstar, and talk about her career, her up coming tour and all things music;
You’ve had such a successful career, you’ve sold over 20 million records worldwide. So tell me where did it all begin for you and how did you get your big break?
It all began when I was a child through a passion that both my mom and dad conveyed to me. I’ve always enjoyed the essence of music and the joy it brings. I started working concretely on music learning all of that is there was to learn and then developed a true devotion towards songwriting and expressing my feelings through music. I would say that the break came in multiple places and moments.
But definitely my first big break was given through Canada in this lovely French province called Quebec where I found my first audience and received my first award, as well as my first platinum record. Later on, I got a second break-in France and Belgium where I am from as a new song crossed the ocean and as stores started to a line between the two continents. Later on, it became even bigger with most of these French songs getting a particular journey outside of the French-speaking borders. My songs soon gave me a break in both the French-speaking territories and internationally – along with songs in English like “I Will Love Again.”
You were born in Belgium and eventually raised in Sicily, and then made your way to Canada. Do you still call Canada home now?
I definitely still call Canada home, actually, I should say Quebec. But the reality is that I have learned through the years that I don’t have to choose. I have this extraordinary chance to be colored by all these different cultures, and I am profoundly linked to these different routes, they compose me they make me who I am today.
Being such a huge star in Canada and all around Europe is it hard to keep a low profile when you want to disconnect from Lara Fabian the star and just be Lara Fabian the civilian?
Actually, I don’t see it like that. I feel so lucky to have this extraordinary exchange connection in love with people and anytime I get to come across a part of my audience in my normal civilian life. It’s always with a lot of respect and kindness that these encounters happen.
I also live in Montreal a place where people are totally used to having stores, walking around, and don’t make a fuss out of it. A place where being a person, a wife, a mother, and being part of the family is highly understood and leaves all the room you need beyond the fact that you are a professional singer-songwriter.
‘Carpe Diem’ became your breakthrough album. The album went gold three weeks after its release and a year later went triple platinum. What does that album mean to you?
This album was a turning point of my career in Quebec, and then, the rest of the world. Indeed my version of “Je suis malade”, came across as a true personal declaration. I felt that that song crossed a bridge that I had never crossed before and associated me with a person that was able to convey emotion in the deepest way.
In 1999, you recorded your first English-language album, which was self-titled and spawned the #1 global smash hit, “I Will Love Again”, tell me how this song came about, and your feelings around the fact that it became one of the biggest dance tracks of the ’90s?
That Mark Taylor and Brian Rawlings hit song was truly a blessing in my career! Still today that song resonates throughout the world every time I sing it on any stage around the planet. I feel blessed this song came to me, became this massive success, and still, today is so meaningful to my audience.
Now you have a brand new album called ‘Papillon’, what can you tell me about it and how much do you think you’ve evolved as an artist over the years?
This new French album has definitely crossed another style with my music. Both Camouflage and Papillion have connected me to a more contemporary sound. Still, I believe I have respected the genesis of my melodies and the themes I’ve always been eager to talk about. Evolution is a great thing yet, you always need to be and remain true to yourself I think both these records have survived the challenge. Moh Denebi and Sharon Vaughn have helped me build and construct this new era of my music, and I’m truly grateful for that.
In 2017 you released your album ‘Camouflage’ which was your first English-language album in over a decade, and now with ‘Papillon’, it marks your return to recording in French. What was your reasoning for going back to recording in French, and is recording in different languages something you enjoy doing?
It’s always been very natural for me to cross from one language to another I don’t really envision this as a scientific process or a thought after the reality. I simply feel that certain things I am writing or more adaptable in one language or the other and follow that inspiration. To sing and write in so many languages has been for me extraordinarily nourishing
You’re embarking on a major tour for the album ‘Papillon’, where will it take you, what can fans expect from your concerts and what venue are you most excited about performing at and why?
Actually the show is called the “50” World Tour, Papillon is just going to be a little part of it. This concert is a celebration of both my 50th birthday and my 30-year career. Therefore, we are building a show in different acts to browse through these three decades and present a story through the journey that I have been on.
You’ve achieved so much over your illustrious career, is there any other goals you want to reach?
It’s true! I’ve been looking enough to remain throughout all these years, and have to build a connection through the audience that is extraordinary. My projects are always running through my head …my joy is always vivid. Therefore, I still have a lot of dreams, one of which is really dear to me, is to open my singing school one day.
Who’s someone that you haven’t worked with before but would love too?
I would love to work with Max Martin!
Over the years what has been your most memorable moment and why?
My most professional memorable moment is when my audience picks up on the 10 before I start singing it and sings it back to me.
Who are some artists that you are currently listening to?
Currently, I am the biggest fan of Brendan Urie from Panic! At The Disco!
Once again Lara, thank you so much for stopping by OLC! But before we say goodbye is there anything you’d like to say to all your fans all over the world?
I would like to give an immense thank you and let them know how grateful I am to have them in my life!