Pays : France Label : PIAS Genres et styles : Pop / Singer-Songwriter Année : 2023

Hoshi – Mauvais rêve

· par Claude André

Although she has been famous in France for a few years now, with a platinum album and another double platinum album, pop singer Hoshi remains unknown in Quebec.

So it was the magic of algorithms that allowed the song Mauvais rêve to reach my ears, which, let’s face it, are less interested in new pop. Wrong!

Published online in April 2023, this single, which now has over 1.2 million views on YouTube, is both textually overwhelming and melodically captivating. It is the prelude to a third album, due for release this autumn.

From the very first listen, you’re drawn in by the 26-year-old’s cry from the heart, as she recounts her own journey, recalling her premature birth, her childhood uncertainty about her gender identity, her rare illness that leads to deafness, her hit “Ta Marinière” (2018), and her appearance at the 2020 Victoires de la musique awards.

There was also a memorable moment when the Japanese-looking artist (she has a passion for Japan) kissed one of the dancers performing for the cameras.

Cyberbullying

It was a gesture that served as a choreographic illustration of her militant song Amour censure, which earned her a plethora of homophobic, misogynistic and grossophobic insults and comments on asocial networks, including more than… 5,000 death threats! This forced her to move house, because one of her virtual tormentors had found her address, and not to go out unaccompanied since then. Not to mention the nausea she feels at every concert.

To put it all together, Mathilde Gerner (her real name) read out some of these messages on a France Inter radio programme on 18 January 2023, referring to Lucas, a 13-year-old who committed suicide in the Vosges after being harassed because he was gay. These stories of cyberbullying bring to mind, albeit less tragically, the misadventures of Safia Nolin in Quebec and young Mila in France. The latter had responded strongly to one of her bullies on online networks, earning her a torrent of virtual hatred. Like her, Hoshi went to trial. The result? On 2 June, she posted the following message on her Facebook page:

“Today was the trial.

Here is the letter read out by my lawyer this morning.

This man (who did not appear at the hearing) was sentenced to 8 months’ imprisonment, including 6 months’ probation (i.e. 2 months without probation), going beyond the prosecutor’s demands, which is quite rare. I would like to thank my lawyer Laura Ben Kemoun.

Cyberbullying and homophobia do not go unpunished.”

Content and a hunger for life

It’s a reminder that while marketing often uses scandal to make cash registers jingle, art can sometimes be used as a vehicle for change. Even when it comes to pop music, which some might say is juvenile. In this case, they’d be wrong. As well as having content, Hoshi, who played the streets for a few years, has a stylish pen that is often effective and unexpected. In addition to her vulnerability, which she transforms into a fiery rage for life that would have pleased Mano Solo, the artist distils her words with a pretty voice that she sometimes lets fly in the peaks and her way of pressing on the tonic accents is most personal.

It’s not for nothing that Benjamin Biolay, the black prince of refined pop, sang a duet with her (Pleurs du fumoir) in 2021 (not bad), as did the singer from the legendary Louise Attaque group Gaëtan Roussel (Je vous trouve un charme fou) in 2018 (excellent). Talking of duets, she also offered a very fine TV moment when she sang the very successful song “Et même après je t’aimerai” with her friend Gia Martinelle.

While we’re waiting for her next album, we urge you to listen online to her 2022 opus Étoile flippante (Version deluxe), where she covers her best songs in an orchestral version.

You’ll discover, if you haven’t already, an artist who, by digging the furrow of her personal history mixed with sexual freedom, affirmation of her difference and hyper-fragility in an eighties pop aesthetic, embodies our post-modernity made up of globalisation, asserted rights, but also backlash and extreme polarisation.

Alas, the woman whose pseudonym means star in Japanese may never come to Quebec because of Ménière’s disease, which prevents her from flying. But that doesn’t mean she’s done giving us a thrill yet.

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