We were able to meet the former member of the group Her, Victor Solf, on the occasion of the release of his album, Still. There’s Hope. Discover our exclusive interview.
The releases of albums are linked at the moment. Damso has just unveiled his opus QALF Infinity, we have also reviewed it for you. But it is not the only one! Victor Solf, former member of the French group Her, has just released his very first solo album, called Still. There’s Hope. An opus with a mix of pop, soul and electro influences that is sure to please you. A month ago we had already discovered an extract with his song “How did we ?” in collaboration with the artist ZéFIRE or the super “I Don’t Fit” released last February. We were able to meet Victor Solf and for you, he returned to his journey with Her, his time in the COLORS SHOW and the writing of this new project. We let you discover it just below. And if not, we finally know the release date of Lana Del Rey’s next album!
melty: Hi Victor, are you okay? You just released your album, how did the writing go?
Victor Solf (singer, former member of the group Her): Well, how are you! Super happy there I autographed a lot of vinyls that the fans had pre-ordered, so it’s nice. I feel very motivated. I didn’t think I would release the album so soon. A year ago, almost to the day, I said to myself: “You make the album”. I had let go of my apartment in Montreuil so it was very difficult to find a workspace. I took refuge in Brittany, without internet and without equipment. I brought back little by little. I put myself in a pretty strict self-discipline, I worked every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It was 3 weeks / a month of stress and anguish all the same. And then I still ended up finding my rhythm and after that I wrote a title every week.
melty: What is your favorite song from this album?
Victor Solf : I think it is “Drop the ego”. Because it’s the most demanding on the album, in all the influences that we put into it. There is really a songwritting behind that reminds me of Elton John, John Lennon and at the same time today artists like Father John Misty or Andy Shauf. We find this pop heritage.
melty: The album is called Still. There’s Hope. Why did you choose this title?
Victor Solf : Well because I realized that after writing the album, the nagging question I was asking myself throughout is: “Do I still have hope?”. Is it still possible in 2021, do I still consider myself optimistic. And so I try to answer it, and reassure people. It’s a very personal album, I evoke themes like my role as father, husband, my mourning for Simon (Editor’s note: His former sidekick of Her). And the more I explored things in me, the more I realized that it could have a universal scope.
melty: Your EP, Aftermath, was very soul, gospel but also pop. Do you keep the same style for the album?
Victor Solf : Yes it is really in the continuity and particularly “Traffic Lights” which is one of the songs from the EP that I kept on the album. In fact in this piece we find at the same time the piano, the soul with the vocal harmonies and at the same time there is the electro, the current music. It’s really these three universes of I tried to mix throughout the album. I try a lot to set limits, a framework, when I work.
melty: What are your influences in music?
Victor Solf : Bah Ray Charles very much. Then there are great blues artists, there is Memphis Slim, BB King. And then I discovered soul. Blues and soul allowed me to see my piano in a different way. To get out of the scores a bit and to be a lot more on improvisation and on the feeling, the emotion. I spent months working Marvin Gaye, Sam Cook, Al Green …
melty: You were able to sing in the COLORS SHOW the song “Five Minutes” of your former group Her. How did the recording go?
Victor Solf : I was born in Germany, Berlin I know well, with Her we had the opportunity to have a lot of bad things there. The COLORS hangar is very Berlin-like, there are a lot of places there that don’t look like much and in fact it’s a crazy thing. It was great. But that was shortly after Simon disappeared and so I was a bit out of my body as well. I was in soldier mode, I thought more, I tried to feel things as little as possible.
melty: With Simon Carpentier, you were also able to sing all over the United States. Can you tell us about this experience?
Victor Solf : It was our dream with Simon, it’s still my dream. We really come from this generation where the Strokes appeared, the Arctic Monkeys, the Libertines. In fact, it was kids our age who started rocking and traveled all over the world. And when I was 18, with Simon we thought that was what we wanted to do. Sing in English, travel and be free. It took us years but we were so proud. We had just won a French springboard, the Deezer Adami, and our manager asked us what we wanted to do with the money we had just won. And we decided to spend everything to go to New York. In the meantime, there was an ad that fell with Apple with “Five Minutes” and suddenly when we played in New York it was sold out and everyone knew the lyrics. Her music was playing during the basketball games and all the labels came to sign us. While a few weeks before we were unknown to the battalion (laughs).
melty: So you carried the Her project to the end. And in 2020 you decide to go solo with your EP, Aftermath. Did you dread your solo debut?
Victor Solf : Already it is not something that I really had the impression to decide. It was in front of my eyes. I had lost my best friend, my wedding witness and my sidekick, my other half in Her. I did not want to continue to be in denial of his absence and I had the impression that by remaking a group, I would have tried to bring to life something that is no longer there. This solo project, I told myself that music had always allowed me to express things that I felt and I wanted to continue to do so. I told myself that with this solo project, I was going to rebuild myself and look to the future. As the name of the album says, towards hope. I hope this album will do people good as it did me good. I hope it will be an energy that will be communicative!