Carla Bruni on Music, Style, and Inspiring the Next Generation of Models

The introspective nature of the material may also have something to do with how it was recorded. Bruni began writing at the tail end of 2019, just as the coronavirus pandemic spread across Europe. Recorded shortly after Paris’s COVID-19 lockdown, the record had to be completed in a third of the time she usually has for a project. “I kept writing throughout confinement, and when we came out, I had 16 or 17 songs,” says Bruni. “We went right into the studio, but we had to adapt like everyone else.” As in-person performances are nonstarters for the foreseeable future, Bruni is taking her music online with a series of virtual concerts slated for later this year. “We can still do small live performances for television or radio sometimes while being very prudent, but as much as we can, we’re trying to go virtual,” she says. The process may have changed, but the songs maintain the evocative quality of her earlier work. Switching effortlessly between French, Spanish, and English, she delves into heartfelt territory. “I’m trying to find that emotional state that is separate from reality,” says Bruni. “Related to love, romanticism, thoughts of freedom and travel—it’s being free and in love, in a comforting place instead of this pandemic world.”  

To that end, Bruni looked to the things that bring her joy, adding in a cover version of Spanish singer Jeanette’s 1974 hit, “Porque te vas,” because it reminded her of childhood. “It means ‘why are you going away?’” she explains. “It’s a song I just loved, and that’s the criteria when you choose a cover—pick a song you like to sing!” Her sister, actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, also has a cameo on the album in a particularly charming moment. “I finished the song during confinement, and we were together with her and her children, so she heard the song step-by-step,” says Bruni. “I said to her, ‘If you like it, why don’t you come and say a few lines [because] it’s a slang song and not really about singing.’ We just did it for fun. It was our first time working together, and we had such a good time.”  

Bertrand Rindoff Petroff
Dave Benett/FFR

Of course, music is only one side of Bruni’s persona. As one of the original supermodels, fashion will always be a part of her life. Her impact on the industry has been especially evident lately, thanks to millennial models such as Bella Hadid who consider her an influence. Connecting with the new generation has been a pleasure, Bruni says. “It’s lovely. Fashion isn’t very nostalgic, but on occasion the young guard feels inspired by us. It’s pleasant because it gives meaning to the work that you’ve done. Being a model is such an odd job, and it doesn’t last long, so much of it is about youth. So it’s great when your work can become part of this larger story that we’re all writing together.”

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