Zazie celebrates her 58th birthday on April 18, 2022. Gifted artist, mother of Lola, 20, the singer, born Isabelle Truchis from Varennes, had some crossroads before finding her voice and her way! Intimate itinerary of a free, inspiring and “perched” woman.
She made the first name of the heroine of Raymond Queneau’s novel, Zazie in the Metro, his stage name but it is under the identity of Isabelle from Truchis de Varennes that Zazie was born on April 18, 1964 in Boulogne-Billancourt where she grew up opposite the Renault factories. It’s here daughter of Baron Hervé de Truchis de Varennes, urban architect, and Jacqueline Caussé, music teacher and pianist. She has a brother Philippe, two years older than her, who will also become a musician…
Music gave rhythm to Zazie’s first years: classical mainly thanks to her mother who was a pianist-rehearsalist for lyrical singers, but not only. “In the middle of our big classical music disco, we could find some vinyls of Brel, Barbara and Brassens, but also Boris Vian and Bobby Lapointe“, had explained the singer to Telerama last January. Her parents separated when she was 7 and the little girl discovered Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Donovanthe singers listened to by his father.
Zazie: education and illness
Little Isabelle is brilliant but can’t sit still at school. “Very good student but very dissipated, in CP my teachers decided to make me skip two grades. From there, my schooling was quite chaotic. I no longer understood anything, I was no longer in phase with my classmates. I remember, for example, being the only one who didn’t know how to tell the time, nor what breasts were (a subject that seemed to fascinate the girls in my class!)“, had confided Zazie always to Telerama. Isabelle then takes refuge in her imagination.
Having few friends, she nevertheless manages to become the protege of a certain Antonio older than her. “I had impressed him by knocking him out in judo class!“. His childhood is after all classic until the day when she develops a lymphangioma, a benign congenital malformation of the lymphatic vessels at the hip in his case. The little girl must then undergo a big operation which left him with an unforgettable memory.
“I had the chance, when I was ten or eleven years old, to live a particular experience during a big operation where I lived a kind of dilation of myself (…) I saw myself above for a few seconds (…) When I came back after a little coma, I talked about it and they all hallucinated because I had the name of my disease, etc. I had lived the operation but besides“, had explained the singer in the emission Off-Piste on France Inter in 2021.
Zazie, from physiotherapist to model
This experience forever transforms the relationship to death of the young girl who continues her education without giving it excessive importance. She obtained a literary baccalaureate on the wire and decided to launch, “a little by chance”, into physiotherapy studies for two years, before reorienting themselves towards a university course in applied foreign languages for one year. But his mind is already elsewhere. “Along with my studies, after high school, I was recruited by a modeling agency, which allowed me to work a minimum while being very well paid and made me independent from the age of 17.“, had confided to Télérama Zazie (1m80) who, at the time, did not seem to have chosen her destiny yet. And yet music has been part of her since she was very young.
As a child, she indeed wrote a song for her mother. “Her name was Mon petit. I had written it for my mother as a Christmas or birthday present. She still has the recording. I had composed it with two fingers on his piano and I was singing over it My little one, You are good, You like your mom‘, had fun the singer who will finally get started thanks to her father, whose hand she will have forced a little.
“At 20, when music was still a diary in my life, my father, an aristocrat, wanted to give me a signet ring with the family coat of arms. At the last moment, I managed to convince him to buy me more of a synthesizer with a built-in sequencer, whom I called Valentin. With the money I earned from modeling, I bought myself sound equipment to record myself properly“, explained Zazie. It is thanks to her contacts woven during her years as a supermodel that the singer made her debut in music.
His meeting with Etienne Roda-Gil is decisive since it is he who pushes her to try her luck solo. In 1992, she released her first album I, You, They of which she wrote most of the texts. The following year, she won the prize for best female hope at the Music Victories : this is the beginning of a success that will never be denied.
Zazie: Love and Maternity
Of his private life, little is known. In 1999, Zazie fell under the spell of Fabien Cahen, a singer-songwriter. Together, the couple has a daughter named Lola who was born on August 16, 2002. The musician is happy even if she has never made motherhood her priority. “I think we can very well fulfill ourselves without motherhood, for example. Me, I was very in love, and being a mother gave me keys. Especially in my very egocentric profession, parenthood gives you notions of humility, mortality and transmission“, had explained Zazie to ELLE.
The couple finally separated in 2005, but it was still music that allowed them to find love again in the arms of Philippe Paradis. Friends and accomplices for years, they wrote together several successful albums like Rodéo in 2004 or Totem in 2007 before discovering themselves in love. The story ends in 2015 during the recording of the album Still happy. “It had to happen. It went well. We have built a daily life intertwining sentimental life and music for several years. This project was a sweet and tender way to say goodbye. We finished this album with a lot of joy and intensity“, explained the singer to the Parisian.
Since then, she is officially single but single life doesn’t seem to be a problem for him. “I feel free to be single (…) I am not tempted by dating sites. I admire this youth who make the distinction, as in English, between “to make love” and “to have sex”. It’s not because we see someone three nights for fun that we are dirt. Young girls found that freedom our mothers were looking for“, she told ELLE magazine.
A committed woman
A freedom that allows him to exist despite a busy schedule. In addition to her musical career and her life as a mother, Zazie is a committed woman. As reminded by Restos du Coeur, it is one of the pillars of Motherfuckers. She participated 26 times, interpreted 170 songs and accompanied no less than 362! “For me, the Restos du Coeur is an image on television (I didn’t watch it much at the time) with Coluche. It’s a social image before being an image of music and what we did afterwards. It was Coluche who was there not yet very functional, but with this enormous desire“, explained Zazie to France Blue.
Zazi: “I must have been a witch in another life”
Today, Zazie has found her place but has never stopped dreaming. “I have no particular beliefs, but I need constant philosophical and spiritual research. For me, it goes a lot through dreams… I must have been a witch in another life (laughs). (…) For me, it is a quality, even if I am well aware that it is important not to just dream your life in order to be able to live it. I like to indulge in “what if we…” or “it looks like you would be…”, as children do. They make it possible to bridge the gap between dreams and a small part of reality. I admit that I like to stay perched and i think i am naturally“, confided to Organic Feminine this unique and inspiring artist.
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Zazie is 58 years old: Coma, Physio, Model, Couple, Operation, Valentin (and Witchcraft)
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