Chantal Goya is an emblematic, atypical singer who touches several generations. Over time, she has become a Proust madeleine for some of her fans, a magical character for the youngest. She will be at the Palais des Congrès, in Paris, on October 8 and 9, for the last performances of her show, The flying shoe.
A comic strip dedicated to her will also be released next October and from October 23, she will be back on the road for 24 dates with her show Son the enchanted roads.
franceinfo: You are celebrating your 80th birthday this Friday, June 10, 2022. You hate being wished, but still 80 candles is something to celebrate!
Chantal Goya: No, no, Jean-Jacques (Stand up, her husband, editor’s note) always says: “With what candles cost, it’s better not to celebrate!“No, I don’t follow birthdays or parties.
40 million records sold, you are the only artist of your generation to fill nearly 40 Zéniths per year and to be sold out at the Palais des Congrès. What does this career represent, knowing that you still continue to take as much pleasure, to still have as much energy to go on stage?
It’s true that I have boundless energy and that’s a little bit my problem. My way of being is to always give. Personally, I never think of myself and it’s true that this career is unlikely because it was never programmed in my head.
“The shows are my greatest happiness because I give the public everything I have in me.”Chantal Goya
You start by being spotted by the greatest, to make movies. You notably shot for Jean-Luc Godard, but you were convinced of one thing, after the meeting with Jean-Jacques Debout, it is that you were made for the song for the children.
Yes, it’s true that Jean-Jacques Debout had spotted my double, this part which was buried in me and which was close to the children, which was made for performing and communicating. I think that’s what the public liked in me, this true communication. These are also wonderful encounters with people and this public, above all, who made me. It was the audience, for me, that was most important.
Your success comes, indeed from the public, from its adoption, but above all from the strength of your couple with Jean-Jacques Debout, there is a complicity. From the start, he knew. Did you know that too?
No. When I met him, he said to me:We will get married, we will have two children. You’ll be famous at 30“, I said to myself: he’s completely crazy that one! Me, all I want is for him to bring me home, already very pragmatic, that is to say that he brings me back by car, that I don’t take the metro at midnight and that I go home, and then ciao! Then I got to know him and who he was by myself, not through him. Me, I I’m the one who’s going to be on stage, giving everything he taught me, and he learned from the greatest, so I can’t have a greater teacher, a more beautiful pygmalion. Jean-Jacques and I are complementary.
What does your voice mean to you?
It’s the sound of my voice that everyone recognizes. That’s what I’m told: “Ah! It’s Chantal Goya“, but I don’t like to hear myself sing, I never listen to myself. It’s weird, I never watch myself on TV, I find myself different than in life. Besides, when people tell me : “You are better in person“, I answer them: so much the better, it’s already not bad, if I was better on TV, it would be stupid. I’m happy. Once I’ve finished Chantal Goya on stage, I become Chantal Debout, Chantal de Guerre or whatever, but I’m no longer the one on stage.
Born Chantal de Guerre in Indochina, in Saigon, your parents brought you an education and values. You are the eldest of a family of five children. Is it precisely there that the responsibilities, the ability to assume for others begin?
Completely. Because when I was very young, I protected my father from the Viêt-Cong who wanted to kill him. I was four years old and I run away from home and I say to the whole army: you will never kill my father, it is not possible. Mom, meanwhile, always taught me everything very young.
“At four years old, I already knew a lot of things, I was very clever, very sassy, fearless.”Chantal Goya
My life has been an adventure from the start. An adventure in good and bad. Attention, nothing is all rosy with me, nothing is easy. Afterwards, the family grew and mom fell ill. At twelve years old, I was a little mother, I took care of everyone.
Does this entire career represent you?
There was an envelope around me that was created thanks to Jean-Jacques, thanks to everything he learned from Roland Petit, Zizi Jeanmaire at the Casino de Paris. Yves Saint-Laurent came to the house, Pierre Bergé, who was laughing, said to Jean-Jacques: “Your wife, one day she will walk, she will do something very important“. I didn’t realize all that, all these years have passed so quickly. And I see it in relation to the growing public because everyone comes to me and says: “I was five, I was four and today I’m a dad, I’m a mom“. It was Barbara who told me: “You will see, my little Chantal, you will become an institution and all these little ones will be people, adults and they will always be close to you.“.
Yes, happy and then I have a beautiful comic coming out in October: Intrepid Chantal, which retraces my journey since my birth in Saigon. I want this little girl, Chantal, to really be who I was. Let it be understood why I have had this energy since I was four years old. My mother was so happy, joyful and said to me: “Come on, it doesn’t matter, it’s alright“, have you seen how I am? Like her!
Chantal Goya will be back on the roads of France with 24 dates for her show: On the enchanted roads from October 23.