Acclaimed French electro pop act Yelle — Julie “Yelle” Budet (vocals) and Jean-François “GrandMarnier” Perrier (production, percussion) can trace some of their origins back to 2000 when Budet and Perrier first met and became friends — but the duo didn’t start workin on music together until 2005. Initially formed under the name YEL, an acronym for the phrase “You Enjoy Life,” the duo had to change their name when discovered a Belgian band under that name. So they feminized the name to “Yelle.”
The members of Yelle quickly received attention when they posted a song originally titled “Short Dick Cuizi” on MySpace. The song eventually became “Je veux te voir,” but interestingly the song originally referred to Cuiziner of French hip-hop act TTC — and was initially released as a mock diss track. The track was commercial success and charted at #4 in their native France, and as a result of the buzz surrounding them, the French electro pop act caught the attention of Source Etc Records, who later signed the act. Around the same time that Budet and Perrier started working on their full-length debut, Perrier met the band’s now-former third member Destable, who was working full-time as a journalist. As the story goes, the duo were desperate for a touring keyboardist and they managed to rope Destable into the joining the band.
2007’s full-length debut Pop Up was released to widespread critical acclaim and was a commercial success as a result of “A cause des garçons,” which landed at #11 on the French Singles Chart and e “Parle a ma main,” a collaboration with Fatal Bazooka that landed at number 1.
Building upon a growing international profile, Baudet, Perrier and Destable spent a three year period between 2006-2009 touring to support Pop Up — with the band being named as MTV‘s Artist of the Week during the last week of March, 2008. After taking a few months off, the members of Yelle returned to the studio to began work on their sophomore album, and by February 2010 they started their own label Recreation Center, headed by Perrier.
Yelle’s sophomore album, 2011’s Safari Disco Club found the act focusing on harmonies, melodies and Budet’s vocals, and was released to generally positive reviews — including The Independent, who wrote that the album was “essential for anyone, who appreciates dancefloor-friendly European synth pop.” The album caught the attention of Katy Perry, who invited the act to open for her during the British leg of her California Dreams tour. After they completed that tour, they went on a European tour and went on a Stateside tour that fall.
The French electro pop act’s third album, 2014’s Completement fou was co-produced by Dr. Luke and a team of producers that included Kojak, AC, Billboard Mat, Oliver, Cirkut, Mike and Madmax. Dr. Luke learned about Yelle through their remix of Katy Perry’s “Hot n Cold” — and after catching them live, he signed them to his label. The album was supported by extensive international touring, which included their third stop at Coachella, an extremely rare feat for a Francophone act, as well as tours across Europe, South American and China.
Last September saw the release of the acclaimed French act’s fourth album L’Ère du Verseau (The Age of Aquarius). Much like countless acts across the globe, the members of Yelle were gearing up for extensive touring to support the new album before the pandemic. But to celebrate their 15th year together, the band collaborated with Loïc Prigent for the video for “Je t’aime encore.” Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Due d’en Face,” is a breezy yet melancholy track, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, finger snaps, stuttering beats and Budet’s ethereal and achingly plaintive vocals.
Directed by Giant, the recently released video or “Vue d’en Face” stars Budet and renowned French actor Nicolas Maury as a pair of star-crossed doppelgängers — of sorts — who perform a series of Tik Tok-inspired dances, while managing to get close enough to the point of being completely inseparable.