On the occasion of the release of his new album, “Saint-Clair”, Benjamin Biolay confided in the columns of Marie Claire. Singer with a reputation shrouded in many mysteries, he never made taboos around his alcohol addiction which made him lose his footing. A very important testimony.
At 49, Benjamin Biolay is one of the artists who count on the French-speaking music scene. Author, composer and performer, he wrote for many of his peers, and also burst the screen in several films at the cinema. But behind the scenes, success has not always been easy to manage, and has led to the greatest excesses. Old demons he is still trying to get rid of.
Video. Benjamin Biolay’s Minute
Benjamin Biolay, “cursed poet”
Back in 2009. That year, Benjamin Biolay released his album, “La Superbe”. The French public tears it away, and is moved by the intoxicating melodies of its titles, like “Your heritage”, a real hit. Benjamin Biolay has definitely made a name for himself. But with success comes disappointment. It’s not easy to keep your feet on the ground when the spotlight is so hot. Already younger, Benjamin Biolay is more of the tortured type, convinced that he would be “cursed poet for life”. And almost as if to prove his prediction right, he drowns in alcohol. In total, he swallows no less than five liters of vodka a day. “I was scared to death, in fact” he says in the columns of Marie Claire. The magazine also relates a bewildering anecdote on the day when a manager does the accounts and comes to the dizzying balance sheet: in one week, Benjamin Biolay has sold 30 bottles of vodka. With hindsight, the singer does not hide it: “At 30, I was an alcoholic”, and adds with lucidity on this period of his life: “It was not pleasant, I became fat, I didn’t wasn’t even drunk.”
Father of Anna, born of his relationship with Chiara Mastroianni, and of a younger daughter who lives in Argentina, Benjamin Biolay has refocused on the essentials in an attempt to escape his demons. It was by going “to the seaside with the children” for six months that he managed to stop touching “a drop of alcohol. And never again strong alcohol”. From now on, Benjamin Biolay considers his alcohol consumption as a “work tool”. “In the studio, I happen to get drunk. Two or three drinks is gonna make me go away, silence my fucking brain, my hardness with myself that keeps me from fucking a song when I’m this close to finding something” he confides to Marie Claire.
A difficult but necessary weaning
If he has been stuck with a sulphurous reputation for many years, Benjamin Biolay refuses to appropriate it: “I was made the successor of Serge Gainsbourg. But I could not have produced forty albums for the others if I had been a wreck.” And when Marie Claire questions him about his image of “queutard”, again, the singer rejects the idea: “I often have the impression that we are talking about someone else, but there must be a bottom of truth. Fuckster no, seductive, yes. I had many adventures, always in the respect of everyone. And I was often paparazzer. That’s it.”
Because behind the charisma, the sweet voice and this impression of insurance, Benjamin Biolay is very shy. Already in 2012, in the columns of Grazia, he justified his consumption of alcohol by this character trait that gnawed at him for a long time: “I drank too much, it’s the trap of shyness. I went down bottles of vodka like whey, I didn’t feel like I was drunk when I was walking chaos.” At Parisian, in 2021, he returned to his weaning. Difficult but necessary: “I treated myself the hard way, I forbid myself to have alcohol at home because I know that at the slightest blow of distress or feeling of injustice, I will dive. is a gear that I no longer want. I hang around less at night too, even if I still have so much trouble falling asleep, I’m starting to find it pleasant to stay at home. And if I go out, it’s for me. fun, not to get drunk.” And to add: “Before, I was a self-destructing machine. I could end up all alone at home, through alcohol, drugs, sadness, not sleeping, eating poorly. Since then, I have been taking care about me. I take care of my health, I play sports.” An example of resilience, and further proof that the world of show business can crush anyone who is not really prepared for it…
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