By SPECIWOMEN Photography LOUISE LEMEUR
Who are you?
Hi, my name is Laetitia Duveau, also known as Little Voice. Im a frenchy & berlin-based Artist; I’m a singer songwriter, half of electro-diy-pop duet Free Free Dom Dom, and a curator, co-founder of art platform Curated By GIRLS. I have been an artist since my early age and a curator only since my arrival in Berlin in 2016. I am open to the world and what it brings in my life and i think it’s a very important aspect of one’s life. If you are not truly open to the world around you, you will end up going through your life without knowing its pure essence.
What drew you to music?
Music was necessary for my own well being, since my early age. I was an extremely shy kid. Music was my savior. First, I started dancing and discovered my contrasted personality: afraid to talk in real life but fearless on stage. The atmosphere in dance companies was competitive, in a bad way. it disgusted me, so i turned to music. I think i was about 15 when I took a guitar, I didn’t want to become a guitar hero, but i wanted to be independent and free to write my own songs.
Do you remember the moment you decided that this was the path for you?
I was supposed to go to a solo dance competition in another city…My mom couldn’t bring me and one of my dance mate had agreed to save me a seat in the car, but last minute she decided she could not take me. It broke my heart to not be able to compete. Dance was my life, but this made me want to quit. A few days later i saw Avril Lavigne rocking out on TV! She inspired me. :) I wanted to write my own music just like her. And I did. As soon as i was able to play a few chords, i started writing songs ! pop songs! I loved it. It was my lil escapade to my own secret garden. I was free.
A few years later I was brought from my small southern town to Paris, to sign my first record deal. That’s when it all started…and went cray cray.
Who are/what are your biggest inspirations as a musician?
My inspiration has evolved as i grew up. When i started i identified myself to my idols. I wanted to follow their footsteps ! The next stage is creating your own identity which is difficult in a business where everything tends to sound the same nowadays. And i needed some time to be able to let myself go completely. I guess it took some time to understand and accept who i am. It’s a process. I am mostly inspired by my everyday life, my personal stuff, darkness & frustrations especially…but im also inspired by what’s around me and other people’s experience… I’m like a sponge, i absorb the energy around me and release it through my music. And of course always listening to music, new and old.
If you could collab with three people in the near future, who would they be and why?
I would love to collab with someone like MIA. She is such an inspiration for me, as an artist, as an activist. She is a whole ! And i admire her for that ! So it could be a music collab, or something else, anything.
Then, for the imagery, work with Gaspar Noé, for his vision and his way of filming dance performances, absolutely brilliant in his movie Climax.
Last, but not least, i would love to work with Italian designer Vivetta on a project together. I love her sixties dreamy world, absolutely magic and fits completely mine.
Talk to me about the first song you’ve ever written.
Its a song called ‘shame on you’ :) i wrote it because my sister was in a toxic relationship with a boy who was constantly controlling her and belittling her…To me it was outrageous. so i wrote a song.
Its funny cause its the song that got me a deal with Universal…and i wrote it in like 5 minutes while practising guitar. I was learning some basic chords, and suddenly i had a song. a bit unexpected.
Where does performing bring you?
Performing is life to me, it brings both joy and fright. I have played in various conditions, from big stages to shitty clubs. The more frustrating is usually when the sound system is so bad you hear more the ambiance in the crowd then the actual music. But performing is an incredible feeling, whatever the conditions. You get to open yourself to strangers ! It’s an amazing feeling when you can really let yourself go and connect with the audience.
Name 5 songs that always keep you going.
Dance The Way I Feel (Ou est Le Swimming Pool)
TKO (Le Tigre)
Candy Candy (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu)
Dark Allies (Light Asylum)
Konitchiwa Bitches (Robyn)
What are your thoughts about social media and the constant evolution of technology?
Social media has pros and cons obviously. The pros are the immediate reach of population even if they are isolated and the continuous stream of information which provides answers. It helps people understand they are not alone, it helps them document and express themselves, not always for the better though.
Social media is dangerous as well. The downward spiral is real. Addiction, depression, Social media is a mirror of our sick society. People want to become someone, famous, rich, and that is bringing frustration and unhappiness. Instead of being focused on creating pure and meaningful content, people end up becoming copycats. Its like a quest for likes and recognition.
And there’s the censorship topic. So frustrating! I’m currently banned from Facebook for 30 days, got blocked for posting what they depict as “inappropriate” picture. Ugh! I am a pretty optimistic person but censorship just shows how hypocritical our western culture is. All we talk about is sex, emancipation and freedom, and what we get is laws, rules, repression, censorship. weird.
As a woman, how have your experiences shaped your sound?
I got my first period extremely late, at 18. So this definitely made me feel different compared to my friends who were already going through puberty at early age. I looked nothing like what i thought femininity was. I felt freaky but i guess it became a strength. Today I am aware that femininity is not a one-way concept: It has many shapes and forms, and doesn’t belong to one gender or body type. My personal journey brought me to become who i am today: It makes sense i became a curator with a mission to help challenge the stereotypical image of women. I fully support the idea that femininity is in each and everyone of us. And i want to help people embrace their own identity and their own vision of what femininity means. We’re all beautiful creatures!
Concerning my experience as a woman in the music industry, as soon as i entered this world i immediately went through a fucked up experience with a very ambitious manager, an abusive liar and control freak. He thought he had the right to interfere in my personal life, to lock me up, force me to be who he wanted me to be. But it didn’t work out for me because whatever i do there is a little voice inside of me who is always guiding me. That was a traumatising experience which also taught me a lot. Being a young aspiring musician in this male business can be dangerous. You have to protect yourself. Now I don’t let anybody invade my personal life or tell me how to live my life. I listen to my little voice.
What would you like to achieve for this passion of yours ?
Well, it is not an easy path i chose, that’s for sure and i had my share of disappointments. Being an artist is not a job, it’s a commitment. And luckily, you can live and die an Artist. I want to be able to write more and better songs along the way and if i can get more and more people to enjoy my music, they will help me tour the world…even small clubs, i don’t mind. That would be already a great deal of satisfaction. Working on it ! :)
Follow Little Voice’s work here.