Portrait. In one of my class we were asked to reveal the secret of one of our classmates. Here his what Michel was hiding.
Michel Serra is a sensitive man. You might not guess it at first sight, since he is a relaxed masculine guy from southern France. Interesting and easy to talk to, he has this chanting accent that only people from Marseille have when they speak. Chatting with him, you would think that he is the type of guy who likes to play football and drink beer at the weekend with his buddies on weekends. But when asked about his musical tastes he gives an answer you would not be expecting. «I’m a really big fan of Lara Fabian» he says without a hint of irony. He makes a pause, blushing a little, giving me some time to digest what he just said. Fabian is a Belgian pop singer who used to be huge in the 90’s. She mostly sings ballads and love songs. Not what you would expect Michel to listen to.
Born in Sofia (Bulgaria) and raised in Aubagne in Southern France, Michel got into Lara Fabian’s music when he was 11-years-old. And surprisingly enough he did not like it at all at first. «I hated it. I only listened to her because of one of my friend. She and I had what we could call a fling, and I did it for her» he explains. She still seems to be a big part of Michel’s life. «Listening to Lara Fabian takes me back. It’s like opening an old book that you love. It’s always hard for me to put it down because there are no more pages to write» he says, his eyes looking for something that’s not in the room. Once again, he stops talking for a bit. With his eyes looking somewhere else, Michel looks like a very melancholic person.
When pointed out that it’s rather unusual for a guy to be a fan of a ballads singer, Michel raises his voice : «So what ? I’m not ashamed of it. She has beautiful lyrics and she’s not like all those products, those singers who bring nothing new to the music world. I’d rather kill myself than go to a Lady Gaga concert ». He met Lara Fabian a few times : «The first time I was 13, she was signing her latest CD. I saw her again, at various events. But I think she knows who I am. When I go to her concerts I’m always in the front row, I want her to notice me. I don’t like blending in, I want to stick out». Because this is actually who Michel is, a self-confident guy who you wouldn’t mess with. «One more thing about her, she is hot and she smells like sex when she is on stage» he adds with a big smile.
Outside Lara Fabian’s songs, Michel is into 60’s, 70’s and 80’s rock music. Not what you would expect from a French pop lover. But she is different : «Lara is also a songwriter and she has an amazing voice. Her lyrics are very deep and beautiful». He takes a deep breath and adds : «She brings out my artistic side. I’ve been singing and playing guitar for 10 years. I’m also interested in photography, she was my first and she is still my favourite model». When asked about the impact of Fabian’s music on his personality, Michel smiles, closes his eyes for a second and says « What was the question again ? Oh yes… I guess you could say I’m a sensitive guy».
You can check out Michel’s blog here. Be sure to read his fabulous articles.