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The Good Life France Yakkity-Yaks with Olivier Jauffrit the man behind Paris Chanson

Paris at sunset - the Eiffel Tower silhouetted against a pink sky

Paris Chanson is a French internet radio station based in London which brings great French classics – Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand, Serge Gainsbourg and many more to a global audience.

The genius behind the great shows which play 24/7 is Olivier Jauffrit, a French man now working in London.

The Good Life France caught up with Olivier for a question and answer session with the man who is a mine of information on all things French music:

TGLF: Olivier, what is it you love about the classic French music you play on Paris Chanson?

I think it’s down to a few things Janine. The music that Paris Chanson plays represents the France people love around the world. It’s a golden age in a way. For instance, 50 years after her death, Edith Piaf is still considered as the number 1 French singer of all time. Charles Trenet and Maurice Chevalier are also very well known. They all came from a time when French chanson was ruling the world in terms of popular music and success.

I love that. I also like the fact they are all linked to Paris. Beautiful city… Beautiful music.

Also I love the sound of the 40s and 50s. It’s unique and it creates a very special atmosphere.

TGLF: What’s your favourite song – okay, if that’s too hard – you can have three favourite songs but you have to tell us why you picked them!

It’s very hard to choose indeed but I’m gonna try… First one that comes to my mind is La Vie en Rose, from Piaf. Why? Because that’s probably THE classic amongst all.

Je t’aime moi non plus from Gainsbourg is also one of the greatest songs ever made, number 1 in the UK in 1969! Not all French singers did that… I tell you. Only one actually: Gainsbourg.

I also love Maurice Chevalier’ songs. He was so successful in the US that he shaped French people’s reputation for ever. Yes, the French lover thing, that’s thanks to him 😉

TGLF: When you’re not putting out your fabulous show on Paris Chanson what else do you do?

I’ve been in the radio industry for 20 years, as a presenter. In Paris and London. Right now I am fronting the breakfast show of the first French station in London (French Radio London – DAB and web). I am also programme manager of this radio station.

TGLF: We know you was very busy in Summer 2012 – thanks to a little sporting event in the UK! The Olympics!  Would you care to share any stories with us?!

Indeed, I was lucky enough to be selected as a French announcer for the rowing sessions of London 2012 at Eton Dorney Lake near Windsor. And I’m loving it. Stories? That’s where Team GB won their first gold medal, right in front of me! That was brilliant. Also, we had some very special guests amongst the public: Princes Harry and William. And the site is fantastic, especially in the sunshine. And believe it or not we had loads of sunshine!

TGLF: Do you go back to France for your holidays and if so where?

My family is still in France, west of the country, south of Brittany for my parents, sister and grandma and east (close to the Swiss border) for my parents in law. That’s where I go most of the time, plus in Paris of course 🙂

TGLF: What do you like about working in London?

I like the fact that business here is accessible and flexible. London has much more job opportunities to offer than Paris for sure. And the mentality is very different as well. People are more direct here, more practical as well, more efficient. French people tend to discuss all the time. Here it’s about taking actions.

TGLF: What do you miss most about France?

Food, obviously. Finding good food is much easier than before in the UK though. But there is something that London is still missing: having a good quality meal almost wherever you go.

Good weather is a bit missed as well I have to say 😉

TGLF: What’s coming up for Paris Chanson?

Paris Chanson is growing, in terms of audience (we now have 20,000 connections to our player per week and up to 4,000 per day on weekends) but also in terms of status. Paris Chanson will become a company in the near future and has started to build strong partnerships already, including one with The Good Life France. The aim is to become THE reference in terms of French chanson for an international audience.

Thanks a lot for interviewing me Janine and bravo for your wonderful website!

Many thanks to Olivier Jauffrit for taking time out of his busy schedule and talking to us – we’re huge fans of Paris Chanson – in fact, we sponsor the weekend show and we feature the button for this terrific radio station on every page of our on line magazine – check it out, you can listen to wonderful French songs whilst reading our great features or catching up with our blog news!

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