ThaisIn the second half of her twenties, Thaïs is looking straight ahead and finding a perfect balance for the pieces of her life. Accustomed to living with the type of fear that leads to pride – and convinced that grief leaves faster when dancing than when feeling sorry for yourself – she arrives with a fully-formed album that allows us to see both sides of a coin without having to flip it. On Oct. 7, 2022, she pieces everything together: Act 1 and Act 2 of Tout est parfait will become whole, and form her first LP.

“I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad,” says Thaïs. “I love contradictions, and this project is a bit like a statement that says, ‘OK, it’s sad, but let’s dance.’’’ The singer-songwriter is comfortably with the kind of spontaneity that comes by collecting endless song ideas in her phone, knowing that she’ll have to circle back to them. “There will always be a dose of solitude and melancholy in what I do, but I feel in control, I love my life,” she says.

The first stage of Tout est parfait was born during a creative bubble, alongside Renaud Bastien, during the pandemic. “I really enjoy recording demos on my own and then, with Renaud, who co-produced the album, it becomes easier to express what I want to,” says Thaïs. In this two-headed production process, the young singer-songwriter feels the need to hold the pieces together herself, to make sure that nothing escapes.

“I think it’s important that I reclaim that as a woman,” she says. “To confirm that I can make things happen. Producing as a team does bring some fresh air to my music, and lets my songs breathe while they’re in someone else’s hands.”

Her creative mode is often triggered by solitude. “I doodle on my keyboard and play around in Logic,” she says. “I create rough sketches of beats, with no precise idea of what they’ll become. I play songs that I’m obsessed with over and over, and I use elements I love as starting points for my own creations, a bit like you would trace a drawing and create an entire new one with your own style. It almost becomes an exercise in style.”

Relationships, family and heartbreak are central to her work, but all of that is presented as a huge fresco that’s not easily deciphered. “I’m very prudish, all things considered,” she says. “You’ll understand a lot if you take a moment to look a little closer.” It’s very important for her to place imagination at the heart of things, not just for her own power to generate ideas, but also ours.

“We can question, imagine, philosophize with Tout est parfait,” says Thaïs. “I’ll turn 27 this fall, and I often wonder what I did with all the time I wasted. But is that time really wasted? I want to know if I’ve properly managed my time on Earth so far.” Not a lighthearted line of questioning! “I know!” Thaïs says, giggling. “It’s intense, but I’m a lot less of a party pooper than I used to be. I dive deep into stuff that upsets me, but it’s to better emerge with something that makes me feel good.”

Once the songs were finished, the two acts were presented to the team as a matter of course: “Something happy and dance-y in Act 1, and something with autumnal melancholy and tranquility in Act 2.” It’s also to make the pleasure last that things are done this way. “We work so hard on these songs. We want the pleasure to last as long as possible,” says Thaïs.

She thinks of the song “Banksy” as “a bridge between her present and her future.” “It’s not the most radio-friendly, or the most danceable, but I open my shows with it because it’s kind of a portrait of who I am today,” she says.

Speaking of live shows, she does explore a variety of approaches. Jérémie Essiambre regularly joins her for a duo show. Then Antoine Perreault sometimes joins them on guitar. And on the album proper, we hear strings, played by Eugénie Lalonde and Camille Poirier-Vachon. “It’s super-moving to hear that. I played those strings lines on my keyboard, but it takes on a whole new dimension when it’s played in the flesh, there’s something magical about it,” says Thaïs.

Armed with her début album, she’s poised to conquer Europe as the opening act for Cœur de pirate. “I feel very lucky, and I sometimes find that de-stabilizing, but I always do everything with joy,” she says. “I talk about shows in Europe like it’s super-normal, but I’m always kind of pinching myself.”