Being Joséphine


Joséphine de La Baume, the French singer, actress, sometime model and wife of producing powerhouse Mark Ronson, has all the flawless women who woke up like this beat—she was born like this.She never meant to be a model—”I’m short and I’m curvy, I’m not a model!” she says, despite having fronted a serious sex-bomb campaign for Agent Provocateur. And she never meant to be a professional singer, despite a gig at Glastonbury earlier this summer and a recent opening for Florence + The Machine, as one half of the critically-acclaimed pop duo Singtank (the other half is her brother, Alexandre).

“We both played instruments growing up, both piano and my brother guitar, so making music was just kind of a way of hanging out. It took a while for us to see it as a profession. We needed a third person in the room to say, is this any good?”
The festival provided plenty of third opinions—some 175,000 obsessive fans attended this year—affirming that yeah, they were pretty good. “It’s rare for French bands to play Glastonbury, but people were really open to us,” de La Baume says. “In a festival environment, they’re more adventurous about what they’re going to listen to. The mood was exactly right.”

She has yet to collaborate with her husband, but perhaps that’s another happy accident waiting to happen. “I wouldn’t make a project just to write a song together,” she says. “There needs to be soul in a song! I do get his opinion of course, and so does he with his music. We’re very interested in what the other has to say, but it would need to be the appropriate song. I’m not against working together, but we have no particular kind of desire.”

A particular desire she does have? To take on an acting role that’s masculine, “quite wild,” and totally opposite of the femmes fatales she’s so far played on screens small and large (she most recently stretched her vocal chords in the thriller Road Games, hitting a series of upcoming festivals, including London’s Frightfest in August). “In English-speaking movies, you’re often cast as a French girl, someone who represents the ideal of something French. They’ll embrace certain clichés, but it’s up to you to take it to the next level.” If her serendipitous success so far is any indication, she should know just how to make that happen.


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