Dadju will present the new collection of his clothing brand Username in four cities in France. Paris Match met the young artist at Galeries Lafayette, which is accompanying him on his national return.
Music is not enough for him. Dadju, crowned best French-speaking artist of the year at the NRJ Music Awards, launched in September 2020 in fashion with Username. First sold at the Galeries Lafayette on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the brand will now be present in four new French cities: Bordeaux, Nice, Strasbourg and Marseille. Paris Match met the 30-year-old artist for the occasion.
Paris Match. A little over a year ago, you launched your Username brand … What is the outcome of this first year?
Dadju. It was a very rich year in experience! Fashion is a whole new adventure for me, there are lots of things that I discover and learn, I have lots of new ideas for the future … The health context when we launched the collection was not ideal but I think that’s what will make me stronger and more lively for the next collections.
Your clothes will be sold in four new cities in France. Were they chosen by chance or are they cities of the heart for you?
France is a country of the heart for me. My goal is to be present everywhere in France. We then start each point of sale and each city are important. I try to combine my life with this collection, my work with the collection so that everything can match and everything goes in the same direction.
“I’m a die-hard guy, I won’t stop”
How did you meet your audience at Galeries Lafayette in Bordeaux?
It went really well. I was happy to see so many people again, it had been a very long time … That same evening, I resumed my tour. So before finding my fans thanks to my music, I found them with Username.
Where do you find the inspiration to imagine these clothes? How do you convey your inspirations to the designer?
It is a team effort. I worked with the designers from Maison Margiela who helped me a lot. I base myself on what I like, the oversized shapes. I am inspired by what I see, from my last trip to Congo, from manga… The way a person wears a garment will inspire me. The same outfit, worn by different people, is not the same depending on who is wearing it. Burna Boy, for example, has a very unique way of wearing clothes.
How do you manage to reconcile music and fashion? Do you have the time to fully invest in the brand?
My passion for fashion is only growing. This year has gone so well that I wish I could get more involved. As long as there is music, I can’t be 100% but I can try to be 80-90%. I really want to take Username as far as possible. I’m a die-hard guy, I won’t stop.
If you don’t assume your clothes, it won’t fit
Has clothing always been important to you?
I am Congolese and in Congo, sapologists do not laugh with clothes! When I was little, my mother dressed me, did my hair for birthdays … it’s very important. The clothes I wear every day reflect who I really am. You can give me some really nice pieces, but if I don’t feel good in them, I won’t wear them. If you don’t assume your clothes, it won’t fit. But if you assume, anything can be okay with you.
The accessories too?
Yes, I really like diamonds. I find it fascinating. My next album will have something to do with that… But I can’t give the title yet!
What was your reaction when you were crowned best francophone artist of the year at the NRJ Music Awards?
I was really very happy. This is the biggest category of the ceremony. There were the greatest French artists so coming out on top is like winning the Champions League! I was doubly proud because it is the public who vote and who chose me.
So what can we wish you for the future?
What good for my next album and for my tour. I also hope Username has the same success as Dadju. I will be showing in a feature film shot in Congo last September. I hope it will please my fans. I co-realistic it with Nils Tavernier. It’s fiction, but I play my own part. What I like is leaving doubt. I want people to think everything is true… but not all is true!
Dadju will be at Galeries Lafayette in Nice on December 2, in Marseille on December 4 and in Strasbourg on February 4, 2022.
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