Brö cracked the code

The French pop band Brö, led by Elisa Brolli, delivered a stunning performance in Kerala, showcasing a rich mix of musical styles
BRO band's maiden performance in Kerala, held in the capital city offered a myriad of emotions in every member of the audience.
BRO band's maiden performance in Kerala, held in the capital city offered a myriad of emotions in every member of the audience.

KOCHI: When artist Elisa Brolli brought the funk, ballads and rap to the stage, it was hard for the Malayali audience not to roar “once more” in the auditorium. Despite language barriers, the crowd grooved to the lyrics and tunes of the French pop band Brö.

Their maiden performance in Kerala, held in the capital city offered a myriad of emotions in every member of the audience.

The cultural exchange event, organised by the Alliance Française and the Cultural Exchange Center Bharat Bhavan, was nothing short of magical for a large number of Malayali listeners. With her unique blend of cultural influences and unorthodox approach to music, Elisa, known by her stage name Brö, set the stage on fire.

Her heritage — an intriguing blend of Amazigh, Italian, and Savoyard — is just one captivating aspect of her story. Leaving behind a background in criminology to pursue a full-time music career adds another layer of fascination, compelling one to lend an ear to the music she creates.

“I have always liked to make music. I have been writing songs since I was a teenager,” shares Elisa.

“After completing my thesis five years ago, I decided to pursue a career in music. It was not a sudden, radical change but a gradual process. I believe that if someone has passion, they will find a way to succeed,” says Elisa.

Forming a band was the next crucial step. “After my master’s degree, I decided to find a booker to help secure shows. I found the perfect partner, a woman who has been booking my gigs ever since, and somehow my band formed,” adds Elisa.

A group of four, Brö has guitar player and producer Rémi Ghesquiere, a recently joined bass player Jules Minck, and a dedicated sound technician Sébastien Tomaszenska.

It’s been five years since the band has been performing concerts, but not for once have they stuck to a particular style and called it their genre. “I believe we carry a unique approach to every show because we don’t have a definite music style. It is important to be open to different ideas and the best way to do something new is to put together two things that normally don’t go together,” she notes.

This very openness shows in her willingness to mix and match different styles, from electronic and rap to flamenco and R&B. She believes that defining something is nothing short of marketing. “If you label something, it becomes a part of the marketing process, and avoiding it would help one create better art. That’s why I’m trying not to brand or name what I do. I want it to just be something,” says Elisa.

One might want to attribute her nature of adapting several styles to having exposure to different heritages. However, Elisa does not want to credit the same for her rich musical repertoire. “I don’t think that heritage influences the style of my music directly, but it has shaped my philosophy and way of thinking. My exposure to various genres, like jazz and pop, is what has enriched my musical,” says Elisa.

And that’s exactly what happened at Bharat Bhavan recently. If one song had a soft rhythm, the next featured high notes and fast beats. The audience vibed equally to both, showing that music has no barrier; be it the beats, the vocals, or the genre.

According to Elisa, performing in different countries that follow distinct cultures has been a learning experience that allows her to adapt to the energy of different audiences. “Everything is different from one country to another, even from city to city. The performance is aligned with my initial sense of the audience because I want to respect their energy. I don’t want to force them into something that does not resonate with them. The adjustments I make are about my posture and energy — whether to be funny, serious, or calm,” adds Elisa.

When most of the audience did not fully understand the lyrics but still had a great time, it was clear that her music was not just about entertainment. It is her way of challenging societal norms. Raised to be independent, free, and responsible, she sneaks these values into her lyrics, making you dance and think at the same time.

“I’m free-spirited, but that is not how I define freedom. It’s about how you can be a mature adult, make choices, and do your responsibilities happily. I aim to represent someone like that,” says Elisa.

Currently, Elisa is working on a new album that emphasises organic, skill-based music, a work that keeps automation out of the creative process.

“I’m taking some time to explore new sounds and words,” she laughs.

“It feels like we are at a point in society where we are overwhelmed by information, electronics, computers, and AI. My goal is to create an album that can only be crafted by highly skilled individuals — singers, guitarists, drummers, and pianists — forming a team where each member brings their unique expertise. I want to keep automation out of the creative process as much as possible,” says Elisa.

She admitted that it’s a challenging process because nowadays modern music production, especially in Europe, the US, and Canada, heavily relies on loops and samples. She became tired of that trend. Now she has set a rule for herself that there are no chemically creative shortcuts in her music.

Elisa is in awe of the charm and warm hospitality of Kerala. “When I first arrived in India, I went to Bhopal, Hyderabad, and finally here. Kerala is my favourite. After the overwhelming traffic and crowds in Hyderabad, Kerala feels more familiar and relaxing. It’s smaller, with fewer people and a more open and chill vibe. I’m happy to be here,” she says.

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