Earlier this summer, Netflix released a new, modern take on the 1782 novel, Dangerous Liaisons, by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Dangerous Liaisons is one of the first psychological novels ever written and the iconic epistolary novel. There have been many adaptations of the novel, including a 1988 film directed by Stephen Frears and starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich.
The 2022 film is set in the surf town of Biarritz, in southwestern France, and follows the life and times of Célène, a teenager who recently moved from Paris with her father and believes in true love. . As she enters a new high school, she falls in love with Tristan, a handsome surfer who forms a power couple with Vanessa, the local queen of Instagram. But what Célène does not know is that she is at the center of a terrible bet between Tristan and Vanessa which will surely destroy her life, if not her person. The film has been at the top of the Netflix charts all this hot summer. Upon its release, French writer Rebecca Leffler wrote a fantastic review of the film. Although Leffler hinted at the soundtrack, French-American singer/songwriter Emma Doo, who composed one of the songs in the film, has more than meets the eye.
I first met Emma Flornoy on Saint James Avenue in Boston, at the French Consulate. It was November 15, 2015. That day, there was a gathering of French people and Francophiles in support of the French affected by the November 13 attacks. It was a very quiet moment. I didn’t know anyone but I felt like I belonged there. Emma was next to me and we started talking as if we had known each other for years. At the time, she attended the famous Berklee School of Music, located a few blocks away.
Emma Flornoy grew up in Nantes, France, in a family of musicians. She is American by her mother, who comes from Boston, and her father is French. As far back as she can remember, she wanted to play: “I successively wanted to be a figure skater, a clown and a cellist. When she started high school, she took dramatic arts, and joined the Contemporary Dance Conservatory of Nantes. There, she remembers having an epiphany: she suddenly realized she could combine acting, dancing and music – she didn’t have to choose just one.
From Nantes to Boston
Emma Flornoy soon moved to Paris. She joined the band Fudge (formerly ozzunk) and Wine, where she developed her songwriting skills. These experiences gave him the opportunity to sing in major French venues, such as Solidays, Musik’elles or New Morning. But Emma started wanting more. She wanted to learn everything she could about music composition. In 2014, she applied to the world-renowned music school, Berklee, in Boston, then flew to America to begin her training in 2015. Her decision to move, Doo said, was inspired by two facts:“Berklee is one of the best music schools in the world, it was a dream come true. Also, my American family is based in the Boston area. It was really the ideal combo: to bring me closer to a part of my family that I have always aspired to know better, while giving new life to my music. Additionally, she said, “What I loved about Berklee was the musical and cultural eclecticism. When I was a student, more than 100 countries were represented through languages, culture and music! I discovered Japanese metal music, traditional Indian music. This experience transformed me. »
Fast forward to 2018 when Emma returned to France, became a mother of two and changed her name to Emma Doo. During all of this, she started working on her own songs and decided to go solo. Soon his first EP, Hello soul, came out and Emma Doo starts touring solo. In April 2020, she is released Paradox, the very first album that she wrote and composed entirely herself. Unfortunately, 2020 was also the year of the global shutdown due to the pandemic, so her tour was cancelled. And promoting the album has become tricky.
A guardian angel called Clementine
But in 2022 things started to change for the better. In 2020, when her tour was cancelled, Emma published her work on a French platform called groover. This site brings together music professionals (tour managers, composers, singers, publishers, hosting platforms, filmmakers, etc.). Although she had no idea if anything would come of it, she hoped industry professionals would listen to her work and provide feedback. A reconnaissance agent named Clementine Koumenda quickly reached out. Koumenda is the founder and CEO of Kendell Entertainment, a Paris-based music licensing and publishing company. His job is to research, present, and sync music with movies, commercials, and TV shows. She loved Emma’s music so much that she signed her entire album, Paradox to showcase movies, TV commercials and shows. That’s how Emma’s catchy song, head to toe, ended on Dangerous Liaisons on Netflix (around minute 52).
Emma said: “Netflix asked to listen to my entire portfolio. First they chose two songs, both Head to toe and French kiss. They were both on the rough cut of the film, but the scene with ‘French Kiss’ was deleted. I love how they synced “Top to Toe” with the movie. It’s really beautiful.”
The same day Dangerous Liaisons came out, she released his last song, Paris. The seed of this song was a school assignment from Berklee. ” It is a poem. At the time, I missed Paris so much. I had just started dating my boyfriend who was back in France. This song establishes a connection between the city of love and the love of my life. The song sings “out of sight, out of mind, say the fools(from the French saying, “out of sight, out of mind, say fools”) because she couldn’t bear to hear that phrase when her heart ached so much. Eventually, Emma put the song aside. But then I came across it again in 2021 and fell in love with it again. However, she didn’t need to fall in love again to feel love: the then-boyfriend is now the father of her two boys.
Today, Emma feels both French and American, although now that she lives in France full time, she admits that a huge part of her heart was left behind in Boston. Over the summer months she has been working on her next release, a song called Tattooexpected in September. His catchy vocals, nostalgic lyrics and unique sound just might make summer last a little longer, bringing sunshine to even the dullest day. More information about Emma Doo can be found here.
Anne-Fleur Andrle is a French-American podcast producer based in Colorado. She hosts a French morning show called, French expat, where she documents the journeys of French-speaking expatriates around the world. She’s so passionate about podcasts that she created a podcast about it called Podcast Generation, and has a weekly newsletter with French podcasts she thinks you can’t miss. She is also a consultant for various organizations looking to reach new audiences with podcasts.