Published on July 20, 2023Updated on August 08, 2023
Creating bespoke soundtracks that reflect the identity of venues that inspire them is the concept behind Belle Époque, a new project developed by Bon Entendeur.
As our new summer destination, Maona Monte-Carlo, prepares to reinvent the light and carefree times of the Dolce Vita of the 1960s Riviera, the French electro music collective came along to soak up its glamorous and deliciously retro atmosphere and prepare elegant and fun bespoke playlists for the summer nights.
We meet Nicolas Boisseleau, a member of Bon Entendeur, the musical collective formed in 2012 by Arnaud Bonet.
Tell us a bit about “Belle Époque”.
Nicolas Boisseleau: Belle Époque came from a desire to share music, good music, in venues that inspire us and put their trust in us. It is 10 years since Bon Entendeur first began sorting, seeking out and meticulously arranging thousands of hours’ worth of music. And we had the idea of sharing this music on a new scale. For us, places like hotels and restaurants are experiential, they have a duty to awaken the five senses of their customers. And we humbly aspire to achieve that for sound!
How exactly do you choose the venues with which you collaborate?
N.B.: It is above all about sharing the same artistic vision. During the initial discussions, we immerse ourselves in what makes that location unique so that we can identify where we might find that harmony. Over time, we have come to successfully identify the type of place suited to welcoming in Belle Époque.
How do you create a playlist?
N.B.: To be honest, there is no magic recipe. As I mentioned, we are lucky enough to have been collating music for ten years – from classic tunes to forgotten melodies to the latest contemporary music, of all styles! Therefore, the real challenge we face is more knowing what to choose and then organising it so as to create an ambiance to suit every time of day.
What information were you given to help you make the playlist for the Maona Monte-Carlo?
N.B.: We talked about its iconic status and what it aspired to become. For us it was about understanding the different types of atmosphere at different times of day, but also the different types of customer. We talked about musical trends, different periods, until we had enough information to refine our selection as much as possible and create an ambiance unique to the venue. The Maona Monte-Carlo is an institution and one of the coast’s iconic venues, so there was no room for mistakes! As a starting point, we took the year when Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III, hence this entire selection is made up of music from between 1956 and 1979. The basis of these playlists is of course the elegance of the French Riviera atmosphere embodied by the venue, but being by the sea we also planned “alternative playlists” so that the musical soundtrack can adapt to the improvised celebrations that the Côte d’Azur does best.
Can you reveal some details about what the playlist contains? What images and colours have inspired you?
N.B.: The Dolce Vita, French Riviera style. References to the great and timeless French and international classics that have given the region its reputation. A beautiful blue sky. A unique experience. Warm colours. A glamorous, retro and joyful summer in Monaco. We wanted to avoid at all costs the same 50 hits that you hear everywhere you go. Our creative approach involves helping people discover new horizons and artists.
On the menu at the Bar Sauvage, Maona Monte-Carlo’s lounge bar, will be Giancarlo Mancino’s classics of Italian mixology… Will Italy and its music make an appearance?
N.B.: Beyond music, Italy has always been an artistic and cultural inspiration. We have made a special playlist, La Dolce Vita, which you will of course hear at the Maona Monte-Carlo this summer.
Will this playlist evolve as the summer goes on?
N.B.: The musical programme at the Maona Monte-Carlo will evolve over the summer but not just due to the season. We like to concoct new playlists according to the time of year but also according to how we feel. Music is above all about pleasure.
Apart from “28° in the shade”, how does Monaco inspire you?
N.B.: Well, to inspire a song is a big thing! And now through the Maona Monte-Carlo we have really been able to immerse ourselves in the region.