Damien Saez (French pronunciation: damjɛ̃ ˈsɛz) is a French singer-songwriter and musician.
Damien Saez was born in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Savoie, on 1 August 1977, where he lived until the age of three or four years before his family moved to Marseille. Saez spent most of his childhood in Marseille until he moved to Dijon when he was about eight years old, where he was raised by his Algerian mother, after she divorced her Andalusian husband. Later, she met a director of documentaries who worked for the French channel 'France 3' and gave birth to Damien's two younger brothers.
At the age of eight, Saez started taking piano lessons with Boris Nedeltchev at the Conservatoire National de Région de Dijon and graduated nine years later. He then took an interest in playing the guitar. His career as a singer began in 1995 when he let his interest in writing come out. He stopped playing in bands that sang covers of more famous bands like Pink Floyd. He wanted to work on his own songs that he had written and try to attract a new audience.
Jours Etranges, God Blesse, Debbie (1999-2005):
In 1999, a record company became interested in his compositions, and he signed a record contract with Island and began to record his first album Jours étranges ("Strange Days", a tribute to the album of the same name by The Doors) which went double platinum. His first single Jeune et con was broadcast on many radio stations and reached the general public, which earned him a nomination for award The Newcomer of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique in 2001.
In December 2001 his first poetry collection was published entitled À ton nom. In March 2002, he released his second album God Blesse/Katagena. In the meantime he released a piece of instrumental work called Katagena. It was available online via non-official web-sites and downloadable free of charge.
Brian De Palma contacted him and asked him to contribute to the original soundtrack of the movie Femme Fatale that was released in April 2003. The song that was chosen Sexe caused a lot of commotion due to its vulgar lyrics. Many radio stations refused to broadcast it, and the music video was banned from the television.
On 22 April 2002, the day after the first round of presidential elections, he wrote a song called Fils de France online, which was meant to be against French right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen who qualified for the second ballot. The song was written and recorded in about 10 hours, then made available for free on the Universal Music's website.
His third album, Debbie, was released in 2004 with a more rock style than the previous albums.
In 2005 Saez quit Universal Music and went on the Damien Saez: Piano and Voice Tour. His musical style underwent a profound transformation from alternative rock to acoustic ballads, as his singing was accompanied only by three guitars and a piano.
At the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007, Saez released four new songs in English (Killing the Lambs, Numb, Jessie and Yellow Tricycle) for free on his MySpace page. He performed all of them, except for Jessie, at five acoustic concerts in Paris and Lyon, in June and July 2007, respectively.
Varsovie, Alhambra, Paris (2008):
On 8 December 2007, Saez released Jeunesse, leve-toi, a song that was written in March during the presidential elections. The song became the first track and also the first single from his next album, Varsovie, Alhambra, Paris. Edited by the independent quality-label Cinq7, it was released on 21 April 2008 as a triple album (Paris was also sold separately), consisting of 29 acoustic songs. The album mainly deals with Saez's breakup with his Polish girlfriend, Katarzyna. The first two discs, Warsaw and Alhambra, bear a similar sound and were meant to pay homage to Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Barbara, Georges Brassens and other classic French songwriters. The third disc, Paris, has a richer and more diverse sound and, despite little advertising, was certified gold.
In June and July 2008, accompanied for the first time by a string trio (violin, viola and violoncello), Saez launched, as part of various festivals, a new acoustic tour which was very short-lived: emotionally exhausted by the intimate nature of his songs, Saez decided to cancel his big summer tour and dedicated himself to writing new material.
Yellow Tricycle - A Lover's Prayer (2009):
On 23 January 2009 Saez launched a new website, dedicated entirely to his new project, consisting of songs written entirely in English. The songs available for free download were "Killing the Lambs", "Numb" and "Yellow Tricycle", which had been released on his MySpace page two years earlier, with the addition of a new song called "White Noise". Their dark rock sound was very different from his previous acoustic album, and marked Saez's return to rock music.
In February 2009 Saez was nominated in the category "Pop-rock Album of the Year" at Victoires de la Musique, where he performed an unpublished song called "Embrasons-nous", which he performed without any rehearsals.
His fifth album, A Lovers Prayer, was released on 16 March 2009 under the pseudonym Yellow Tricycle. The 12 tracks on the album were written entirely in English and Saez's name did not appear anywhere on the cover. It received little advertising and was not backed up by a live tour.
At the end of 2009 Saez released a new track, Police, followed in February 2010 by "J'accuse" as a preview of his next rock album, bearing the same name. When the album J'accuse was released, it ranked 3rd in the charts, with 21,229 copies sold in the first week. J'accuse also sparked a controversy and a media debate when the posters with the cover of the album (depicting a nude woman in a shopping cart) were banned from the Paris subway.
In September 2012, Saez released the album Messina, a triple album with the separate titles Les Échoués (CD1), Sur les quais (CD2) and Messine (CD3).
In March 2013, Saez released Miami. This rock album includes 10 tracks, including the lead title "Miami". The song deals with addiction and mixes religion, drugs and fascism on a dance music.