Seth Gueko at the Blavozy tattoo parlor: “I enjoy the juices that can be seen”
You released a new album (eat your dead) in 2022, one word to describe it?
I announced it as the last. It took me three years to do it. I consider making art so I take my time. Rap is only a passion, it’s not food for me. I don’t need to be in this trending music race, I’ve managed to build a fan base that’s been there for 20 years now and I know I can count on them even if they’re waiting 3, 4, 5 years old.
Today, you have to know how to be in tune with the times, whereas I am timeless.
How do you view the evolution of rap?
There are a lot of artists who release albums to get money and that’s why we lose quality. I’m in my forties, current rap isn’t the same as when I started, it’s generational. It may sound like an embittered old man, but it’s just that I no longer feel in adequacy with what is happening now. Today, you have to know how to be in tune with the times, whereas I am timeless. And there I think we are witnessing the death of the CD. It was my last CD but maybe not my last album.
How do you view your career?
It’s a flawless run because I didn’t fall into the trap of making music for the money. I did rap so that people would say about me “he’s the best punchliner”, “ah he still has good rhymes”. I continued to make the music that I love even if it’s not the biggest seller.
You have also diversified with a chain of restaurants (Barlou Burger), a tattoo parlor (Barlou Tattoo Shop)
Barlou (hooligan, in verlan) is a state of mind, it means “badass” a bit, and we can decline it but not in everything of course. I have a Thai restaurant, I’m not going to call it the Thai barlou, it doesn’t go together. But when you join the barlou movement there is no idolatrous side of the artist. People who come to the show don’t get Seth Gueko tattoos, they don’t buy a T-shirt with my name written on it, they represent a movement that speaks to them and unites them.
Your projects for 2023?
Small appearances in the cinema. I have pleasure. I’m a good customer for food shows, not Top Chef, but I’m a good TV host, YouTube, a pretty troublemaker.
France is the land of frowning, Thailand is the land of forced smiles
You lived for a while in Thailand before returning to France, what is your view of these two countries?
France is the country of frowning, Thailand is the country of forced smiles. It’s sunny there and people are always cooler when it’s sunny. I lived there for 10 years but I prefer, with hindsight, to live in France and go on vacation to Thailand. There is a part of me that remained there, they are my children, so I will remain eternally attached to the kingdom of Siam.
We have very beautiful cathedrals, churches, including one that I saw on top of a mountain from the window of my Airbnb and it is one of the best alarm clocks!
Is this your first time in Haute-Loire?
Yes, the nearest town I went to is Saint-Etienne, I don’t know this area very well but it’s very beautiful, I enjoy the landscapes and the juices that you can see. We have nothing to envy to Thailand, to be ecstatic in front of the palm trees. In France we also have palm trees but we have decorations that they don’t have. They have magnificent temples but we have very beautiful cathedrals, churches, including one that I saw on top of a mountain from the window of my airbnb and it is one of the best alarm clocks!
The Blavozy tattoo parlor is a mix between tattoo and hip-hop, what do you think?
That’s great. The tattoo is basically linked to bikers and rock. What’s cool with Victor Moutbeka’s event is that there is a real mix with urban cultures.
How many tattoos do you personally have?
This is irrelevant at the stage where I am.
The first was?
A gun in the belt
And the last ?
CEBEP in Russian on my forehead which means “I am free and I will remain so”
A tattoo you regret?
No, but it would be funny to regret a “no regrets” tattoo
There’s a great tattoo artist here called
A project tattoo?
There’s a great tattoo artist here in Blavozy, called Beyond reality. For me he is one of the three biggest tattoo artists in the world today. I’ve been following it on the networks for a while and it’s on tomorrow; so maybe he’ll give me a tattoo.
Seth Gueko will perform in a showcase this Sunday, January 8 at 4:30 p.m.
the tattoo parlor program is available here