The Story Of Pepper White

The day before, he was called Thomas Dahyot. Young, dark-haired, he sang in one of the most feel-good garage bands from France. When he woke up the next day, his temples had whitened and he carried with him a hell of a blues. There it was : that day, while looking in the mirror, he met Pepper White.

First, there were several long months of musical abstinence, when he thought he would not hold a pick ever again, but this did not last long as notes came to fill in the void that had taken up the space in his life. Soon enough, chords turned into melodies, which turned into songs, quietly paving the way down to the studio where he eventually went to record The Lonely Tunes of Pepper White.

There we meet some of the singer's long-time loves : The Velvet Underground's pop circa 1969, JJ Cale's casualness, Nat King Cole's secular gospel, Kevin Morby's ballads – and his signature touch that underlined The Madcaps's music : always surprising breaks, depth in the arrangements and care provided to the tempos. But something had changed : tones no longer called for a head voice singing, and he had in the meantime fallen in love... with the piano, whose black and white keys now matched his hair.

Pepper White was born with these songs. We chatted with him and he confessed his musical philosophy : « I don't really believe in the mantra of constant musical reinvention and fusion of the genres. To me, it's a little bit like cooking - there's an old saying in French that goes like « best soups are made in the oldest pans ». So, why try to reinvent the bœuf bourguignon recipe when its perfectly fine as it is ? Just make it your own by adding a pinch of yourself. »