By Bro O’Sullivan
In October, I told you that I would get an interview with the “back-comer” Romain Gutsy. Yesterday Romain released a new single called “Like an Uyghur in China”, and as promised, I managed to get an interview. Here it is:
Bro: Hi Romain, long time no see. So I’ve already said to our readers that you were back and that it made me happy. Now, you told me you want to focus on the present and future, and my first question is then about your new single “Like an Uyghur in China”. Now let me put it that way: in the song “If You Don’t Mind”, you made it clear that “I don’t do politics”. And now you start 2023 with a highly political song?
Romain Gutsy: It’s not political at all. It’s about oppression. Oppressors can be from any political side, and they deserve the same, based on what they do to oppress people. I sing about people. People who are oppressed, and people who oppress. I don’t care about the fact that the oppressors in China would belong to the Chinese Communist Party. I have nothing against this party per se. If they stop oppressing people, that’s fine with me. I have nothing against the Buddhists in power in Burma. And nothing about the Russian ruling party when I sing about Crimean Tatars. I have everything against the people who, while belonging to one or another of these groups, or even being their leaders, oppress people because of their faith or their ethnicity. As said in the song, “the Hell is full of” them.
Bro: Understood. So you made a song in favor of human rights?
Romain Gutsy: You can say it that way. I would say that this song is in favor of human beings. But yes, “human rights” works too. I like people to be free to be what they want to be and to believe what they want to believe. The song mentions three oppressed minorities: the Uyghurs, the Rohingyas and the Crimean Tatars. These people suffer for real under heavy oppression. But there are far from being the only ones. I could have added the Tibetans, for example, but also thousands of others. In fact, it is also addressed to individuals. Whoever is oppressed by an asshole, or a madman, is concerned by this song. It’s a song against evil insanity and personal freedom.
Bro: I’ve seen that your last songs were crafted with a great sense of humor, like “The Girl from Kerry” or “Frenchy Boy”. This one seems quite serious. Are you shifting towards more serious themes?
Romain Gutsy: Well, I may be “shifting” from time to time, but in fact, any song has its own mood and it cannot be always “fun”. I don’t think “Like an Uyghur in China” is “serious”, but it’s not really a funny topic. Were you an Uyghur, a Rohingya or a Crimean Tatar, you might not laugh too much about your situation. But it’s not “serious”, as it’s art, and also because I always write with some distance. At least I try too. In addition, you could see some humor in my answer to oppression: “I tell the oppressor, the hell is full of you”. It’s quite a desperate attempt to do something, while in fact it’s a very underestimated effort if you expect to change things. Like a kid saying, “you’re mean” and expecting it will affect the bad people around him. Nonetheless, at least it says something. And who knows? The power of words, the power of a song…