Angèle liberates herself from the opinions of others in her video for “Libre” — that is, after seeing an ad for her music vandalized with a penis drawing. On Tuesday, the Belgian singer dropped the imaginative video, where she flies high as an astronaut and superhero after eating a magical slice of pizza in the snowy New York City streets.
Angèle — the well-established singer making waves thanks to her pop-perfect album Nonante-Cinq and a co-sign from Dua Lipa — tells Rolling Stone she wanted the Aube Perrie-directed visual for her single to explore themes of freedom in “an off-beat and humorous way.”
“I imagine myself as an astronaut and a superhero as a way of talking about emancipation and personal growth,” she says. “The idea behind this was to take a bad situation and laugh about it by imagining myself flying away and taking [on] all of New York.”
The song’s lyrics follow themes of liberation and self-love as she realizes how free she finally feels without a man by her side. “Take care of yourself/I already know your game,” she sings in the French chorus. “I’m free and that won’t change/Yes, take care of yourself.”
The thought of reaching total freedom — both in and outside of relationships — is one she’s thought about a lot. Though she admits getting there poses a challenge. “I think we’re never entirely free, because in life we have to make concessions and adapt to the world around us,” the singer explains. “However, we can get closer to that unrestricted freedom by emancipating ourselves from the things dragging us down, by letting go of toxic relationships, but also by not worrying too much about others’ opinions.”
“Libre” serves as one of the singles from her 2021 album Nonante-Cinq, which features tracks such as her viral ode to Brussels, “Bruxelles je T’aime,” and “Démons” with its enticing, cinematic intro and Damso feature.
After collaborating with Dua Lipa on 2020 single “Fever,” Angèle was introduced to a new audience of English speakers who’ve embraced her music, despite the language barrier. As she embarks on a European tour to promote her LP, she teases a trip across the Atlantic.
“It was always easier for me to address a public that understood my words, but if I’m honest I’m really excited to face a public that won’t understand them and to have fun mixing both French and English,” she says. “When I’m not speaking in my mother tongue, I have to put more effort into being understood, which I find quite exciting. The visuals, the body language, and the melodies are all alternative language elements that I’m looking forward to exploring deeper.”