May 22, 2022

from top-level sport to music — Alsa’Sports

Grégory Bakian began his career in motorsport. Present alongside big names in the car industry such as Jules Bianchi, Romain Grosjean or Sebastian Vettel, Grégory Bakian then turned to football, passing through the young teams of Nice and Marseille. Much later, Grégory Bakian also held an advisory position with the Hombourg-Haut club, a Regional 3 club, eliminated in the 32nd round against Prix-lès-Mézières (3-0) in the Coupe de France. . Always very attached to sport, it is today a singing career that Grégory Bakian follows. Alsa’Sports went to meet him.

Can you introduce yourself ?

My name is Gregory Bakian. I was born in Marseille but I grew up mainly in Nice and then in Paris for reasons related to my musical career. I also did high-level sport, mainly in motorsport and karting. I was PACA karting league champion in 2003, double finalist in the French Karting Cup in 2002 and 2003, 3 times finalist in the French championship in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and I had to participate in the European formula championship BMW in Germany in 2004 (now Formula 4). Unfortunately, I had to stop motorsport that same year for financial reasons. I also had the chance to be invited in 2013 to the ANDROS trophy, an electric ice race. Then I did 7 years of football in youth categories until under 17 in Nice and Marseille and then I passed my first coaching degrees and first federal coaching degrees. I have the first cycle of the state patent option football and I worked for 2 years in the Mediterranean football league between 2005 and 2007.

Precisely, how do you go from high level sport to song?

It’s a passion that was born at the age of 12-13. My mother listened to the musical on repeat Notre Dame of Paris at the time with the beautiful songs that we know. Then I started rapping, for fun. I then won the program “Graine de star” at the age of 16 in the official casting organized by M6. I was not supposed to take part in this competition and it was a childhood friend, Jonathan Wisniewski, a professional rugby player who notably worked for Racing Métro 92, Lyon, Toulon and Stade Toulousain, who registered me. He was my best friend at the time. He signed me up for this casting somewhat against my will and I ended up winning the official casting.

I won the final in front of 500 participants and a crowd of 7000 people. It was a click and pushed me to invest myself even more in the song. It’s also from there that I got my first fees as they say, my first payments, my first work contracts and I started to want to make it my job since unfortunately I had to stop a sport in which I had good results, very good results even. A sport where I rubbed shoulders with boys like Jules Bianchi who was my childhood friend (note: died in 2015), an immense automotive hope, and Sebastian Vettel with whom I had the opportunity to drive in 2001. I was part of of the fastest French drivers of my generation, that is to say the 87-88 generation. I was with Romain Grosjean, Jules Banchi, and all that generation.

You are produced by the former 98 world champion, Emmanuel Petit, how did you meet?

Yes absolutely, I am co-produced by Emmanuel Petit. We met at a charity football match for an association in the Paris region that helps young people in difficulty in the neighborhoods. We had a match where Emmanuel Petit was present with other athletes and media personalities. Then there was a private show-case in a fairly prestigious venue in Paris where I sang my first single “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. Emmanuel Petit was touched by the lyrics of this song which addresses the theme of resilience and never giving up. There are hardships that we can all go through in our lives.

He first congratulated me for the interpretation then he told me that he would come to see me in concert soon. I was performing in a school hall on the trails in Paris and Emmanuel Petit had kept his word, which is rare to be underlined. He came to see me and then one thing led to another and we had a friendship that was forged. Subsequently, Emmanuel Petit invested in our label and therefore became one of my co-producers.

Grégory Bakian during a charity match in Monaco.

What is your musical universe?

My first EP, which was released in 2013, was more French pop-rock variety. There, we completely changed musical direction with this new single « Changer ». We are more in a pop-electro color inspired by bands like Imagine Dragons, One Republic or Coldplay. More current sounds, more pop, more energetic, a little more “happy” and less melancholy. Before, it was more inspired by artists like Pascal Obispo or Florent Pagny. Here we are on a younger audience. Besides, we were selected on NRJ. My clip was in the selection of the month of December on NRJ hit and NRJ 12. Obviously for me it is a small consecration because to manage to enter the television channels as an independent favorite is exceptional. I think it’s been more than 15 years since an independent artist fell in love with the NRJ 12 channels. 99.9% of the places are artists from Universal, Sony, big houses of discs which have the hand put on the industry, the musical sites, the various chains and musical radios.

Tell me about your experience as an advisor in the Hombourg-Haut club during the 2019/2020 season and the elimination of AJ Auxerre in the Coupe de France!

It was a magnificent experience. I accompanied a man who became my friend, a human relationship was created. Azad Sanak was the president who had just taken over this modest Regional 3 club. We quickly got hooked and the adventure began to take a certain turn. It is true that at some point we found ourselves short of experience in the football sector because it was not at all his sector of activity.

I had 10 years of experience in the world of football that he did not have and so I became his adviser. We passed the various rounds until this historic feat (note: victory against Auxerre on the score of 2-1) since we are ranked 3rd of the greatest exploits of the Coupe de France with 6 divisions difference! We hoped to show our best side but we never imagined releasing a team like AJ Auxerre. It was a very strong emotion for the president, the players and myself. An emotion that deeply attached me to the region. I was also invited by Marc Keller to attend a match at the Meinau stadium. I’ve always been told about the supercharged atmosphere of the Strasbourg lair, so it’s something I can’t wait to see. We will soon organize this trip on the occasion of an upcoming show-case for my new single “Take everything away” which will be released next March. My first single “Changer” released a few months ago is doing well with 90,000 streams on Spotify and 160,000 views in a month for the music video.

A tour is planned soon I imagine?

A tour is planned yes. The launch will take place at the Casino de Paris, a mythical venue in the capital. It’s a dream come true for me. The dates will arrive soon but this date of October 17, 2022 will mark the starting point of a two-year tour in France and Europe.

You are in Alsace for the next few days, for what reasons?

I will be in Alsace and Moselle to meet partners for the Casino de Paris date. There is a beautiful story that was born with this region. I am keen to renew an adventure like the one I experienced with Hamburg-Haut. We have projects and we are in discussion with several cities and clubs. I really like coming here, there are traditions, values ​​and culture and it’s true that I really like the regions that have managed to keep their culture and their identity.

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