Patrick Bruel received the Midi Libre in the heart of summer, at his home in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Products created on his land, experiences, hotels, albums, series… he reveals his projects.
You regularly escape, between two concerts, to these lands of Provence, to Isle-sur-le-Sorgue. what are you looking for here?
I feel good. And I am happy to share this with my family, friends. I am happy that this stronghold is in the middle of two important places in my life, my French and North African roots: where I was born, Algeria, and where I lived, namely Paris.
And with this joy that I now feel at home in Provence. Last July 20, during my concert in Carpentras, for the first time in my life, I really had the impression that I was on the home stage. I was really glad about that. And then, for my children too, this place is a landmark, they are the roots. I am happy when they come here, they receive their friends, they are at home, they are proud when we taste their olive oil and all the products of the Leos estate (the name is a contraction of their first names Léon and Oscar, Editor’s note).
The domain where you are now developing an entire ecosystem…
We started from a small olive tree and are arriving at a magnificent adventure that includes many things… Starting with olive oil, we are interested in the benefits of the olive leaf, through cosmetics, agricultural and food products. After honey, we are working on lavender and jam, which come from my love for thyme.
I put it everywhere in the kitchen, in desserts… During my imprisonment, I never stopped cooking in Paris with the thyme my mother brought from here. We made these jams with a workshop two kilometers from here (and made up of disabled people, Ed).
You also work with a local association that works on the reintegration of the unemployed.
Yes, Clé des champs, who participates in the harvest. We also agreed with the agricultural school of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, to plant, clear bushes… This leads to a very interesting exchange with the students. I try to invest in this territory, with its actors and I would like to spend more time there.
The first wine was born on these lands, a rosé named after your mother, Augusta. Will other cuvées appear?
Yes, we have been preparing red wine for three years, it will be for September 2024. But it is a long-term work, my children, or maybe their children or grandchildren may one day have excellent wine in this area. The terroir is very promising, it’s crazy! And then there will be white wine, probably before red.
Do you have other projects?
Yes, we are currently working on a tapenade project, a vegetable garden, a garden of aromatic herbs… We want to develop our offer of agricultural and food products, but it must make sense and be on a level.
Also, in April 2024, a hotel will be opened at the entrance of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, in Porte-des-Bouïgas, with 49 rooms and a level of about 5 stars, it will be a transient place with a restaurant, well – to be with a Spa Wellness, but also a place open to the city and which will carry the identity, tradition and specificity of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. We want it to be a place of experiences.
I am happy to invest myself here and honor this city and this Provence that adopted us, my family and me for fifteen years, I want to give it back to them.
Does this dimension of the entrepreneur behind the singer, actor occupy more places today?
No, first of all I remain an artist, but I’m passionate, I like to deal with things in many areas, in the emotional sense of the word, I always surround myself only with very close people, people who are competent and in whom I trust (especially the former owners of the house, Joël and Carole Gayet, who accompany him in his projects, editor’s note).
I also have a competitive side, in everything I do I try to do my best, to strive for excellence and the truth is that H oil from Leos has been at the top of all national and international competitions for five years (54 medals, including 23 gold medals, Ed) . It’s a lot of work and thinking with an amazing team.
And then I love watching it happen, I love being close to this land and tasting what’s planted there, it’s a crazy feeling. Whenever we go to friends who make their own wine, oil, jam, tomato sauce or whatever, there is always something very nice. Renaud came to dinner here one day, he brought me a crate of fruit and vegetables from his garden, he was so proud, so happy, it was at the very beginning when we were there, we didn’t have we didn’t start doing anything, that’s really affected me.
This Provençal estate is animated by a constant flurry of projects… Is it hard for you to stay inactive?
I love it when I can afford it. But the truth is that at the moment between finishing the album, the end of the tour and all these teachers who fascinate me, it’s not on the agenda (laughs). I will be back to normal life soon. I want to take a little more time for my loved ones, for myself.
But from being an actor to a singer, from olive oil to poker, from football to chess, I’ve never done anything as a hobby in my life and that’s how I’ve always done it, at least I tried my best. I didn’t succeed in everything, but I always did everything thoroughly.
Michel Drucker says it: “Among the great French stars, there was Johnny, Cloclo. Today it is Bruel.” Singer, actor on the boards as well as on the big screen, poker player in his spare time crowned with the title of world champion, Patrick Bruel is a multi-card artist also known for his commitment to the group Enfoirés, where he broke all attendance records. Born on May 14, 1959 in Tlemcem (Algeria), father of two sons, Oscar, born in 2003 and Leon, born in 2005, Patrick Bruel divides his time between Paris, Provence and the United States.
This house is also a place of musical creation…
Yes, I composed a lot of songs on this piano, it’s where I work in the summer, there I will do the finishing touches for my new album.
When will it come out?
On November 18, the first single will be released on August 26.
How did you experience your reunion with the Occitania audience on July 18 in Alès?
It was sublime. Something happened, it was this environment, these arenas, this wind of freedom. It was a really nice exchange. This will be one of my best concerts.
Tour coming to an end?
Yes, we are recording a show in Liège (Belgium) in October, and then I don’t think we will do any concert again before 2024.
Other art projects?
Probably the series recorded in January will be my first. And we have a production company with Amanda (Sthers), the mother of my children, we produced a documentary about the American casting director Bonnie Timmermann, it was selected in Venice, in Deauville. We are super proud!