Dazed Digital

Paris / Français

Inside/Out: Etienne Menu

January 17, 2012

City inspirations with journalist, Sixpack France blogger and voice of Radio Campus Paris

  • Text by Celine Puertas

We speak to the Parisian music-loving, style maven Etienne Menu who works at French GQ whilst also scribing for the Sixpack blog and VoxPop magazine, as well as being the inimitable radio host of the Agence Tous Disques bi-monthly show on Campus Paris.

SV: Where do you live and what inspires you about that area of town?
Etienne Menu: I happen to live in the 16th arrondissement and have been here since mid-2011. Some places there are probably some of the most beautiful, soulful sites in Paris, especially the streets going up the Maison de la Radio and down to the Trocadero gardens. The 16th population is a peculiar blend of old school Catholic French upper class, Sepharadim clothing business families, and foreign nouveau riche people from Japan, Russia, Middle East or Latin America. I wouldn't say it really inspires me in my job, but I have to admit I appreciate the alien quality of the area compared to most of the other parts of Paris. I'm going to move elsewhere very soon, though.

SV: How long have you lived in your city and brought you there?
Etienne Menu: I was raised in Boulogne-Billancourt, a town bordering the west side of Paris, and then settled in the city ten years ago as a student.

SV: What does your city mean to you?
Etienne Menu: It's a massive cliché but many areas here still make me deeply melancholic, and I say that as a very good thing. That's another cliché, but I love the fact that you can't spend one single day in Paris without walking across some unbelievably beautiful girl or woman, and I'm not just talking about models here. The other thing Paris means to me is the metro and bus systems, that I love when it's not too crowded, especially to accidentally overhear conversations and to try guessing what people are listening to on their iPods.

SV: Can you talk about the best creative youth cultures in your town?
Etienne Menu: I'm a big fan of the logobi scene, which is a dance and music subgenre created by project kids from the outer parts of Paris and ghetto areas in the suburbs. Two veteran Parisian DJs called Jess & Crabbe are soon going to release an EP focusing on this new sound.

Apart from this, I don't know if you can call this a creative youth culture, but I've always thought the big Centre Pompidou public library is by far the most amazing place to catch up with Parisian youth styles and attitudes, from post-Kanye boys to classic scruffy Jean-Pierre Léaud bookworms, Rihanna-lookalikes and ambitious law students already wearing ties. There's also a fair amount of freaks of all generations there.

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