Sébastien Tellier

Sébastien Tellier

Sébastien Tellier at Printemps de Bourges 2008
Background information
Born (1975-02-22) 22 February 1975
Le Plessis-Bouchard, France
Genres French pop, new wave, synthpop, electronica
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, bass guitar, synthesizer, keyboards, percussion
Years active 2001–present
Labels Record Makers
Website www.sebastientellier.com

Sébastien Tellier (French: [tɛlje]; born 22 February 1975)[1] is a French singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is currently signed to Record Makers, a French independent record label. He sings in English, French and Italian.


Tellier's first album, L'incroyable Vérité (The Incredible Truth), was released in 2001. Tellier went on tour with Air in support of the album and was joined on stage by theremin player Pamelia Kurstin. L'incroyable Vérité is a pop album featuring styles from lo-fi electronica to bizarre cabaret tunes. Its sleeve featured Tellier in full evening dress on the front, while the back of jacket had a shot of him cavorting in a playboy's pool. He instructed listeners only to listen to the album by candlelight.

Tellier followed L'incroyable Vérité with his second studio album Politics (2005). A particularly popular song from Politics was "La Ritournelle", a string-led tune, which featured Nigerian drummer, Tony Allen who worked with Fela Kuti. "La Ritournelle" was remixed by various artists, notably in Britain by Metronomy.

Since the release of Politics, Tellier has also recorded an acoustic album of his more popular songs, Sessions (2006). The album was repackaged for the British market as Universe (2006), to include both highlights from the French CD, as well as compositions from Tellier's score for the film Narco. This compilation included a cover of La Dolce Vita, a song originally by French singer Christophe.

Sébastien Tellier performing "Divine" at the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia, 24 May 2008

His third studio album Sexuality was produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk. Like his previous album Politics, Tellier used a single term as title and theme of the album. Tellier's label Record Makers collaborated with retailer American Apparel for an exclusive three month pre-release of the album, whilst American Apparel sold limited edition versions of the Sexuality CD, LP and "Divine" 7" and 12" single through their North American stores and website.

On 7 March 2008, it was announced by Bruno Berberes, head of EBU delegation in France, that Tellier would represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. It was held in Belgrade on 24 May 2008. Tellier sang "Divine". This was the first time in the history of the contest that the nominated French entry was to be performed largely in English,[2] which caused controversy,[3] leading to Tellier pledging to increase the amount of French in the song prior to the competition itself. In total, the entry received 47 points.

The album Confection was released in October 2013. This was partially inspired by the death of Tellier's grandmother. Some of the music on the album was intended to appear on a film soundtrack, but ended up not being used. In an interview with artistxite, Tellier noted: "You can say my grandmother's death as well as this nonexisting soundtrack had an impact on “Confection“. To me this has been a super strange situation. I was full of love for my grandmother and full of dedication to this soundtrack; "Confection" is the result of both of these emotional conditions."[4] In Spring 2014, Tellier performed a medley of tracks from Confection at the Chanel Haute Couture show at the Grand Palais. Tellier recounts that Karl Lagerfeld invited him to perform, having listened to the album himself.[5]

The album L'Aventura, was released on 14 July 2014. The album was inspired by Brazil, where the video to its lead single, L'Adulte, is set.[6]

Soundtrack Work

Tellier has composed and performed original scores for three French films: Narco (2004), Saint-Amour and Marie et les naufragés (2016). The soundtracks were released by Record Makers in 2007 and 2016, respectively.

Use of Tellier's songs



Year Album Peak positions Certifications
2001 L'incroyable Vérité      
2004 Politics 123    
2007 Narco (Original Motion Picture Score)
2008 Sexuality 33 68 43
2012 My God Is Blue 17 31  
2013 Confection 52 69  
2014 L'Aventura 53 54  
2016 Marie et les naufragés (Original Motion Picture Score)
Year Album title Notes 2006Sessions A collection of previous songs recorded with new arrangements
(peaked in FRANCE: #192)
2006Universe compilation album featuring tracks from Sessions and Narco
2010Sexuality Remix
2010Love Songs A collection of previous songs

Other contributions



Year Song Peak positions Album
2005 "La Ritournelle" 167         66 Politics
2006 "Broadway"            
2008 "Divine"   15 39   4 106 Sexuality
2009 "Kilometer"   64        
2009 "Fingers of Steel" 89          
2011 "L'amour et la violence"       97    
2012 "Cochon ville" 69 78         My God Is Blue
2013 "L'amour naissant" 154           Confection


  1. "Sébastien Tellier". France inter (in French). Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  2. Viniker, Barry (2008-03-07). "France: Sébastien Tellier to Eurovision". ESCToday.com. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  3. "Eurovision song sparks French row". BBC News Online. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  4. "Interview with Sébastien Tellier: I cannot make music while feeling empty" (Interview). artistxite. 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  5. DelliCarpini, Gregory Jr. "Sebastien Tellier Talks Karl Lagerfeld Chanel Performance: Exclusive Interview". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  6. "Sebastien Tellier – L'Adulte: new music". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Sébastien Tellier discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  8. 1 2 "Sébastien Tellier discography". ultratop.be/nl/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  9. 1 2 "Sébastien Tellier discography". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  10. "Sébastien Tellier discography". danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  11. "Sébastien Tellier | Single-Chartverfolgung". PHONONET GmbH. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  12. "UK Charts > Sebastien Tellier". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
Preceded by
Les Fatals Picards
with L'amour à la française
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Patricia Kaas
with Et s'il fallait le faire
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