Corentin Alloune (interview by Jacques Vendroux) / Photo credit: NOEMIE VIEILLARD / HANS LUCAS / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP 06:00, 05 June 2023

From the Roland-Garros court to the stage of the Stade de France, Yannick Noah decided to make a 360-degree turn in the 1990s. And the Franco-Cameroonian did not think long to realize that his conversion would be in music.

"Being successful in tennis reinforced my belief that I had to follow my instincts." The winner of Roland-Garros 1983, Yannick Noah, is lulled by worries after the end of his career in tennis and has many questions about his future. His instinct quickly returns to gallop and he understands that he must only achieve one thing: perform on stage and sing. At the microphone of Jacques Vendroux, in a new podcast "Yannick Noah, between you and me", the former player confides how he followed his desires after his tennis career.

From MJC to Zenith

Commentator, coach, sports coach... Yannick Noah felt that these different directions were in no way going to stimulate him. His dream quickly takes shape and realizes that he wants to become a singer. A year after his tennis career ended, he released his first album, Black & What, on May 3, 1991. The eleventh music of this album, Saga Africa, becomes a success and will become the hit of the summer.

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"This is the year that is supposed to be the most complicated of my life. It's called the first death. But I have an album and I have and my title that is first in the top 50, "recalls the artist. This first success brings a change for his daily life. He trains less and writes more.

After experiencing some difficulties in his singing career, he met Robert Goldman, Jean-Jacques' brother. The songwriter offers him to develop an album together. "We went from MJC where I learned the job, then overnight, we play in Zeniths," recalls the former player with emotion.

"Being able to transmit something to the other"

The artist has a goal with the lyrics of all his songs: to give optimism. He evokes his miscegenation or his faith in his music. "I don't want to in my songs, it's a choice, from the beginning, to talk about problems. There are some who do this very well. It's not my thing," Noah explains. He also wants to share and thrill his fans: "What I like about winning Roland or when I do concerts is being able to transmit something to the other."

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Over the years, music becomes a necessity for the balance of the artist. "Singing, for me, is therapy. I sing in the shower, it makes me feel good, I sing in rehearsal, it makes me feel good," he says. After twelve albums, an incalculable number of concerts, Yannick Noah quickly became a monument of French variety.