meet Cali, a Catalan artist at heart

“Ô la belle vie” resides in the Catalan country alongside an artist who needs no introduction: Cali. The singer Bruno Caliciuri, whose real name was born in Perpignan, spent his childhood in the small town of Vernet-les-Bains in the Eastern Pyrenees. The artist talks about his attachment to the land of his youth.

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It is on the streets of Vernet-les-Bains that Sophie meets Kali, a poet, musician, author, artist-performer. Together, they go back in time, absorbing their memories, the memories of the past life that he fed into the present. Because Kali regularly comes to recharge her batteries in childhood. He says: the small Catalan town will forever remain the city of his heart.

Vernet-les-Bains: back to basics

Between the sea and the mountain, at the foot of the charming Catalan mountain of Canigu, Vernet-les Bains is where Cali grew up: “When I come to the village, I immediately feel the smell of my years and my childhood “.

Of course, it is nice to see the world, but the best thing is to bring the world back here

Cali, author, performer

Over the years, the small town became an important place in his life, so to speak. “Shelter“says the artist who is loyal to his roots, the land of his youth. A “food“, a source of inspiration, an anchor in his life as a troubadour and perhaps a force in his everyday life. From far away and from memories. That allows him not to let go.

“Don’t let go” is one of the titles of his latest album: “It’s for me. I must not lose my footing in this crazy world” he says to Sophie.

Video length: 02 minutes 22

In “Ô la belle vie” in the Catalan country near Vernet-les-Bains, singer Kali takes a moment to talk to Sophie Covillard during the filming of the music video for “Lâche pas”.

© Grand Angle / France Televisions

A faithful man

release“. A title that reminds of the commitment of his ancestors, whether on the stage, in politics, or in the associative environment. Cali is the son of socialist activists.

His family fought against all forms of fascism. His maternal grandfather, Henry, was a Catalan, a communist, a freemason and a boxer. Paternal grandfather Giuseppe Caliciuri was Italian. After marrying a Catalan nurse, he joins the International Brigades to fight Franco. His father, who was born in Barcelona, ​​had to leave his country and take refuge in France with his parents after the defeat of the republicans. His family, who passed through the camps of Spanish exiles during the Retirada period, left an indelible mark on him. From the struggle.

Families and Catalan passions

From the small school where his mother, who died too soon, was the principal. Cali spent part of her childhood there, living in a company with her parents and siblings. His father, who died later, was the deputy mayor even though he was still young. Despite the difficulties, the artist remains attached to these places. He remembers little Catalan dancers with Carole, a favorite of the schoolboys. Cali remembers everything.

Her Adolescence: When I Was Here”I am 16 years old again” he repeats and says that they already strike 400 blows with their rebellious friends: “We were the first to see the big Christmas tree erected in the village square“.

Music? Cali took his first steps here. He explains to the school children:There was a group training in Vernet-les-Bains. Alex. We went to see them and found them always smiling, happy, playing music. And there, with our old friends, we said to ourselves: that’s it, you have to do this to be happy.“.”And I never changed direction“.

If you want to be happy in life, you have to sing and go.

Now, 10 albums later, Cali is still very much in touch with her friends.”his other family“says his sister. A young French pétanque champion, a former rugby player, grilling, cargolads and laughter are also part of his life.

Cali takes us into her friendly yet artistic universe, introducing us to the people who are important to her in Rivesaltes. Like his favorite luthier, Jean-Yves Alquier, the best worker in France, who made his guitar for him. Or Julien Lebart, his regular pianist and arranger, recording studio manager red chairsHe recorded several albums locally.

“Oh Beautiful Life”: “Catalan Soul Cali” will be shown on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 12:55 p.m. StarMission submitted by Sophie Jovillard. Directed by Laurent Desvaux. A France 3 Occitanie/Grand Angle Productions co-production.

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