Toulouse. Rapper and actor Melan happily mixes the arts

the essential
After more than 15 years of rapping his emotions, Melan made his debut in the 7th art. Behind the screen, the Toulousain is guided by the same will as in his music: to heal his art.

In such a tidy world, Melan couldn’t find his place. So he wrote it down. From the age of 14. After more than a decade in the Parisian suburbs to try his hand at many instruments, Manel of his real name, landed in Toulouse, in the Belfort district, near the station. Schooled at the Michelet college, in the Saint-Aubin district, the teenager could not sit still on his chair in his classroom, animated by life in the streets. So, on a night out with friends, he picks up a pen and scratches his frustration with social obligations in a few lines on a crumpled sheet. “The school system as it is built cannot be for everyone,” says Melan.

From school to the street

After having revamped his fourth, the rapper definitely abandons school for the street, against the advice of his parents. Manel spends his days outside, observing and talking with those like him hanging out in the neighborhood. In the evening, in his craft studio, in his room, he recounted his daily life in rhythm. “Like today, I was talking about life. Deep emotions. It helps me to see clearly and to empty my bag”. A cathartic writing guided by the will to make resonate what he calls “the real rap”, the music which does not pass on the radio and which displeases in the era of the mainstream, that which blows on the embers to rekindle the flame of the golden age of French rap.

At 17, he left the family home in search of new adventures. Manel passes his BAFA (Brevet d’aptitude à la function de animateur) and spends three years as an animator in the cities of Toulouse. He also joins the collective of rappers Omerta Muzik and publishes music dropper on Youtube.

After his experience with neighborhood children, he decides to venture a little deeper into the deep jungle that adult life can be. He alternates between periods of unemployment and odd jobs in food.

First steps in the cinema

This period of hardship lasts for many years. Until he was 25. He scribbles, rewrites and polishes his texts. With the aim of intermittency. Approached by a director, he takes his first steps in the 7th art in a short film, inspired by one of his music. An unexpected experience which ended with a selection for the Césars, without success. For the rapper, the cinema chapter comes to an end.

The return to the studio marked the beginning of the creation of his first album, “La Vingtaine”, released in 2016. As an independent, Melan made a name for himself on the hip-hop scene. His project serves as a way out. Thanks to him, he gets out of the subway / work / sleep spiral. After a year of touring in French-speaking countries, synonymous with short nights and sweat, Manel becomes intermittent in the show, or professional rapper. 25 years, almost 26 and the fog that had followed him for a lifetime had finally dissipated.

Two years later, in 2019, Melan received a call. At the end of the phone, a director. “He explains to me that he liked my performance in the short film and wants me to go to Paris to pass the casting for his next film,” recalls the Toulouse man. He then climbs to the capital. “In truth, I had never imagined myself to be in the cinema, confides the actor. Finally if but when the actors played badly, I said to myself ‘it is sure that we (him and his friends), we would do better than that ‘. It was just to try to do a movie justice. ” Held after his audition, he landed the supporting role in the film “La fine fleur”, released in cinemas last June. Today, the 29-year-old is accompanied by an agent to treat his next appearances on the big screen. His rap will continue to evolve along with him. At the crossroads of the arts, the rapper does not want to be successful.

The flower, the big quarry?

In addition to the ruthless war in the world of horticulture, the film “La fine fleur” directed by Pierre Pinaud is also the story of three young employees in integration, until then all in failure. Among them, Melan, the rapper from Toulouse who easily embodies Fred, author of robberies, another main character of the film, whose talents and qualities emerge from Eve Vernet. After timid first steps in the 7th art, the actor launches himself in this medium which, until the shooting of the film, was almost unknown to him. This new experience ensures a little more its march towards the world of the big screen: “I don’t need to make cinema to live. It’s a pleasure. I’m addicted to cinema. But I want to act in films with powerful scenarios “.