I left France for the first time during my PhD and spent 6 months in the UK doing research. There I became more comfortable speaking and working in English. I then went to Toronto for my post-doctorate. I loved living there and played ice hockey. After exploring options in France for my next research project, I decided to move towards clinical research and ended at the NKI-AVL, a great cancer research center and hospital here in Amsterdam. I originally thought that I would stay 2 to 3 years, and then return to France. Instead, I have now been here almost 4.5 years, learnt some Dutch, received a permanent contract, and bought an apartment. So I feel really settled into life here and enjoy my lifestyle, biking each day to the lab.
When I was in Toronto, I had difficult times and started to write songs to express some emotions. In the beginning, it was only for myself. However, with time and some positive feedback, it’s in Amsterdam that I decided to perform my songs for other people. My first performance was at an open podium night that was part of Amsterdam 24H West and it unlocked the passion in me for music and songwriting. Since then I’ve been playing a lot and putting more emphasis on my music than before.
In my effort to develop my skills, I signed up for and attended the Listening Room International Songwriters Retreat in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was set up as a one week co-writing retreat, where we would work in duos to write lyrics and create music for them and then present them to the group. It was really a challenge, but we also built very intimate and strong connections together. In the experience I was so relaxed and open, I hit it off with the organizer, Brett Perkins. Before I left Copenhagen, he planned and booked a flight to Amsterdam two weeks later to visit me. Now, we are together for months, committed to one another and travel back and forth between Denmark and the Netherlands as often as possible. We not only travel to see each other, but also travel frequently together to record and perform music together. I released my first EP ‘Bonjour’ and we also released our duo album ‘Hello Love’ at the end of last year. We just returned from a tour in California in January and are already planning into 2017 our travels for performing in 6 different countries around the world. Our relationship inside joke is that we count in horse years (times 3) because we have moved quickly, done a lot, and it feels like we know each other for already years! I do my best to find the right balance between cancer research, songwriting and music, and travel to see and perform with my love.