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An “Absolut Parisian” renting with Les Studios de Paris
A real Parisian and a “Montmartrois” at heart, Thomas Pradeau was bound to fall in love with music. He started hitting the “ebony and ivory” piano keys at the age of 5 and has never stopped ever since. Inspiration always lurks around the corner, Tom says, and music wise, the rock band Queen gives him as much kick as Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtsmusik”.
His own compositions – a mix between classical French chansons and unconventional Parisian street music – are one of the warmest welcomes to “the land of Molière” (as he calls France).
We asked Tom what’s the secret behind writing a successful song. He also shared his thoughts on the sensation of living in Montmartre and renting The Picasso Studio with Les Studios de Paris.
How did you come across Les Studios de Paris?
It was a lucky chance, honestly. I’ve known Eva for a long time, because her son and I are childhood friends. So it was an easy choice to make. I came to Les Studios and we arranged it all at once.
What is the best thing about staying with us?
For me the location comes first. There’s something about Montmartre. It’s simply the best place to be in Paris. Just like a small town in the big city, everything around here is different. Even though the area is pretty touristy, it never lost its original vibe, it stayed true to its soul.
Another thing is that Les Studios have a totally cool team! The guys take care of you a lot, they are so friendly and helpful. They don’t just work in Montmartre, they love it. And that makes all the difference. They do their best to help their guests feel good here. And we do.
You’re a musician. How did it all start?
It’s never really been a question for me. My father is a painter, so I’ve had art all around me since I was a child. We had a piano at home, so I’ve been playing it as a kid. It was the first musical instrument I’ve ever put fingers on. Then, when I was 18, I was a part of a rock band (Koh-i-nor) and together we toured France many times. But I decided I wanted to make my own music, so fortunately here I am now, doing it.
How do you compose a song, normally? Is there a pattern or something?
Well, it depends, it’s different. Sometimes the lyrics come first, other times, it’s the melody. I always have a sentence and then I build over it.
I like to imagine stories, too. I add something personal to them at times, yes. But I never write songs about me, or about things I’ve actually gone through. The funny thing is that sometimes my “imaginary stories” come right after me, become real and happen to me consequently. So I actually experience them post factum, after I had created them and not the other way round. It’s like a déjà vu.
How did you choose the “Picasso Studio” apartment? What’s your favourite spot there?
I like it because it is lovely and quiet. Also, I can play my piano there. The other neighbours are musicians, too, so they don’t really bother.
And my favourite spot is the corner where the piano is, close to the window overlooking the garden.
What do you love about Paris the most? A beloved place, maybe?
I love Paris because it’s more than a city. It’s like a small country, with people coming and going from everywhere all the time.
And my favourite spot is here, in Montmartre. It’s Rue Poulbot – the smallest street I know – and it’s so beautiful. There’s this very nice café, with musicians playing violins outside, it’s magic.
Where can we hear you play next?
Unless I have a concert at some other place, you can find me at Le Tire-Bouchon on a Saturday night around 10 pm. I’m always there, often behind the piano, playing off-hand, just like that. That’s what I love about Montmartre, there are places here that are so non-commercial. You can just come out here and play if you wanted to. And it’s all about the music, after all…
Find Tom on Facebook:
Or hear more of his songs here
 Eva Léandre is the creator and general manager of Les Studios de Paris