Eric Vincent, French singer, comes to OU to inspire and to be inspired


Mary Mitchell

Vincent tours the world to share his language and love of song.

Katerina Mihailidis, Staff Reporter

Eric Vincent, a French composer, singer and guitarist, came to Oakland University on Friday Oct. 13 to share his passions and his songs.

A traveling artist, Vincent shows his feelings and ideas through song all over the world. At age 71, Vincent has performed in over 140 countries, including every state in the U.S., except for Alaska and Hawaii.

“It’s a pleasure to meet people of different cultures,” He said.

He began his musical career by playing the violin, and eventually advanced to play guitar and piano.

“When I was 5 years old, I was climbing on tables to sing,” Vincent said. “I have always sung,” he said.

He lives on a little boat in Paris with his wife and has “a special passion for taking his music to every corner of the globe,” according to his website.

“For me it’s, to share with the people of the earth the desire to move around that pushed me to tour all around the world to so many countries,” Vincent said.

He said that he wants to share his French identity, with other people. He also wants to borrow the impressions people give him and incorporate his travel experiences in his songs. He draws his inspiration from other cultures in the five continents that he has visited, always holding true to his own personality.

“It’s the only thing that’s interesting,” he said. “If you try to copy something from someone else it’s not good.”

Getting feelings or information from the outside world and transcending them with the right mood into your work, that’s what it means to be inspired and that inspiration can be enriching, according to Vincent.

Vincent has many passions, which can be found in his songs. He said that he doesn’t want to focus on a specific subject, all are interesting and he would like to get people to think on the subjects he sings about.

“It’s important [to have a message] but it’s not a rule,” Vincent said. “If you have an idea, especially if you disagree, which is the case most of the time, with politics or I don’t know what, you shouldn’t stop yourself from saying what you feel.”

And if someone has a message, Vincent said that it is sometimes expressed easier through art.

“It’s more efficient to sing it, or to write it in a book, or to paint it on a canvas, than to just say it.” he said

Vincent has given successful tours, performing at colleges, high schools and universities as well as many congresses, according to his website.

This is Vincent’s fourth time visiting and performing at OU.

On the same day as his performance in Dodge Hall, prior to the concert, he put on a translation workshop in South Foundation Hall, in collaboration with Dikka Berven, special instructor of French at OU.

During the workshop, to which Vincent came, dressed in all blue, he helped French-learning students of all levels translate two of his songs.

A joyous man he seemed to be, with a big encouraging smile, the passion for knowledge and culture in his eyes and a bandanna tied around his neck, he spoke and interacted with all students that came to see him.