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TEST YOURSELF: All that glitters

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Violette Wautier is proud of her debut album

Test Yourself is where you can improve your reading skills. Whether it’s for tests like University Entrance Exams or IELTS and TOEFL, or even just for fun, these stories help you to read, understand and improve your English.

You can download a PDF of this story to be used in class or at home. Click the link below.

Read the following story by Tatat Bunnag from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

She may be known as the actress who shot to stardom in the hit 2015 indie movie Freelance, but Violette Wautier says she has always considered herself more as a singer than an actress.

In between movies and TV dramas, the former The Voice Thailand contestant kept herself busy, writing and releasing a number of hit singles, as well as collaborating with different artists from Getsunova and Stamp to Max Jenmana and DABOYWAY.

In 2018, Violette released her first English language single Drive, topping various charts across the country. This was followed by Smoke, which broke the record for the most-viewed English song performed by a Thai artist with 61 million views. Smoke reached No.1 on the Apple Music Chart in eight countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Violette recently released her first solo album, Glitter And Smoke. The album includes nine songs of dreamy, synth-based pop music that she composed, reflecting her past experiences and feelings on life, whether it's bright and fun, or about a love that is broken and hurt. We recently spoke with the Thai-Belgian singer about the making of Glitter And Smoke.

Is it true that you finished the new album during the lockdown?

Yes, being able to finish the record was probably the only productive thing I managed during the lockdown after failing to exercise or learn how to cook [laughs]. My producer finished the album. What I did was just stay home and give comments to whatever he sent me.

Why did you decide to call the album Glitter And Smoke?

I think the words represent my identity and character in many ways. I also used Glitter And Smoke as the title of a short film I made when I studied in film school. That's why I chose the title again for my debut album as it collected my personal memories and experiences that are varied. Whether it's a part of bright fun like the glitter of beautiful rainfall. Or memories of a past relationship that are heartbreaking and painful, just like smoke.

How would you describe the album?

The songs are stories from my life, and stories from the lives of people I love. It took years to write and record, all between filming and touring, and I'm glad. The music covers a wide range of styles. I really don't know how to describe how special it is. My earlier songs may be like acoustic pop but now they're moving toward more electronic, but they aren't dance music. I would just call it 'alternative pop' music.

How do you get inspiration to write a song?

Inspiration for me comes randomly. I had the idea for the song We Own This World when I woke up one morning. While it was a beautiful morning, the song turned out to sound very dark. Sometimes travelling can inspire, too. Brassac is named after a small town in the South of France, not far from where my grandparents live. Each summer I would go visit them. I imagined the vibes of the film Call Me By Your Name. I thought it would be so romantic to write a song about a summer romance.

How much have you changed since being on The Voice?

I think I have changed dramatically. I’ve learned to be a more flexible person with life. But in terms of music and creativity, I still do what I feel. I haven't changed much in the way I sing a song. I do study new techniques and still keep improving my skills. But honestly, I'm not a very technical kind of singer. I believe more in the right emotion and feeling of the song, and sometimes technique alone just doesn't reach it.

Section 1: Answer the following questions in the space provided.

1. When did Violette star in an indie film? .…………….

2. Smoke was the most viewed Thai song. True or false? …………….

3. What nationality is she? ……………..

4. She learned to cook during lockdown. True or false? …………….

5. Her album has the same name as a film she once made. True or false? …………….

6. She describes her album as acoustic pop. True or false? …………..

7. Her song Brassac was inspired by a film. True or false? ……………. 

8. What does she think is more important for singing - emotion or technique? …………….


Section 2: Write the noun form of the following words in the space provided.

9.  considered ……… 10. performed ……… 11. varied ………. 12. romantic ………. 13. flexible ……….


Section 3: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.

We received a lot of positive …14… to the video for I'd Do It Again from fans everywhere. Many wrote to …15… their feelings of how much the song meant to them or how the song …16… to their experiences. I felt the song wasn't only about me …17… as many people shared the same feelings. So we …18… fans to send their own footage that describes their memories, then we …19… them on this new fan version video. It’s very special!

14. A. review ___B. feedback ___C. comment

15. A. give ___B. express ___C. take

16. A. shows ___B. expresses ___C. relates

17  A. anymore ___B. anyone ___C. anywhere

18. A. invite ___B. invites ___C. invited

19. A. complied ___B. compiled ___C. complained


Section 4: Find words that match the following definitions.

20. tiny pieces of sparkling material used for decoration ……………

21. the qualities that make a person different from others ……………

22. pleased and happy ……………

23. happening in a way that is not planned  ……………

24. a relationship of love between two people …………



Answers: 1. 2015. 2. false. 3. Thai-Belgian. 4. false. 5. true. 6. false. 7. true. 8. emotion. 

9. consideration. 10. performer/performance. 11. variety. 12. romance. 13. flexibility.

14. b. 15. b. 16. c. 17. a. 18. c. 19. b. 

20. glitter. 21. character. 22. glad. 23. randomly. 24. romance.

SCORE 21-24: Excellent! 17-20: Good.   13-16: Fair.   12 or fewer: You'll do better next time!

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