Rebecca Asseline: Expect the unexpected

Shay Waterworth catches up with Courvoisier global ambassador Rebecca Asseline as she returns to Jarnac to take up the role of communications officer


NOBODY EVER EXPECTS anything from me, they always assume I’m this princess from another planet. It’s hilarious.”

Rebecca Asseline has recently celebrated 10 years in her role as global brand ambassador at Courvoisier, but news also broke that she is returning to Jarnac, France, to work directly from the Courvoisier château as communications manager as well as continuing her current role.

Asseline is the personification of French elegance, having rarely been seen without a long dress and high heels, but beneath the surface is a night-crawling DJ whose passion for music has shaped her life.

Fresh out of university, Asseline moved to the UK where she became a full-time DJ for seven years, stressing the fact she only ever used vinyl. So, as far as princesses go, Asseline would be the one saving Mario and Luigi from evil turtles.

“I couldn’t afford the bags with wheels at the time so I would have to carry the equipment on my back and I was playing five times a week.

“I’ve never made a mixed tape in my life. I would turn up to a bar when it opened with my record bag and ask the manager if I could play while the bar was quiet.

“I grew up with a lot of jazz but I was also exposed to a diverse range of music,” she says.

Asseline was in a band between the ages of 16 and 21, playing bass and taking on the lead vocals. “Our band had two bass players and we did a little bit of electro too. Radiohead was one of our inspirations.

“I like the idea of starting up another band, but who knows, maybe one day.”

Now with her DJing days behind her, Asseline has returned to the classics.

“I recently purchased a piano. When my father passed away, one of the big things for me was to start playing again.

“I don’t think music can be forced. For me, it’s about finding inspiration, being around the right people in the right environment.

“Sometimes when I get back from a work trip I’ll walk in and find myself playing the piano with my coat and handbag still on me and my luggage in the corridor. I think that’s when you know you have something deep inside you.”


Music, however, was never her desired career. Asseline earned a masters degree in anthropology in Nice and was accepted to study a PhD en route to her dream job working for National Geographic. The university wasn’t able to fund her through the course, which led her to London in July 2003.

“It was an incredibly frustrating period for me because it was all I’d wanted to do since I was a child,” she adds. “Anistatia Miller is my inspiration to go back and do my PhD, she went to Oxford University in her late 60s and is doing something she is passionate about.”

Asseline made her way into the bar scene at Eclipse, London, where she made contacts that led to her role with Courvoisier. Although she was born in France, her second language is Spanish – not English – which lends itself to hosting events, not least her dinner parties.

“I love cooking. I’m a feeder. When I have people around to eat everyone there will have had a few cognacs and I will start playing something or singing – although I’m not a great singer,

I mean it.” Her modesty shines through.

This year has already been full of milestones for the cognac, music and travel exponent. Not only has she moved back to her homeland and celebrated her 10th anniversary with Courvoisier, she turned 40.

“In France we have what we call our wolf pack, a group of my oldest friends from when I was 15 at school, and we’ve all stayed close,” she says.

To celebrate the big day, Asseline and her canine friends rented a huge domain in the French countryside to relax, party and roll back the years.

As well as her old friends in France, she will also have her brother. “It will be super for me moving back to France because I have one older brother who lives there and he’s my rock. He lives with his lovely wife, it’s perfect.”

Asseline’s musical relationship has followed her through life and, having grown up with jazz and moved through a range of genres as she developed as a person, it’s fitting that she has now returned to where it all started.

“I think music can be a way of staying close to your roots and who you are.” Poetic words. Perhaps not a princess from another planet.