April 24, 2014 at 9:28 AM ET
Carla Bruni first grabbed global attention as a supermodel. She then walked a completely different world stage when she became the first lady of France. Today, she hopes her singing and songwriting skills will be what grabs the spotlight.
Bruni is currently touring the United States for the first time, promoting her fourth album, "Little French Songs," which was released last year.
“To be on the road is fantastic,” she told TODAY's Matt Lauer from New York. "I like to change place. I like to discover new places."
One place she’s glad to leave behind is the political world, where she was constantly under the microscope as first lady to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Bruni said she hasn’t missed that period of her life at all. In the two years since her husband left office, she has instead focused her energy on her music.
"My songs are about life. They're like little postcards of life, you know? Desire, loneliness, but also maybe joy and fun,” she said, adding that "my lyrics are not so simple but my music is definitely simple."
She then demonstrated her "simple" music style by singing the first verse of a slowed-down, folk version of the Tammy Wynette classic, “Stand By Your Man," one of her go-to songs because “it’s very nice to warm the voice.”
While she likes the country classics, she admitted her other favorites include classics such as the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Clash.
"That's my generation," said Bruni, who is 46.
On getting older, Bruni admitted that aging "is not easy to cope with" but said it wasn't only about physical beauty.
“It's related to everything, to energy, strength. I also believe that a woman and a man, they don't really lose their charm," she said. "And I think charm is much more important than beauty because seduction is related to charm, is related to experience, and to intelligence. So I hope, you know, that I can keep some charm."