The young Belgian Dandy is also compared to one of his homeland’s most shining star, the late Jacques Brel, and was recently featured in the New York Times in a flattering piece. Are the United States his next stop?
The fact that Stromae does not try to imitate other European artists by singing in English, might limit his appeal. Yet I noticed English subtitles in his most popular video, Formidable. Didn’t I tell you the kid had smarts?
Formidable happens to be an amazing song, thanks to Stromae‘s acting skills and creativity. The chorus is a clever play on words:
(For those of you who study the French language, fort is often used in Belgium and the Northern part of France to translate très – very. Un minable is a loser.)
The song tells the story of a painful breakup. The guy is drunk and mourns his failed relationship.
Even if Stromae is acting (he grins at the camera at the end of the clip,) the video was shot with a hidden camera in downtown Brussels on a rainy morning (there are a lot of rainy mornings in Brussels, Belgium…) Passers-by did not know they were being taped. At some point, three policemen approach Stromae (they recognize him,) and offer to give him a ride home. He declines, and they let him go.
Belgian cops are the most relaxed and understanding police force in the world!
The video clip went viral when leaked online, and the rest is history…
The young artist seems unstoppable. His new album tops European charts. My favorite song: Papa Outai (“Papa où t’es?” – Where are you, Daddy?) He draws on his personal experience to tell the story of a child with an absent father.
The son of a Belgian mother and a Rwandan father, who later died in the Rwanda genocide, Stromae only met his own dad a few times in his life. The video clip is creative; the tune catchy and no doubt rocking all dance floors in Europe! My favorite line:
This week, to promote his ongoing French tour, Stromae made the headlines, and once again created a big buzz in the media, when he appeared at a popular talk show. Thanks to creative visual effects, he was able to introduce the audience to his “moitié” (his better half,) in a hilarious skit. They both sparred in front of the audience for a few minutes before he/she launched in an entertaining rendition of “Tous les Mêmes,” (They are all the same.) Stromae‘s carefully cultivated androgynous look and acting skills came in handy. He brought the house down.
|Stromae and his better half (amazing special effects!)|
(Song starts at 1:37)
|Stromae… or Stromae?|
I would love to hear what you think about my new friend. I am adding his new CD to my Christmas list and can’t wait to listen to the other songs on the album.
In the meantime, I know Stromae would approve the ending of this post: I will leave you with an iconic live performance by the great Belgian artist Jacques Brel, Amsterdam.