Posts Tagged ‘Belgium’


July 1, 2013

The artist known as Stromae

The last time I posted on this thing was three years ago, before I took a leap from life as I knew it, to life as I currently know it.  I was moved by emotion from my new obsession to start posting once more.

This obsession is someone you should get familiar with, and quick, whether you speak French or not. It has been too long since I’ve personally encountered the type of genius I find in the man who goes by the name of Stromae. Since stumbling across his music on Spotify, I have since fallen into the abyss of admiration and devotion to the music of Stromae. The Belgian rapper/singer/composer accomplishes no small feat in the laying of dark content over electronic music. Creating art that is lyrically depressing, with compositions that forces your head into a bob, and sets your hips in motion in preparation for reckoning on the dance floor.

Stromae landed on the mainstream scene with his global hit, “Alors on Danse”, which Mr. Kanye West eagerly jumped on for a remix. At first listen, it could have been dismissed as a piece of dance music that made it out from the obscure wormhole that can be the euro club scene. (Think Yolanda be Cool…where are they now? )However, I kept listening until I stumbled across the rare gem that is Papaoutai, Stromae’s latest single, with a visually stunning metaphorical video to match. The song addresses the issues of absentee baby daddies, and the questions that linger within the kid who never finds his/her father. I must have played the video about 20 times, the song never getting old, hitting harder with each click.

(I’m really sad someone thought it was a good idea to disable the embedding of this video.)

Stromae’s compositions are haunting, maintaining the upbeat melodies of electronica music, however overlayed with tales of hopelessness, heartbreak, domestic violence, and even victims of pedophilia, topics that usually go untouched in the ecstatic realm of dance music.  While dance arrangements are the base for Stromae’s sound, there is versatility with his music making references to Congolese music, ratchet rap compositions, and jazzy trumpets reminiscent of Miles Davis.

Beyond being a great composer, singer, and rapper, Stromae is pretty fucking smart. Over the past few days I have developped an addiction to Stromae’s youtube channel, where he has ingeniously created a hub for fans to watch what goes into the creation of his masterpieces, along with low budget but high quality videos that further exhibit the artist that is Stromae. Beyond being instructional, the tutorials give us a glimpse of his winning personality, making us fall harder for his unique sound. The whole thing is almost too intoxicating.

In conclusion… I’m hooked.

Stromae’s album, Cheese, is now available on Spotify, and he drops his second album at some point this summer.