He’s only 28, but it is as if he had lived several lives. After a Catholic education marked by the absence of a father, the Rwandan-Belgian Paul Van Haver debuted in hip-hop fundamentalist. His first EP, he finances by working in a fast food.
And stromae arose in the formatted world of pop with a gravity-defying tube: light come a bubble let loose on the dance floor, but with black text as the last coffee of a condemned to living hell. “Alors On Danse” worldwide hit remixed by Kanye West, could sum up the career of this great teenager, as a “Born To Be Alive” years of great depression. Some good souls he also predicted the fate of “One Hit Wonder”.
His first album Cheese has immediately dismissed the curse, providing evidence that the maestro would then be there for long. Victoire de la Musique, a breathtaking tour of creativity that finally convinced the last reluctant listeners … The machine was launched.
Yet stromae method is basic. No higher bid nor big ego. In his briefcase, a computer, a mini keyboard to compose and three Moleskine notebooks one of which contains its texts and other ideas for clips. With this light luggage he entered the studio for the always difficult second album, titled “√” (square root). For the tidy side and also for its African origins.
The buzz starts with a hidden camera stromae wandering the station to Brussels, staggering and pathetic. A video that the media first take the first degree (some even explain it by a rupture of the artist with his girlfriend) and become the official clip, with other shots, of What this overwhelming single ‘Formidable’ bright song of a wounded man, Alcoholic, vulnerable. “It’s never me speaking in songs, it is a character, even if there are intimate things. I need that distance, “says stromae,” I cried writing “Formidable” “.
The song is a gentle slap, and views on Youtube explode, rising to 14 million within a few weeks. “With the title” Great “, it shows that the variety should be in 2013,” writes the daily Libération, rarely tender with the young artists. “Me Compare Brel is intellectual laziness,” says the artist to forestall simplistic comparisons. There was only Brel, and there will be a stromae.
Another key piece, “Papaoutai” is the result of a slow maturation. Several versions of the lyrics were written. The first, “too personal and written in a state of anger” evoked his real father, who died in Rwanda while Paul was only twelve years old.
After two missiles that confirm each in his way, knowing that their thinking as much as dance, it is time to consider the album. “Do not worry, you dance,” we hear the first song, “Your Day”, where we find the groove and sour stained warrior stromae touch that has become his trademark. For stromae is not the kind of artist who will get the last producer to fashion or the sound of the moment. The trend, it is he who imposes it. And even though his natural modesty prevents him to shout it from the rooftops, it’s a fact: the entire album “√” (square root) is written, composed, performed and produced by stro ‘itself .
Some collaborations are discrete add color accents to the master pallet: Antonio Santos piano and guitar Mauricio Delgados on “Ave Cesaria” tribute to Cesaria Evora. The collaboration of Orelsan on the adaptation of “Carmen” by Bizet and “AVF” hip-hop threesome with Master Gims. The kora Noumoucounda Cissoko on “Bastard.”
“I do not make music for intellectuals or for clubs. I make music as I understand it, the groove is very important to me. And I do not think the English language sounds better than the French. ” Stromae and proves it with text as bold as that of “When It Is? “In which he plays the role of the disease of the century, cancer. “You’re even wanted you to my mother, huh? / You got started with her breasts / lung And my father, you remember? “Politely desperate, sublimely discreet, terribly right. All stromae is in this delicacy he shows to discuss a subject that lends itself not yet the lightness of pop.
Now that the record came out , he instantly hit the mainstream , stromae is not packed either. “Fame is a way . The important thing is to see how the album will age . ” Then he prepares to shoot . A tour that already imagine as original and innovative as that which accompanied his first album.