Ones To Watch: Stromae


    While I’ve been doing my best to ignore all things World Cup related (including that God Awful Pitbull/J-Lo/Claudia Leitte number) versatile (seemingly in many ways?) Belgian pop superstar Stromae might have just won me over. No, I’m not a soccer fan…but his new single, “Ta fête” is downright ADDICTIVE…like we’re talking ADDICTIVE feat. Rakim TRUTH F**KING HURTS ADDICTIVE! (P.S. That’s a compliment). “Ta fête” serves as the official anthem for the Belgian team (who were subsequently eliminated in the quarter-finals sad face) at the World Cup and was played before each of the Red Devils‘ matches. Check out the visually STUNNING video for “Ta fêteBELOW, which is a little bit ‘Hunger Games‘ meets…erm…Joss Whedon‘s ‘Cabin In The Woods‘ (sans gore) with a little bit of that 2001 Shannon Elizabeth-haunted house vehicle ‘Thir13en Ghosts‘ (sans ghosts…and gore) meets…American Gladiators. Yeah. All of that.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Stromae (myself included) here’s a little background. This 29 year-old Belgian singer/songwriter was born Paul Van Haver. His musical style tends to be a mix of hip hop and electronic music (the latter of which is more prevalent in “Ta fête“). In the early noughties, he took the name “Opmaestro” eventually changing it to Stromae. While he started out studying film, Stromae ultimately decided to hone in on his musical abilities, releasing his debut EP called “Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic…” in 2007, signing a record deal the following year. His first single, “Alors on danse” was a critical and commercial smash, finding fans in Brussels and beyond, including (rumor has it) celebrities like Anna Wintour, Jean-Claude Van Damme and the French president at the time, Nicolas Sarkozy.


    Stromae eventually signed with Vertigo Records/Mercury Records France for an international licensing deal which would help get his music out to the masses and to the masses it went, hitting the top of the charts all over Europe. Hey, it was so popular that Kanye West was added to the track on a remix. Debut album, Cheese was released June 14th 2010 landing in the #1 spot in Belgium and going Top 10 in both France and Greece. His latest album, Racine Carrée was released in May 2013 becoming Stromae‘s second #1 album at home and second Top 10 album in France (also going Top 10 in both Germany and Switzerland), selling 1.5 million copies in France alone. First single, “Papaoutai” (Translation: Dad, where are you?) topped several of the charts in Belgium, including the Ultratop Flanders (Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) Urban chart and Ultratop Wallonia (French-speaking part of Belgium) Pop and Dance charts. The single also went #1 in France and went Top 10 in Finland, Germany, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland.

    Stromae Racine Carrée
    Racine Carrée Album Art
    Stromae Ta fête
    Ta fête Single Artwork

    Ta fête” is the fourth single taken from Racine Carrée, which is available here in America (iTunes) now, as are previous releases Cheese and singles “Papaoutai” and “Alors on danse” (iTunes) Check out Stromae performing “Papaoutai” on Late Night With Seth Meyers HERE in one of the most INTERESTING live talk show performances I’ve seen. Also worth a watch? Stromae‘s GENDER-BENDING performance in the video for “Tous Les Mêmes“.  Absolutely MESMERIZING. Stromae is absolutely an original and proof positive that music is indeed a universal language; crossing continents and cultures and making us dance and feel something no matter where we live or what language we speak.  Watch the “Ta fête” video below. {Source}

    Check out Stromae on the web:

    Official Site || Facebook || Twitter || Google+