Some people once said that the Beatles used to be more popular than Jesus. Now, I heard people say the new sensation called Stromae is more famous than the Belgium football team and the President of that country, all combined together.
When Jean Claude Van Damme and the then French President, Nicolas Sarkozy get addicted to his hit track titled ‘Alors on danse’, we can’t agree less. That was 2009 then but he is still at it again with another addictive 2013 Album titled ‘Racine Carrée’ packed with hits after hits.
Stromae was born 29 years ago to Rwandan father and Flemish mother in Brussels, Belgium. Got engaged to Music at the age of 11. Discovered Hip Pop, formed a band with a good friend at the age of 18. Things didn’t go well with his partner which led to them parting ways. He kept on working and later dropped his solo rap Album, “Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic…”.
This got him a few followership but not large enough to pay bills. Stromae decided to switch lane and got himself into Electronic music. The big break came while on an internship at a radio station, armed with his single, played it to the radio station’s manager, who liked the track enough to have it spin on the radio. Well, the rest was history. No. 1 hits across Europe, packed out concerts and bag full of awards and ‘I wanna do a remix with you’ roaster. Go ask Kanye West and Will-I-Am. Everybody that is everybody wants to hang out with him, even Lorde recently who just invited him to add his singing ability and style to the soundtrack of the Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.
His style is about mixing 90’s Electro synths over simple drums and a nice layback type hook. His songs lyrics are about storytelling which comes from his personal life experience (the pain of losing his father in the Rwanda genocide) and with his deep voice, he knows how to used it to get listeners attention and makes you want to listen.
Some critics (mostly haters) thought he was just a one-hit wonder. Within a week of dropping his latest album mentioned above, he set the whole Europe on fire. He got the best Belgium Act at the 2013 MTV Europe Music awards and remains till date, the most popular Belgium export, ever (Yes, I said it).
What makes him a sensation? Creativity and the ability to market himself well using the social media especially Youtube to his own advantage, by releasing video tutorials showing his skills and then, shooting a street video for one of his hit single, ‘Formidable’ with a hidden camera (smart dude). The buzz it generated was enough to shoot the track to the top of the chart and more girls, boys, papas, mamas and now, little kids… screaming, Ou tai Papa, Ou tai… (where are u Papa..) from the album’s first single “Papaoutai”
Did I mention that his more popular than the Belgium Football team? Well, they recognized that and made another hit track, ‘Ta fete’ become their official world cup song.
2011 till date has been years of blessing for him. I bet one of his goals is to capture the rest of the world. I say, stromae the ‘sensation’ might just do it. For those still doubting, wait till 2015, 2016, 20…