Meet Stromae, The Biggest Pop Star In The French-Speaking World

Prepare to be obsessed.

1. Stromae (pronounced “straw-maye”) is a Belgian singer who has become the latest music phenomenon to take over Europe.

Francois Durand / Getty Images

2. You may remember Stromae from this 2010 song, which was later remixed by Kanye West.

3. His second album came out in 2013 and became a major hit in France, Belgium, and all over Europe.

4. The video for “Papaoutai” was the most popular music video on French Youtube in 2013.

The song is about a kid growing up without a dad and wondering where he is. Stromae’s dad, who was absent most of his childhood, died in the Rwandan genocide.

5. Stromae started as a rapper but his new album features a mix of musical styles — house, dance, jazz, Congolese rumba, and classic French songs, among others. The song “Ave Cesaria”, for instance, is a tribute to Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora.

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6. Other tracks, like “Merci”, are more on the synth-pop side.

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7. Stromae plays with identity and uses his androgynous looks in the amazing video for “Tous les Mêmes.”

8. He also shows off some major dancing skills in the video.

Mercury Music Group / Universal
Mercury Music Group / Universal

10. He is often compared to legendary singer Jacques Brel because of his Belgian accent, the way he rolls his “r”, and his unbelievable charisma and presence on stage.

11. For his “Formidable” video, Stromae pretended to be drunk on one of Brussels busiest squares while filmed by hidden cameras.

The beautiful song is about a break-up. He said he’s never felt as lonely as the day he filmed the video.

12. Stromae will be in concert in New York in June. He’ll be on tour in the rest of the United States in the fall.

13. YES!

Mercury Music Group / Universal

14. YOU’RE OBSESSED!

Mercury Music Group / Universal

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