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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Francis Lalanne: Legendary French artist turned new Zouk sensation

By Christine Jean-Pierre

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

After two decades of delivering smash French pop hits such as La maison du bonneur, and Reste avec moi, Lalanne releases what music critics call an experimental album titled Blight music. At the age of 52, Lalanne continues to surprise his audience and to prove that he can reinvent himself again with his latest single La Vi San Ou, a smash zouk hit which is holding the number nine spot on the Tropical10 countdown for the past two weeks on TraceTv and among the one of the most requested songs to date this month in radio stations all over the francophone islands of the West Indies.

The song La Vi San Ou was written by Francis Lalanne and produced by DeeJayWillson with guitar arrangement by zouk hit maker Ali Angel.  Many music critics wondered why legendary French music and theatrical artist Francis Lalanne would make the transition to zouk music for his latest album. Well, according to a recent interview on RFO France, Lalanne claimed that title of the album speaks for itself. “I’m a white man whose soul is black, and that I’ve lived my childhood in Uruguay.” In the sense of Creole, this way of being black is white; therefore the title of album is called Blight Music.

Francis Lalanne was born in Bayonne, France to a Lebanese Father and Uruguayan mother. Lalanne spent his early years in Uruguay then moved to Marseille for the remainder of his adolescent and teenage years. Lalanne is also the older brother of famed guitarist Jean-Felix Lalanne and movie director and screenwriter René Mazor. In 1979 he released his first album Rentre Chez Moi on the hit French radio station French Inter. The album Rentre Chez Moi was such an overnight success that it earned Lalanne’s first concert at renowned Theatre du Taur in Toulouse, France. Many other concerts in other major French cities such as Marseille and Venissieux were soon followed. A year later, the self-titled sophomore was released, and then Francis Lalanne went on producing twelve more chart topping albums and eventually performed in sold-out stadiums all over Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, and Latin America.

In addition to singing, Francis Lalanne has written several novels and collections of poetry such as Adjedhora, Le romaine d’Accanie, D’Amour et de mots, and the classic Les Carnets de Lucifer. In the movie industry, Lalanne co-produced the films Le passage and 3615 Code Père Noel along side with his younger brother, director and award winning screen writer René Mazor. Lalanne also starred in the movie Marie de Nazareth alongside French award winning actor Jean Delonney. He directed several short films, including Sextine and was featured in several theatrical plays and musicals all over France and Belgium. Lalanne is also a political activist, speaking out against the French government and writing politically awareness songs such as Depolluer la planete and Civile Au Darfour which denounces the civil war in Darfur.

On the summer of 2009 Francis Lalanne began working on his seventeenth album titled Blight Music which is more like an experimental album featuring four different types of genres, including zouk music from the Caribbean islands. The first single of the album La Vi San Vou (My life without you) was released in the hit French radio station NRJ and Caribbean radio airwaves in the first week of August 2010. A week later, it premiered on YouTube on August 13, 2010 with 49,000 views to date.  The video clip La Vi San Vou was directed by Nicolas Raynal and filmed in Point-Pitre, Guadeloupe near the countryside.

La Vi San Vou is about how much a guy really misses his girlfriend and how life without her would be impossible to bear. The video truly displays the meaning of the song by seeing Francis Lalanne all over his house acting so depressed and disoriented while looking at old videos of his ex-girlfriend remembering all the beautiful memories they shared together.

Francis Lalanne is an unstoppable shining star in the entertainment industry, and he has been gracing the stage for more than thirty years.  From singing unforgettable French pop love songs, acting in more than 30 movies and plays, or maybe becoming the latest male zouk sensation, Francis Lalanne will downright remain in the hearts of both old and new generations of fans for many more years to come.

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