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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Orlane: La Réunionnaise zouk sensation

By Christine Jean-Pierre

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

Just when we thought Orlane was in hibernation like her longtime zouk partner, Eric Virgal, she surprised everyone with a dramatic comeback, ushering two mighty hits that are now in the top -ten konpa/zouk chart on Trace TV as well as on NRJ Antilles and TraceFM in Francophone islands such as Martinique and Guadeloupe. Yes, a familiar voice from the early 1990’s zouk generation, premium zouk diva Orlane is back with two new singles Chokola and cheker with a konpa feel that is stealing the hearts of many in the konpa/zouk world.

            Orlane was born and raised in La Réunion and made her singing debut at the age of 19 in the group Vérité in the early 1990s. But after four years of singing, she decided to shop around for labels. Orlane got her big break, solo break, when she got the call from the then zouk sensation Eric Virgal. The latter wanted her to sing vocals for him for his hit song Et pourtant. The song was instant success in the zouk charts and landed her own solo album Tout Simplement, which was released in 1997 with two hit singles mwen malade and Jalouse. Many other albums with little success have followed since then. For awhile, it seemed as if Orlane had fallen under the radar.  She spent many years, releasing songs only on the internet while singing backup vocals for Eric Virgal and Patrick St. Eloi.

            In late 2008, however, the princess from La Réunion retuned to the zouk scene with full glory as she began work on her latest album Intemporelle with producers such as Cleeve, MarkG, and of course Eric Virgal. The first single Chokola produced by Eric Virgal and written by Orlane was released on YouTube September 3, 2009 with an estimated 84,000 hits. The song quickly landed her an award for best song at the Sacem awards in Martinique. The second single Cheker was released in late November and reached to the number five spot on the TraceTv tropical countdown.

            Orlane is a performer with exceptional voice with a stage presence that makes the world stop. According to many music critics, if Orlane can keep up with such success rate and if she is able to maintain her impeccable voice, she will definitely continue capturing the hearts of zouk fans for many years to come.

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