Stromae is the quintessential of urban-street artist gone mainstreamed. This Belgian artist of mixed race—white mother and African father from Rwanda—never had the chance to taste the warm coaching of fatherhood. His father left the family, went back to Rwanda and eventually perished in the genocide that took place in that country in 1994. The missing of his father has also been a personal tragedy for him, something that can be traced in most of his songs. Stromae speaks and sings from the heart, winning the hearts of not only music producers but also millions of fans around the world.
This slender, svelte and extremely tall young man sings with the imposing voice of Jacques Brel, as many in the world of showbiz would say. The raw difference is that he wails in his music, yearning for the impossible to come along. His feline eyes seem out of place in his African skin. Since released on Youtube, Formidable has already been viewed more than 29 million times. In an appearance in Vivement Dimanche this afternoon, a popular TV show on France 2, Stromae announced his upcoming movie based on his childhood. So, let’s watch:
Note: Christine Jean-Pierre reports on Afro-Caribbean music and other music genres around the world. She now lives and works in suburban Jacksonville.