There is so much music out there in the world, my friends. As residents of Music City, we can sometimes forget to explore beyond the musical borders of our beloved Nashville. To make new music discoveries, I follow some of the big music happenings, like the South by Southwest festival in Austin. Every year when I read about artists who wowed folks at SXSW, I happily discover a new musical obsession. See the cutie in the picture to your left? That’s Stromae, the Belgian pop star who has a bazillion views on Youtube! Music fans all over the world already appreciate his artistry. It’s about time we join in.
You might be wondering just how to pronounce his name. Say the words “my strobe light.” Now reverse the words, and remove the be and the light. Stromae has said it’s a play on the word “maestro.” Get it? If you’ve never heard any of his music, Stromae is an artist smartly influenced by the melodies and rhythms of the world. Many of his songs make dancing a necessity. Stromae sings and raps in French but you can easily find English translations of his lyrics online. Do watch his videos – they reveal the tone and intent for those of us who don’t speak French. Take his hit song Papaoutai. In the video you see a young boy trying in vain to connect with his father. Stromae’s father abandoned his family in Belgium to return to Rwanda, and was killed in the genocide of the 1990′s.
I gotta give a shout out to the folks at NPR Music who hosted Stromae at their 2015 SXSW showcase. You can watch his performance here. Check out his music on Hoopla. And let’s start a campaign to bring him to Nashville!!