One of my personal favorite French-speaking artists is Stromae. Today, we feature his video: “Tous Les Mêmes”. But first, a little bit of background behind Stromae and his music.
29-year-old Stromae, whose real name is Paul Van Haver, quickly topped the charts in the French-speaking world and increasingly had made inroads elsewhere with his keyboard-based electronica accompanied by a voice that glides from old-style French “chanson” to hip-hop. He is from Belgium, born to a Flemish mother and a Rwandan father absent during his youth who was killed in the 1994 genocide, Stromae’s stage-name means “maestro” in verlan, the French slang of mixing syllables in words. Verlan is an argot in the French language, featuring inversion of syllables in a word, and is common in slang and youth language. It rests on a long French tradition of transposing syllables of individual words to create slang words.The name verlan is an example: it is derived from inverting the sounds of the syllables in l’envers (“the inverse,” pronounced lan-ver).
He has released two albums so far that have achieved world-wide success. His 2010 album “Cheese” and last year’s follow-up “Racine Carrée.” Kanye West released a remixed version of Stromae’s hit “Alors On Danse,” off “Cheese,” while more recently the Belgian World Cup team made his song “Ta Fête” off of the “Racine Carrée” album its official song. He will be taking break for a few years to recenter himself and prepare for his third album. He explains why he wants to take so much time off in this article.
Today we show you “Tous Les Mêmes” which is a song expressing frustration on the part of a woman with men. Here are the lyrics in French and English.