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Paul Van Haver (12 march 1985)

Born in Brussels Paul was raised in the city's Laeken district, to a Rwandan Tutsi father, Pierre Rutare, and a Belgian Flemish mother, Miranda Van Haver. His father, a successful architect, was killed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, while visiting his family. He attended a Roman Catholic Jesuit school after he failed in the public school system at the age of sixteen. He formed a small rap group with his friends while still in school. In 2000, he appeared as a rapper called Opmaestro, though he later changed his stage name to "Stromae", which is "Maestro" with the syllables reversed following the French slang practice, verlan.

In 2007, during his studies at the film school of Brussels, Stromae decided to concentrate fully on his musical career. This resulted in his debut-EP "Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic…".

In 2008, Stromae worked as a young trainee at the music radio station NRJ in Brussels. Vincent Verbelen, Music Manager, was impressed by the talent he perceived in Stromae's first single "Alors on danse" and decided to air it for the first time on NRJ.By May 2010 the track "Alors on danse" had reached number one all around Europe. The first single "Papaoutai" from his second album Racine carrée (English: Square root) was digitally released on 13 May 2013. It went on to chart number 1 in Belgium and France, number 2 in the Netherlands, as well as number 7 in Germany and Switzerland.[citation needed]

On 22 May 2013, amateur-looking videos appeared on YouTube showing Stromae, apparently drunk and wandering at the Louiza tram station in Brussels at dawn.[11] The videos went viral. A few days later, it was revealed that this was linked with the filming of a professional music video. This was confirmed during an appearance by Stromae on the French TV show Ce soir ou jamais in which he discussed and also performed his new single "Formidable", which is about the story of a drunk man just separated from his girlfriend. The album, recorded in an attic, explores themes as diverse as alienation from social networks, relationship issues, discrimination, cigarettes and lung cancer, AIDS and absent father figures.

After the release of the album Stromae toured the world, got married and became a father and started his own fashion label. Busy with all this a new album is still in the waiting.

On the web:

- Stromae´s website: http://www.mosaert.com/

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Xavier Naidoo (Germany)

MC Solaar (France)

What do we think:

DB: I came to know Stromae because someone shared the Lecon around ´Alors on danse´ (which is lesson number 8 if you want to look it up). It shows perfectly how he builds the song from scratch. Since then things went boom for the Belgian rapper/performer so I don´t really have to explain any more.


♪♪♪♪ - Cheese (2010)

♪♪♪♪ - Racine carree (2013)

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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