-M- (Matthieu Chédid)

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21 december 1971

Matthieu Chédid was born in 1971 in Boulogne-Billancourt, a year before his singer father Louis Chédid brought out his first album. He is also the grandson of the Egyptian-born French writer and poetess of Lebanese descent Andrée Chedid who has written lyrics for him. Aged only six, Matthieu was in the backing choir on his fathers first hit, ‘T'a beau pas être beau’. His farther also had a close friendship with Laurent Voulzy and Alain Souchon. Since their siblings were hanging around the studio all day it wasn’t long before Matthieu, Julien Voulzy and Pierre Souchon formed a few short-lasting groups such as Mat Mat, Les bébés fous and Les poissons rouges. Bothered that he would be compared to his well known dad Matthieu changed his stagename into the character –M-. Under this name his debut album ‘Le Baptême’ was released in 1997. Backed by a group of friends, Matthieu came up with 16 groovy, poetic tracks. For the lyrics, he called on the talents of Nathalie, the singer of Billy Ze Kick. The first live performances were as a support act for Texas and CharlElie Couture. Already at the start M invested in his live show wearing flamboyant clothes, and styling his hair into the shape of an M. On stage, each song is illustrated by its own accompanying act called Les Acariens.

In 1999 his second album ‘Je dis aime’ was released. M's new album offered a poetic take on a series of banal, often absurd, events of everyday life, fusing fantasy, humour and tender, sensitive lyrics. The album and his expressive live shows came to a high point when he triumphed at the annual Victoires de la Musique awards. M quickly proved to be the star of the evening, carrying off the award for Best Male Singer of the Year as well as Best Concert. In 2002 he also collaborates on the 'A la légère' album of Jane Birkin, playing lead guitar on two tracks. Later that year Matthieu becomes the proud father of daughter Billie. Inspired he released an instrumental album entitled ‘Labo M1’. In 2003 he also started working with Cyril Atef and Vincent Segal on ‘Qui de nous deux ?’ ('Which of us?').

In comparison to his former releases the album dealt with deeper themes and an avowed desire to move onto a more personal level - as on the song ‘Je me démasque’ ('Unmasking myself'). The subsequent tour even took him to Cairo, Egypt. January 2005 saw the release of ‘Live au Spectrum’, a mini-CD featuring 9 songs recorded at M's concert at Le Spectrum in Montreal. The CD was only released in Quebec – but, bowing to popular demand, soon made its way to French record stores as an import. At the end of the year M performed a charity show at the Olympia sharing the stage with the likes of Cali, Arthur H and Albin de la Simone, for a fund-raising concert where proceeds were donated to the charity ‘Clowns sans frontières’. After this M fell silent for a long time. He released a soundtrack for the movie ‘Ne le dis à personne’ in 2006 but retained further in contributing to the albums of several other French artists like Brigitte Fontaine on her ‘Libido’ album (2006), Vanessa Paradis’ album ‘Divinidylle’ (2007), Thomas Dutronc ‘Comme un manouche sans guitare’ (2007) and ‘Lunatique’ (2007) from Jenifer. His first new output under his own name is a collaboration with Sean Lennon on the song ‘L'éclipse’ (2007) which is a French remake of Lennon's song ‘Parachute’. In 2008 he only contributed to Malinese duo Amadou and Mariam’s album ‘Welcome to Mali’. The favour was returned by them as well as Brigitte Fontaine on -M- 2009 album 'Mister Mystère'. A big tour took place during 2010 of which a livealbum was released. In 2011 -M- also lends his voice in the animated film 'un Monstre á Paris'. In 2012 he moved for nine monthes to Los Angeles to work in seclusion on 'Îl'.

On the web:

- M's website: http://www.qui2nous2.com/

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

MIA. (Germany)

Bluvertigo (Italy)

What do we think:

DB: I had the privilege to see M live at Popkomm in Berlin in a very small venue. I only knew his album 'Qui de nous deux?' but the entire show was great. At the hight of the party singer Mieze from MIA joined him for a duet. At the time i was sure he would become a huge French star. In a way he did that but no normal new album came from his hand since 2003. In fact my enthusiasm is based on three albums (not counting the numerous soundtracks and experimental instrumental albums). Only collaborations give us a glimpse of things to come. Hope he comes up with a new album soon.

PR:.Great, highly creative French artist. His voice sounds very much like his father's, but his songs, looks and performances are very different! M really is pop music 100% and continues the tradition of artists like Michel Polnareff.

Recommended albums:

♪♪♪ - Le Baptême - 1997

♪♪♪ - Je dis aime - 1999

♪ - Labo M (instrumental) - 2003

♪♪♪♪♪ - Qui de nous deux ? - 2003

♪♪♪ - M au Spectrum (live) - 2005

♪♪ - Ne le dis à personne (soundtrack) - 2006

♪♪♪1/2 - Mister Mystère - 2009

♪♪♪ - Saison de passage (live) - 2010

♪♪♪♪♪ - Îl - 2012

♪♪♪♪♪ = 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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