Pascal Obispo


8 January 1965

Pascal was born in Bergerac in the South West of France. The son of a football he originally dreamed of becoming a basketball player. But when in 1978 he moved to Rennes with his mother, he discovered a new passion in life: music. In the early 80's Rennes had a thriving music scene and the town even produced its own annual festival, Transmusicales. This hotbed of music talent soon spawned a whole host of French new wave pop stars such as Etienne Daho and Niagara. In 1988 Pascal ormed his own group, Senzo. Getting picked up by the Epic label he recorded his debut album, ‘Plus que tout au monde’ in 1992. Produced by Nick Patrick (renowned for his work with Alain Bashung and Alain Souchon), the album turned out to be very popular. After a lengthy tour Obispo returned to the studio in 1994 to record his second album.
Released in October of that year, the album continued in the same catchy pop vein as Obispo's début and, not surprisingly, proved just as great a hit. Following the release of the album, Obispo promptly embarked upon another tour. One of the keyshows was one at La Cigale in Paris which confirmed his status as one of the hottest upcoming stars.

That same year Obispo would also reveal his songwriting talent, penning the hit single ‘Zen’ for his close friend Zazie. After a tour as support for Celine Dion Obispo went on to work on ‘Superflu’, released in 1996, which sold over 300,000 copies. The album also featured a duet with Zazie called ‘les meullieur enemis’. Following this success Obispo was invited to perform at the legendary Olympia in Paris, where he performed six sell-out concerts. In 1997, during a show in Ajaccio, tragedy hit when Obispo was hit by a shower of buckshot fired from a gun in the audience. As it turned out Obispo was extremely shaken by the event but not luckily seriously injured.
1997 would prove to be an extremely eventful year for Obispo working with Florent Pagny and Johnny Hallyday. Obispo would pen several tracks on Florent Pagny's new album, including the single ‘Savoir aimer’. For Johnny Hallyday he would write the entire album. Sadly Obispo's professional success was not echoed at this year's Victoires de la Musique awards (held in Paris in February). In spite of being nominated for three major awards, Obispo walked off empty-handed from the prestigious French award ceremony once again.

In 1998 he became active in AIDS charity releasing the special album ‘Ensemble’. He also became active in charity groups Restos du Cœur and Sol en S In 1999 it was back at the writing desk penning and producing several songs for Patricia Kaas and again Florent Pagny. His own album ‘Soledad’ (Solitude) - revolving around the theme of loneliness. Instead of touring Obispo started writing on a musical called ‘Les Dix Commandements’ (the ten commandments), directed by Elie Chouraqui. The show premiered in 2001.

In 2001, the singer was presented with the NRJ Music Award for Best singer—a likely yet unexpected reward for an artist who had always been ignored by the Victoires de la Musique (the French equivalent of the Grammy’s). In July 2002, Obispo took part in the charity concert for the Restaurants du Coeur given by the Enfoirés in Marseilles. Then he went back to the studio to work on a benefit title that is to be sung by the French football team to collect funds for the fight against AIDS. The Senegalese artist Youssou N’Dour, took care of the chorus part.

The press has often remarked on the influence of Michel Polnareff on Pascal Obispo, so it was no surprise when the latter decided to pay homage to former in the form of a concert tour. Obispo undertook a sixty-date tour across France in 2003/2004. The first half of the show was entirely devoted to Polnareff songs while in the second part he sang songs from Téléphone and Madonna, and one new song called ‘Fan’. The following double album was titled ‘live fan/studio fan’. In 2006 the more introvert album ‘Les fleurs du bien’ appeared. This highly personal work included themes close to the singer’s own heart such as the song ‘Noir’, an account of the recent break-up of his own relationship. Obispo also paid tribute to another set of musical idols: Léo Ferré (‘Sur la voie Ferré’) and Etienne Roda-Gil (‘Libre comme Picasso’). In 2009 a new single was released called ‘le drapeau’ under the name Captain Samurai Flower. Tourdates for 2010 are already announced.

On the web:

- Obispo's website: http://www.pascalobispo.com

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

Herbert Grönemeyer (Germany)

Michel Polnareff (France)

What do we think:

DB: Obispo is the big thing in France at the moment. Reading his bio one is made to believe that this happened overnight. In fact, we were told by several people who know that his albums were a mild success but that his songwriting skills for other artists overshadowed his own albums in the beginning. With ‘Superflu’ this changed transforming in to what he is today. Due to his voicerange the link with Polnareff is inevitable. His 2006 album moves away from that sound giving Obispo more identity of his own. If you’re not into stadium sized power poprock with grant gestures and swollen arrangements better listen first before buying.


- Le long du fleuve - 1990

- Plus Que Tout au Monde - 1992

- Un Jour Comme Aujourd’hui - 1994

♪♪♪ - Superflu - 1997

♪♪ - Live 98 - 1998

♪♪♪♪ - Soledad - 1999

♪♪♪ - Studio Fan - Live Fan - 2004

♪♪♪ - Les Fleurs du Bien - 2006

♪♪♪♪♪ = 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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