February 20, 2014 Elijah Ogidi-Olu 0 Comments

STROMAE was born on March 12, 1985. His real name is Paul Van Haver and he is a Belgian singer-songwriter. He has distinguished himself in both hip hop and electronic music. He first became famous with the song "Alors on danse" which remained at number one for several weeks in numerous countries throughout Europe in 2010.

Van Haver was born in Brussels to a Rwandan father and a Belgian mother. His father was mostly absent during his childhood, and was killed during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. His mother was a Dutch speaker, but she struggled to raised him in a French community in the suburbs of Brussels. At the age of eleven Paul Van Haver already showed an interest in music and attended 'l'Académie Musicale de Jette', where he studied music history and learned to play the drums. This was his first experience with music theory.

In 2000 he appeared as a rapper called Opmaestro, though he later changed his stage name to Stromae (a syllablic inversion of "Maestro", a practice called verlan). It was with this name that Van Haver became successful.

At the age of 18, he founded a rap group called "Suspicion", along with rapper "J.E.D.I." in Eichof. They produced the song and music video "Faut que t'arrête le Rap...", though later, J.E.D.I. decided to leave the rap duo. In order to finance his private school education, Van Haver worked part-time in the hospitality industry, but his school performance wasn't up to standard. It was only later, when he registered at Institut national de radioélectricité et cinématographie, that he released his first album "Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic...".

During his study at the film school of Brussels, Stromae decided in 2007 to drop schooling and concentrate fully on his musical career. This resulted in his debut-EP "Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic…". In 2008 he signed a 4-year record deal with "Because Music" and "Kilomaître".
In 2009 Paul worked as a young trainer at the musical radio station NRJ in Brussels. Vincent Verbelen, Music Manager, was impressed by the talent of Stromae's first single 'Alors on danse' and decided to air it for the first time on NRJ. The response from listeners (including important personalities ranging from Anna Wintour, Jean-Claude Van Damme, to French president Nicolas Sarkozy) was one of extreme enthusiasm and Stromae's career was launched. Sales quickly rose to number one in Belgium in just a matter of weeks.
Vertigo Records, a label of Mercury Records France (Universal Music Group) signed him for a worldwide licensing deal soon after this.

By May 2010 the track Alors on danse had reached number one in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Romania and the Czech Republic.
On September 2, Stromae collaborated with Kanye West in a remix of his hit Alors on danse. In 2010, he was nominated for "Best Dutch and Belgian Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Of his music and its influences he has said: "I was in a little group doing rap music. I thought that rather than copying the French sound, I'd focus on a more American style but give it a European spin. And then I rediscovered 90s Eurodance. For a long time we were ashamed of that sound but in fact there's a lot to discover, it has its roots in everything from house to salsa. I also really admire Jacques Brel – he has been a huge influence on me – but also all sorts of other stuff, Cuban son, and the Congolese rumba which I heard as a child; that music rocked the whole of Africa." Also, Stromae insists he wanted to collaborate with up and coming rap group Swag+5 featuring rapper T-Jay. Finally, the collaboration did not take place but Stromae is a big fan of the American based group. The critic Molloy Woodcraft : "He combines 90s electro synths and beats with a laidback delivery to mesmeric effect".
He is one of the ten winners of the European Border Breakers Award 2011. On February 9, 2011, his debut album 'Cheese' (with hit single "Alors on danse") won the award for Best Dance Album at the Victoires de la Musique. On May 23, during the recording of the French TV show Taratata, Stromae did a mashup of Alors on danse and Don't Stop the Party with the Black Eyed Peas. Stromae also announced he would perform for the first act of two concerts of the band on June 24 and 25, 2011 at Stade De France.[4] Stromae had previously met at the NRJ Music Awards in January. told him that he liked "Alors on danse" and said he wanted to collaborate with Stromae.
In 2011, he received one nomination for "Best Belgian Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
  • 2009 : NRJ Music Awards « révélation musicale belge francophone 2009 »
  • 2010 : Music Industry Awards « hit de l'année » pour Alors on danse
  • 2011 : Association européenne des brass bands
  • 2011 : Victoires de la musique « album de musiques électroniques ou dance de l’année » avec Cheese
  • 2011 : Ultratop Download Award « artiste le plus téléchargé en 2010 en Belgique »
  • 2011 : Octave de la musique « artiste de l'année » et « spectacle de l'année »
  • 2012 : ADISQ « artiste francophone s’étant le plus illustré au Québec »
  • 2013 : Festival international du film francophone de Namur « meilleur clip » pour Papaoutai
  • 2013 : Prix Rolf Marbot de la chanson de l'année pour Formidable
  • 2013 : MTV Europe Music Awards « meilleur artiste belge »
  • 2013 : NRJ Music Awards 2014 « Chanson Francophone » avec "Formidable"
  • 2013 : NRJ Music Awards 2014 « Artiste masculin Francophone »
Totalling 12 major awards and around 19-25 other local and minor awards.
The story of this fatherless, bullied and determined enthusiastic musician is truly inspiring and for all those who don’t know or who have just heard the name ‘STROMAE’ there you have it.
At the moment, Stromae currently has 773,800 followers on twitter, including me. J

Stromae's Hit Songs:




Mature Minds Talk. 

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