Once in a while, I can make an exception. Because none of these artists is really new to me. They are too big of a star not to know them once you are in France for a while, a part of the obliged cultural background you adopt willingly or not. Yet, what they all have in common is they have only recently grown on me… I guess I’m not that resistant to media after all.
Orelsan : This guy brings up memories of my second job in Paris, in one of those English food chains where my boss kept putting on his music during our early morning kitchen hours. I must have listened to some of his songs a thousand times in one week. Still, soon after I forgot the melodic refrain about why the Earth is round and round or whatever … Then, last year he released a new album and a new single called Basique with quite a bad-ass video, followed by another, Tout va bien (I guess I could be grateful for a minute that at least my friends and my – new – boss always keep the TV on, since I don’t have one, grateful even for that impossibly annoying music chain that makes you believe France and the World generally posses only 5-10 worthy artists). I was hooked. Why? Who can ignore the guy who openly says in his song: ”Ok, I’m putting out a new album, but first we need to go through the basics, I’m gonna make a simple video to say simple things because you’re too stupid…” And then, he does. Yet, doesn’t stop there. Every single new song I hear gets the whole of my attention, which, I’m sorry to admit, doesn’t happen often with rap, and makes me appreciate the fact I understand the lyrics, now. Below is his performance at Victoires de la Musique.
Je craquerai pas.
Julien Doré : I’m sure you all know the refrain baby I love you less and less because of what you’ve done to me, right? Well I had before dreaming of Paris became a reality, ignoring the name of the singer completely. Coming here his stardom surprised me a bit, so I half-intentionally committed to continue to ignore his music. But you know, that TV which is always on at work succeeded in making his voice an essential part of the background and one YouTube suggestion could then make me appreciate it further… Still, the verdict is staying in-between. I’m not succumbing quite yet. Except to his hair which remind me of an old friend. And this song. This song!
Benjamin Biolay : Then, there is this man, a singing actor or acting singer. Ever since I first heard of him, he had that allure of an important figure of the scene, infinitely loved by some, yet thoroughly misunderstood, or rather just not understood at all, by others. I’m still not sure I really get him. His esthetic seems personal, mostly laid-back and somehow slightly non-conformist without being too pretentious, or maybe just a bit. As much as his name is all over the media place, his songs aren’t, so much so, in contrast to the two above, I had to decide on my own to go listen to his music and see what it is about. One song quickly found her place in the jungle-like atmosphere of the moment in my life, gently affirming ”so, yeah, I’m taking my time, all the time, super-relaxed” as if to say so what, I’m cool… in various layers of it. Now, I’m cool with him.
Till next time, where I’m back again with some actual new names.