Stromae (born Paul Van Haver), better known as Stromae, is a Belgian musician, singer, songwriter and musician. In the mid 90’s he was one of the key figures in the Belgium’s underground hip hop community. He is primarily recognized for his work in the genre of the alternative hip hop and experimental music. While his musical influences are numerous, some of his most famous are producers such as Ferenczi, Del Thombing, and Cie Bianco. As a result, he has become a multi-faceted artist with an eclectic mix of influences.
Stromae achieved some measure of success early on with his self-titled album. The album went gold, though failed to gain the popularity of many other artists. In 1996 he decided to use his musical talent to launch a career in the musical theater, and this led to the formation of the band Stromae. The band achieved moderate success throughout their initial few years in the theater, but they were a huge hit with the audiences of the London performing arts center called the Old Vic. When the play ended, Van Haver decided that he wanted to make a stupendous comeback and so he put together a group of his friends to form the band Stromae/RA.
Stromae/RA was instantly successful and achieved mainstream popularity when they began touring the world in 1997. Their singles “I’m Your Leader” and “I’m Alive” reached No. 1 in the UK and “Stromae” were later certified Platinum in the United Kingdom. The success of Stromae/RA made them the subject of several comedy sketches on TV, as well as a feature documentary entitled Stromae: The Movie. A decade after their first major touring effort, the band decided to take a different turn, and they reunited with their original lineup.
This time, the band opted for a new song and instead of going back to their original themes, they decided to go on a world tour and play to wide selection of audience from various parts of the globe. During their worldwide tour, the band discovered that their fan base had increased significantly and so they decided to release their first single, “Wake Me Up.” Although the single did not receive much attention from the critics, it became known around the world, especially in Europe, thanks to the efforts of a British DJ, named Paul Weller. Thanks to Weller’s efforts, Stromae gained further popularity and their first single “Wake Me Up” was certified gold in the United Kingdom.
The single “Wake Me Up” was then followed by the album Stromae: La Grande Vison which was an improved version of their previous efforts. The album featured guest spots from such pop heavyweights as Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Lee, David Cook and Chaka Khan among others. A year later, Stromae’s second album, Follies, was released which contained material from the aforementioned singles, as well as additional songs. Some of which were “Hips Don’t Lie”, “Stromae” and “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.”
A few months after Follies, Stromae decided to give another song to fans, titled “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” As you can expect, it featured the previously released song and it was even better than its predecessor. The song became a worldwide hit and was certified platinum in the U.K. Later that year, Stromae released Stromae: La Grande Vison II. The second album featured bonus tracks “Tear Me Up”, “Hips Don’t Lie” and “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” Stromae: La Grande Vison was eventually released in May of 2021. Its lead single “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” was not included on the album but featured on the singles “Tear Me Up” and “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles II.”