Alors on Dance
May 29, 2013 9:48 AM   Subscribe

This Monday the Belgian rapper/musician Stromae released his latest single Formidable to Youtube, where it has already gotten well over two million views. If you've heard of Stromae it's probably because of the success of his 2010 single Alors on Dance, which was an Europe-wide hit, later remixed by Kanye West and Gilbere Forte. That this song became such a huge hit was not entirely a coincidence, as Stromae and his manager hit upon a novel way to promote his music, as he explained in a TEDx talk in Brussel in 2010.

Rather than just upload his songs to Youtube, instead he created a series of music lessons, showing how each song was created and the various steps needed to make them. Some twentyfour lessons are available through Youtube account thought the majority of these is in French, several have received English subtitles, listed below:

Lesson 1 Up Saw Liz
Lesson 8 Alors on Dance
Lesson 15 Feeling disco, disco feeling you you feel disco
Lesson 16 Welcome to my place
Lesson 17 House'llelujah - The insolent lessons of Stromae
Lesson 18 A line of Music
Lesson 19 Peace or Violence
Lesson 20 Te Quiero
Lesson 21 Silence
Lesson 24 les leçons c'est ''tous les mêmes''

The name Stromae is a verlan mixup of "Maestro", with the two syllables transposed. Stromae as an musician is inevitably influenced by Jacques Brel, but also by nineties European dance music, very noticably so in House'llelujah.
posted by MartinWisse (11 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
In case that first link doesn't work, as it just seems to have stopped doing for me, an alternative link. What I like about the video is that in the middle of the video -- shot in the heart of Brussel and showing a tired and emotional Stromae the day after a breakup with his girlfriend -- is accosted by four cops who ask him is everything is allright and tell him to take care of himself as they're huge fans.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:55 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

Interesting - Stromae's version of the manual for the YouTube age.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:19 AM on May 29, 2013

a novel way to promote his music, as he explained in a TEDx talk in Brussel in 2010.

I don't think promote means what you and he thinks it means. The 10:32 video showed how he appears to make a song.
posted by surplus at 11:23 AM on May 29, 2013

Alors on dance is such a perfect song. The apparent simplicity, the annoyed attitude, and dance, the answer to everything.
posted by dhoe at 12:19 PM on May 29, 2013

Not come across any of this before, and I agree with dhoe, Alors on danse is a great record. The laidback yet pissed off vibe of it all. Love it! Also really enjoyed the Brel-esque pronunciation in Formidable, will definitely start making my way through his lessons. Thanks for the post!
posted by jontyjago at 2:30 PM on May 29, 2013

Jacques Brel came immediately to mind when I watched stromae in the TEDx lecture. For those who haven't seen or heard Brel (long since gone from us), here are a few tunes. Stromae's stuff is damned good, and a breath of fresh air!

btw, the Kanye west cover was a real disappointment, why couldn't West just leave a good tune alone!
posted by Vibrissae at 4:06 PM on May 29, 2013

Yeah, Formidable really struck me as Brelesque as well, in the pain and anguish Stromae put in his singing.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:23 PM on May 29, 2013

This is the Brel song I would've gone with.

And yeah, I def see the similarity with Formidable. Great song/video.
posted by inigo2 at 6:24 PM on May 29, 2013

I thought Jamel was the genius behind Alors on Dance?
posted by Akeem at 1:10 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Posts like this is why love Metafilter. Thank so much.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:02 PM on May 30, 2013

Formidable live on France 2.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:52 AM on May 31, 2013

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