Belgian Superstar Stromae Decodes The Visions Behind His Biggest and Eccentric Music Videos


TIME

What does it take to become one of Europe’s most sought-after artists? Perhaps a mega-single that topped the charts in more than 20 countries. And if that’s not enough, two number one albums, countless awards, a successful clothing line, viral YouTube videos, and a sold out U.S. tour might do the trick.

But Belgian singer and composer Stromae’s international success lies not just in his ability to write clever lyrics and produce catchy beats – his allure also rests on the utter strength of his music videos.

Stromae’s video offerings are laced with metaphors and treated with deep – and sometimes even uncomfortable – imagery. Take, for example, last year’s “Papaoutai,” a song about sons growing up to be just like their fathers. Stromae plays a father whose son wants to interact and do things that fathers and sons do. But Stromae’s character doesn’t move; he’s static…

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