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FOUNDER’S BLOG: Multicultural Belgian Music Sensation “Strome” takes Cochella by Storm

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Stromae is a celebrated singer, rapper and songwriter hailing from Brussels, Belgium. A huge hit in Europe, this year he took the U.S. by storm during a West Coast tour and appearance at Cochella. Hearing just a few notes of any of his songs and the source of his popularity is obvious.

According to Wikipedia, Stromae was born in Belgium to a Rwandan architect father and a Flemish mother. His father,was killed during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He formed a small rap group with friends while still in school, and was inspired Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel, Cuban son, and Congolese rumba.

“I am, I was, and will remain, myself: neither one nor the other.”

As with many of us with liminal identity, Stromae  did not always feel that he was from Belgium, even though he was raised as a Belgian. Some say Screenshot 2015-04-29 01.52.54this “outsider” image became part of his appeal:[2] the chorus of one of his songs runs, “I am, I was, and will remain, myself: neither one nor the other.”

“He did not always feel that he was from Belgium, even though he was raised as a Belgian. This “outsider” image became part of his appeal, as it is with many TCKs and Culturally Mobile people.  One of his songs proclaims:  “I am, I was, and will remain, myself: neither one nor the other.”

We feel you.  Check the video

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8 comments

  1. I love learning about new artists making it big! I saw some amazing artists from all over the world when I went to Coachella a few years ago!

  2. It’s cool to learn about new artists, especially international artists with cool back stories like Stromae! 

  3. I’m excited to hear more music from Belgium, especially since I’m going there on the study abroad trip with CSU. I had never heard of Stromae before this article, so thanks for the heads up!

  4. Sweet feature on this artist! I have heard of him before, but I didn’t know that he was multicultural! I think Cochella is a huge deal for artists too, because it really puts them on the map in popular culture.

  5. I love this highlight of Stromae because it’s always great to get to know what’s happening with different artists other than just the popular ones. I like the integration of his lyric which reflects his TCK experiences and thoughts. Also I’m jealous that you mentioned Coachella because it’s one of my goals to go there one year! 

  6. Just another reason to go to Coachella! The beauty of music is the culture.  Music is a part of every culture and it’s cool to see how each culture identifies their music.  People who only stick to listening to mainstream artist should really read this article.  

  7. I love reading about foreign artists that are becoming big around the world. It’s so cool to know that there are artists coming from countries half way around the world and performing at music festivals like Coachella. I really enjoyed reading about his background and how he used his two cultures as inspiration for his music. 

  8. I love seeing how peoples upbringing, especially those of TCK’s, effects the art they make. His multicultural upbringing is unmistakable.

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