In an interview for REVOLT, an American digital cable TV network based in Los Angeles, Stromae announced that he plans to tour the United States for at least 8 weeks in spring 2015 “From something around March, yeah, the first of March until end of April, and maybe later if you want me.”
The interview was conducted during Stromae’s stop in Los Angeles the first weekend of October, and posted yesterday on REVOLT’s Facebook page. REVOLT is owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs, a rap artist Stromae counts as one of his early influences.
The interview ranges over several topics. Stromae has said that he makes music as if he were doing math–that’s part of the reason why he called his second album Racine Carrée–and we get more of his mathematical vision when he talks about how the original version of “Papaoutai” was more personal than the one he ultimately recorded for the album. “I don’t want to put more than 20% of my own life in my music… I don’t think that people want to listen to my own story, I think they just want to have an opinion about what we are.”
It seems there’s been an interesting shift in the way Stromae composes. In earlier interviews, he’s always said that he makes music primarily for himself. In an April 2014 interview in French for LesInrocks, he expressed the idea so strongly that the writer even titled the article “Stromae: La musique, j’en fais d’abord pour moi” (“I make music first of all for myself”). “La musique, j’en fais d’abord pour moi, pour me retrouver seul avec mon ordinateur, pas pour travailler en collaboration. Au contraire, ça risquerait de me bloquer. Je suis borné, il vaut mieux que je travaille en solo. L’écriture des chansons, c’est mon moment de solitude. Je me redécouvre et je parle avec moi-même, je me pose des questions, je me fais des théories qui veulent tout et rien dire. Ces moments-là sont très importants pour moi, sinon je tomberais malade.” (“I make music for myself, to find myself alone with my computer, not to work in collaboration. If I did otherwise, I’d risk getting writer’s block. I‘m narrow-minded, it’s better that I work solo. Writing songs is my moment of solitude. I rediscover myself and I talk to myself, I ask myself questions, I make up theories that want everything and say nothing. Those moments are very important to me, otherwise I would get sick.“)
In this REVOLT interview he says that the opposite is true for him now: “When I just try to compose for me, I cannot do anything. And when I think about another artist, for example, I don’t know who, it came, that is to say, it comes so easily, it’s a sign for me that I need to compose for somebody else. I’m just– je suis bloqué. (literally, “I’m blocked”: I can’t function, or I have writer’s block) I cannot explain that. But it’s like, my project is too important now. I need actually to be involved for somebody else and just share, actually. I’m too selfish, I think.”
Stromae has composed for others in the past, notably creating the instrumental tracks for the song “Ghetto” for Kery James in 2008. In his “Leçon No. 14,” created in 2009 after the song’s release, he says “You know, my job is, at its base, to be a beatmaker. I made some instrumentals for Kery James. So, the singer who’s pretty well-known in France. I made a piece that’s entitled ‘Ghetto.’ ” He has also composed a song for Lorde’s soundtrack for the much-anticipated new Hunger Games movie; the track features several other artists as well. Maybe Stromae is once again returning to his “beatmaker” roots.
We’ll pass along the dates of Stromae’s spring US tour as soon as they become available.
Leçon No. 14 (with bonus sunset rooftop tour of Brussels!):