Go shopping with Stromae at Amoeba Music and find out what’s in his bag. “What’s in My Bag” is a Webby Award-winning online video series created by Amoeba Music. Stromae visited this Hollywood landmark, which is one of the largest independent music stores in the world, and filmed his episode of “What’s in My Bag?” in the first week of October, 2014, when he was in the area for two performances in Los Angeles.
Stromae’s choices consist mostly of music he admits he doesn’t know and wants to be more familiar with. Rather than just going through the motions of a marketing stunt, he seems excited to have been able to use the opportunity of shopping at Amoeba to make some new musical discoveries. He tells us that he can never remember artists’ names, but he remembers melodies. Demonstrating the fashion sense that goes into his work with Mosaert, one album catches his attention just because of the “old school style” of the man on the cover. He even picks up an album as a present for his mom, from a group she’s a fan of. It reminds him of a family trip to the desert in northern Mali when he was younger.
Here are a few details from the video that might not be immediately obvious.
He alternates between English and French throughout the 4-minute video, and the English subtitles are quite accurate. But when he’s introducing his choice of Elvis’ Number One Hits, he actually says not “Elvis is probably the biggest American classic” but “Je crois le plus grand classique de la musique,” “I think the biggest classic in music.” Then the subtitles drop the fact that he says that Elvis “has an image in the United States that I’m not familiar with.” He also does a funny little Elvis imitation that doesn’t come across in the subtitles: “Alors, il y a des trucs, oui, j’entends sa voix, un peu muh, muh, un peu comme ça, mais je ne le connais pas bien.” (“So, there are these things, yes, I hear his voice, a little bit muh, muh, a little bit like that, but I don’t know him well.”)
Full list of Stromae’s picks: What’s In My Bag? Stromae
UPDATE April 13, 2015: Amoeba has just published a short interview with Stromae, also conducted at his visit to the store last fall. He discusses his mother’s role in developing his musical interests, as well as why he says he doesn’t know where he’s going (but he does know where he’s not going).