Rwandan-Belgian rapper, singer, and songwriter Stromae broke out in 2009 with a singular mixture of hip-hop, French pop, EDM, and Congolese rumba that amplified the struggle of young Europeans of color.
Ultimately, Racine Carrée went platinum eight times in Belgium and sold over 1.5 million copies in Europe. That November, Stromae won the Best Belgian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Racine Carrée’s success continued into 2014. The song “Ta Fête” became the official song for Belgium’s national football team at that year’s World Cup, and Stromae made his U.S. debut that June, performing his first live dates as well as appearing on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. He also appeared on the Lorde -curated soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 on “Meltdown,” a track featuring Pusha T , Q-Tip , HAIM , and Lorde . He continued to play live in 2015, performing at festivals such as SXSW, Coachella, and Lollapalooza, and embarked on an African tour. During the next few years, Stromae released a handful of singles highlighted by the compelling nine-minute ballad “Défiler.” Issued in 2018 as the soundtrack for a fashion show dedicated to his Mosaert clothing brand, the song became his seventh Belgian Top Ten pop hit. Another non-album track, “Santé,” arrived in October 2021, topping the Belgian charts and cracking the Top 20 of Billboard’s Hot Dance and Electronic Songs chart. ~ Mark Deming & Andy Kellman ….