Haven’t yet heard of Stromae, the Rwandan-Belgian singer, songwriter and megastar? Don’t worry–we’re pretty sure you’ll have your chance. After years of slaying European audiences with heartsick tracks (and brilliant videos) like “Formidable” and his breakout hit “Papaoutai” (read our take here), Stromae has started to make his American move. In the past month, he’s appeared on the cover of Time Out New York and made his U.S. television debut.
Like many in notoriously divided Belgium, Stromae seems to have found the Red Devils (the nation’s World Cup soccer team) to be a rare object of national agreement. Featuring players whose families come from a variety of African nations, the multiracial team has become a moving symbol, representing the ideal of a “New Europe” that has been so badly damaged by the post-2008 recession and the accompanying rise of the far right across the continent (read more about it here).
Stromae celebrated the team (whose players mirror his own diasporic background) with an almost fan-boy video for his song “Ta Fete.” And now just in time for his team’s win over Algeria, he’s released a brand-new, high-budget, high-concept video for the track, one which manages to reference soccer without ever making the connection explicit.
We don’t 100 percent understand why our hero is forced to run through an never-ending maze, but it doesn’t take a genius to hear the roar of the synths echoing the roar of the crowd, and recognize the song’s chant-along potential. So give it a listen, and GO RED DEVILS!
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