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Many of the readers of this blog are from countries around the world, so many of you in Europe and the Middle-East will already know Stromae and his music. He is also wildly popular in Québec and Francophone Canada. However to those living in Anglophone Canada, or the US, he is not so well known. Because this blog is geared mostly to Anglophone Canadians, I need to introduce a bit of his background.
Stromae (a play on words of the French & English word “maestro”) is a Francophone Belgian pop-singer.
Many of the successful pop singers in Europe also find success in Québec and Francophone Canada. Stromae is no exception. In fact, following a couple of sold-out concerts at the Molson Centre in Montréal, he’s now giving a sold-out concert this evening here in Toronto, Ontario… one of his last concerts before he takes a break in his musical career to recuperate and gain some inspiration for a future career comeback.
Despite being quite young (born in Brussels in 1985) and only having two albums, his music has gone #1 in Francophone countries in Europe (the countries which speak French in Europe are Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Aosta Valley region of Italy), as well as several non-Francophone countries across Europe and the Middle-East.
He’s best known for his 2009/2010 hit, “Alors on danse”. It was constantly top-of-the-charts on Montréal hit radio and other radio stations around the world.
The ensemble of his two albums (Cheese and Racine carrée), videos, dancing, and joint performances with other big names has made him a household name in Québec. You’ll might recall from an earlier blog post that he was a guest on L’Été indien in Montréal this month.
Despite that he will soon be taking a professional break for a year or two, he says he’ll make a career come-back with a bit more life experience and inspiration behind him, from which to continue to compose and present his music.
His music is for sale online through several venues. Please only visit officially approved sites when purchasing music and videos, and please do not pirate.
No, the subject of this post is not about the classic 1975 song from France, sung by Joe Dassin “L’Été indien” (one of the most famous and greatest known French songs of all time).
Rather, this is about Julie Snyder having pulled off another big one… and this time she did it big! “L’Été Indien” (Indian Summer) is a 4-part Television series airing every Sunday in September. It’s the largest ever Québec-France co-production variety show being shown to both publics on television on both sides of the ocean. However it is almost completely filmed in Québec.
It aired in August in France. Sneak-peak views at the ratings indicate that during August, it was the #1 viewed program in France with about 4 million views. The first two airings have already taken place in Canada, and it was the #1 watched program on TVA at the time, with an audience of 2 million the 1st episode, and 1.6 million the second episode.
It is set on a giant outdoor stage in the old port of Montréal, with the Montréal downtown skyline as a backdrop. It is co-hosted by Julie Snyder representing us on this side of the ocean, and Michel Drucker (arguably one of France’s best known TV hosts / presenters / interviewers spanning a 40 year career) representing France. It is broadcast on TVA in Québec and Canada, and TV5 in France. It is also being broadcast in 200 countries via TV5 monde.
The invitees include the biggest of the big Francophone celebrities, both throughout the decades, and some more recent — from Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Belgium, France, and even one from the UK. It’s clear it took a gigantic international endeavour to make this show. 200 employees are involved, and I can’t even imagine how many flights needed to be booked to pull this one off.
Not only do the celebrities participate in one-on-one and group interviews with Snyder and Drucker, but in addition to providing performances on the large outdoor stage, they also participate in various activities around Québec in a fun and relaxed environment. This might be the first time some of these celebrities have ever been seen before in such a light. The show also projects and image of Québec not often seen by the public around the world.
Originally an idea between René Angelil (Celine’s husband) and Michel Drucker, Julie took the reigns and has brought us this star-studded line-up that has everyone talking. When you read the line-up of invitees below, all appearing in just 4 episodes, all on stage in Montréal, and then crisscrossing Québec in groups on numerous mini-adventures, you’ll understand just how big of an undertaking L’Éte Indien actually is — and what the international media frenzy and fuss has all been about…
- Celine Dion – Québec – (Julie’s personal good friend): She and Julie kicked off the first episode by water skiing together down the St. Lawerence, right onto the stage (that set the tone for the entire show, right from the get-go).
- Stromae – Belgium – One of the current chart-topping singers across the Francophone world (including in Québec)
- Roch Voisine – Nouveau-Brunswick/Acadie – One of Canada’s long-time famous singers in both French and English.
- Véronique DiCaire – Ontario – Famous Montréwood and Ontaroise singer, having performed with some of the biggest names in the industry, and having become a star in her own right.
- Fred Pellerin – Québec – a famous (and rather young) story-teller, bringing his stories to life through song and oral story recitals. His tiny home village of St-Elie-de-Claxton (Québec), has become a tourist attraction because of the attention Pellerin has brought to it through his stories.
- Francis Cabrel – France – one of France’s most famous singers, whose career has spanned decades (Fred Pellerin took Cabrel home to his small village of St-Elie in one of the episodes).
- Marc Labreche – Québec – topic of a former blog post. Famous comedian.
- Martin Matte – Québec – Famous TV sitcom actor and comedian (the last post on the Gémeaux Awards mentioned he cleaned house at the gala this week).
- Garou – Québec – For almost two decades, he has been one of the most famous and best known singers in Québec and France.
- Mika – UK (originally from Lebanon) – Well known to an Anglophone public with several English language hits a few years ago. He is now singing in French and cleaning up the charts in numerous Francophone countries (he has Lebanese Francophone roots, lived a few years in France as a child, but has mostly grown up in the UK).
- Cœur de Pirate – Québec – Famous (and quite young) singer who has attained huge musical achievements, success and fame in a very short period of time (both in Québec and France).
- Xavier Dolan – Québec – Internationally award winning movie director. In the history of movies, he is one of the youngest people in his profession to have ever achieved so much international acclaim at such as young age.
- Vincent Niclo – France – Famous singer and actor.
- Patrick Bruel – France – One France’s most famous singers, whose career has spanned decades.
- Karim Ouellet – Québec – A relatively newer chart-topping singer, he has won some of Québec and Canada’s biggest awards in music (a Juno, le Prix Félix-Leclerc). He grew up in numerous countries (his father was a Canadian diplomat), but calls Québec home.
- Corneille – Québec – A wildly popular singer in Québec with a funk-R’n’B sound. His personal story (having survived the Rwandan Genocide, while his family did not) has captured the hearts of the public.
- Ginette Reno – Québec – The subject of a previous post — a super star.
- Robert Charlebois – Québec – Considered one of the legends and “founding fathers” of contemporary Québec music, in terms of style, language, and tone. His career has brought him from the 1960s to today, and it continues to go strong.
- Marie-Mai – Ontario – The subject of a previous post. A wildly popular singer.
- Isabelle Boulay – Québec – Mentioned in the post “Québec = Country”. A celebrity singer who’s music has been popular for around 15 years.
- Rachid Badouri – Québec – A very popular comedian, performing both at home in Québec, and also in France, on stage and on television.
- Mylène Paquette – Québec – She was the first North American female to row solo across the Atlantic ocean. She has achieved celebrity status in Québec as a result, and was named as 2013 personality of the year by various media.
- Stéphane Rousseau – Québec – A very famous actor and comedian, he is often seen on television and movies in many roles. If he’s not acting in a certain role, he is being interviewed, doing stand-up comedy, or seen in advertisements.
- Anne Roumanoff – France – A very famous French comedian.
- (An honourable mention for) Denis Coderre – Québec – the Mayor of Montréal (and long-term MP and former Liberal cabinet minister), he participated in the program by presenting the keys to the city to Michel Drucker.
- Linda Lemay – Québec – A famous celebrity singer with a long career in both Québec and France.
With such a celebrity line up and interesting program format, this is one show you might not want to miss. The last two episodes will air Sunday, September 21st and 28th at 7:00pm on TVA (which is carried in many regions across Canada).
The official website is http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/eteindien/.
TVA has posted numerous official footage out-takes on YouTube. You can begin your search for them by clicking HERE. (please stick to official footage only).