Formidable. Papoutai by Stromae.

One of our favourites tracks from this week's Free Lab Radio mix is a remix which features Belgian singer-songwriter Stromae. 
Papaoutai is a forceful track sung from the perspective of a child whose father was never home. The refrain "Ou ton Papa? Tell me where you father is?" is what people constantly asked the singer at school and as a child in Belgium, as Stromae's father died in the Rwandan Genocide where of course Belgium was the last colonial power.
We've found a translation of the lyrics below. "Everyone's knows how to make babies but they don't all know how to be fathers." The choreography is amazing, especially at 2' when the kid learns to adopt the dance and when the kids lead.

Although there are elements of Eurotrash in Stromae's musical production (well, Belgium), the minimalism and the elements of African influence, which are also echoed in the videos and costumes, more than make up for it. For elements of thism see his latest track Ta Fete (slang for 'your day') and for his satirical play on Belgian identity and attitude to sex, check out Moules Frites.

Are we sure he has a sense of hunour? Of course, look at his entrance to the NRJ Music Awards. His strongest work? Tous les mêmes without a doubt. It's moving into another realm of treatment of subject matter and drawing on traditions in music and performance that will eventually make his work classic. Oh yes, the English translation.

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