Video

Stromae's 'Ave Cesaria' Video Pays Tribute To Cesaria Evora

Belgian/Rwandan musician Stromae shares the video for "Ave Cesaria" from his 2013 album 'Racine Caree.'

As he showed in his past music videos, Belgian/Rwandan singer-songwriter Stromae (an inversion of Maestro) has a clear visual sense. Having already shared the strangely beguiling video for his song "Papaoutai" and the dryly hilarious one for his soccer anthem "Ta Fete," the former film student now drops a different yet still engaging video for the song "Ave Cesaria" from his Racine Carrée LP.

Unlike the Wes Anderson-like precision of Stromae's previous videos, "Ave Cesaria" is shot in a very loose, almost jumpy style that perfecly matches the Beirut-esque jubilee of the song. Taking place in a rather bare yet comfortable banquet hall, the video features Stromae performing the song live with a full band in front of a jovial crowd of dancing men and women, one bright-eyed older man singing along in his chair, another man just sitting at a table and watching.

Like Tony Allen's recent "Go Back" video, Stromae's latest cinematic experiment is, really, a portrait of both joy and melancholy. Interestingly, though, the video also manages to be about one person– Cesaria Evora, the late Cape Verdean singer who, as she was called throughout her career, Stromae describes as "the Barefoot Diva." Mentioning Evora's habits of drinking and smoking while expressing deep respect for her, Stromae further shows himself as a beautifully sensitive lyricist and storyteller with "Ave Cesaria." He never judges Cesaria but doesn't overly praise her, either. In the end, like the excited, child-like nature of the video's camera, Stromae just observes, trying to have fun in the process.

Watch the video for "Ave Cesaria" below.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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