Alexandra Stan wants you to listen, Indila wants you to wait a bit more

Recently I heard a song that’s a mix of French and English by Romanian singer Alexandra Stan. It reminded me in parts of one of the most popular French singers of late, Indila, so I thought it worth sharing. It’s called Écoute, which means “listen”.

In truth there is not much French in the song, but hey, we have to be grateful for what we get, which in this case is the chorus.

Écoute, écoute, écoute-moi
Et suis la route après ma voie
Tu sais bien que je suis là pour toi
Écoute, écoute, écoute-moi

Alexandra is best known for her hit Mr Saxobeat, which was massive – and I mean MASSIVE – in some parts of the world in 2011. For me it was one of those songs that can irritate and yet prove infectious (like Macarena, for example)

In the meantime I (and I am sure many other fans) are waiting for something new from Indila – it’s been three years since her remarkable debut album Mini World and singles such as S.O.S and Dernière Danse made their mark. Still, she has been promising on her Twitter account for a while now that her second album is due out soon. Just to refresh your memories of her, here is one of the other singles from that album.

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French chansons from the fairer sex

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Here’s your romance language weekend soundtrack

Along with Stromae, Indila has carrying the flag for the French language on the world music charts. Her debut album, Mini World, has done very well in places such as Poland, as well as closer to home in France, Belgium and Switzerland. The first single from that album, Dernière Danse (Last Dance), which My Five Romances featured on the post French chansons from the fairer sex, also did well further east, reaching No.1 on the charts in Greece, Turkey, Israel, for example.

Here’s another single from that album, S.O.S., which has also been getting a lot of airplay, deservedly so.

Also luscious in feel is this effort from Mellina featuring Vescan – the latter providing what is almost obligatory in modern music nowadays; a rap interlude, but his bit is overlaid in parts with keyboard flourishes that flutter around lightly like butterflies on a summer’s day.

Incidentally, poză in Romanian means a picture or a pose, not to be confused with pauză, which means pause.

Sticking with Romanian, here’s Tu (Inima si Sufletul), a single from Ruby, whom I’ve featured before along with Yogi and Shift on the post Get this îngheţată thing licked. This reminds me in parts of Kirsty MacColl.

Tu, of course, means you in the singular, inimă means heart and suflet means soul (-ul is suffix for the definite article the, hence sufletul = the soul).

Now for some Portuguese. David Carreira is the son of one of Portugal’s most popular singers Tony Carreira. In this song he tells his lover that even in 20 years’ time, if they are separated and in the arms of another, there will (haverá) always (sempre) be a song (uma musica) to remind him of her. And isn’t that what songs, do – remind us of phases of our lives?

David was born in France, and if you have been following this blog you would know that Tony is comfortable speaking and singing in both French and Portuguese. It seems David is too. Here is one of his French hits.

To finish on a happy, upbeat note, with a bit of Spanish, here are two Puerto Rican singers who go by the name of Wisin & Yandel.

Indila’s got them dancing and Faydee’s not fading in the hot 100

If I talk about music it means I haven’t done any language research recently. OK, let’s talk about music 😀 … Having just been through a Brazilian music phase (I’m still enjoying Capital Incial and Paul Fernandes), it’s time to move on to another language. I have a whole set of songs in Spanish tagged in my Shazam app, but have yet to sort through them; I could do Italian songs, but a blog that I follow, Peeking into Italy, provides Italian monthly hitlists, so if you want to keep up to date with the current Italian music scene, I suggest you head there for now. Which leaves French or Romanian…

IndilaWell, there is a French singer at the top of the latest available Romanian Top 100 airplay charts: Indila has finally made it to No. 1 with Dernière Danse, which My Five Romances featured on the post French chansons from the fairer sex. (That said, the airplay chart, which you can see here, is for the 23/03/2014 – it takes a couple of weeks for the information to be compiled.) Other French artists doing well on the chart are Klingande (who prefers to sing in Swedish) – her big European hit Jubel is up four places to No. 23, and Maître Gims (his Bella is still in the top 40 after 27 weeks on the chart) and Stromae, up 17 places to 57 with Tous Les Mêmes). See the ‘Related links’ at the bottom post if you want to know more about them.

There are a couple of Australians on the chart too: Kylie Minogue and Faydee. You might expect the former to being doing better of the two, but no, her latest single Into The Blue has been vacillating about in the bottom half of the chart, whereas Faydee, who is of Lebanese descent and is not that well known in Australia, has had great success in eastern Europe, Romania in particular, first with Laugh Till You Cry (a No. 1 last year), and his latest, Can’t Say No, which this week is at No.10.

The hot Romanian songs of the moment are…

Smiley‘s Acasa is still doing well at No. 2 (which reminds me, have you done your karaoke challenge yet?) I think this recent release by Soré will do likewise; it’s already on the verge of the top 10. She is a relative newcomer on the music scene and it’s hard to find information about her in English (you get lots of yukky images and descriptions of sores!) but according to this snippet on the Romania Insider website her real name is Sorina Mihalache, she sings in a band called LaLaBand and was “discovered” when she was 17 by the producers from Play & Win, who also work with Inna. She certainly has a powerful voice, and the drums on this track are unusual.

This next song, Zbor Cu Parapanta by Maximilian -feat. Grasu XXL, actually features the typically magnificent scenery of the Romanian mountain ranges, and – shock, horror indignation! – the singers litter them as they make this video! (Hopefully they tidied up afterwards.) The title means “Paragliding” and it’s apparently a deep and meaningful metaphor about life when you have to fly even though you are afraid of heights. Although I don’t particularly care for Maximilian‘s hip-hop/rap-style verses, I find the underlying sounds very interesting and hypnotic, and this has helped the song linger in the top 20 for a while now. If you play this, don’t stop listening at least until after the fat guy (Grasu XXL) sings! His voice is great and the chorus is what makes this song. It goes like this….

Despre una, despre alta – About (or “concerning”)one thing and another
Un fel de zbor cu parapanta – A kind of paragliding
Când eu am rău de înălţime – When I’m afraid of heights
Asta-i despre mine, despre tine, despre oricine, despre nimeni – That’s about me, you, anybody, nobody…

In contrast to all the commercial dance/pop, power ballads and rap/pop numbers that dominate the charts, it’s good to hear some old-fashioned pop/rock with ooomph. Numai la doi is a new release from Vunk, a band with some pedigree in Romania, and it has just broken into the top 30. The title means “Only two”. It features the very popular Andra, who was at No.1 with Atata Timp Cat Ma Iubesti until Indila took over this week.

Lastly, I should mention this song, Sus Pe Toc, by Shift featuring Marius Moga (the latter is an internationally renowned singer and music producer). It is the biggest stayer on the current chart – 43 weeks so far – and was huge last summer,when I was in Romania. It’s a homage to high heels – hence all the leggy models strutting their stuff – it’s layered with interesting sounds, rhythms and echoes, and the chorus is infectious (I’m a sucker for catchy “whoa-oh-o-ah” lines). If anything, this song illustrates how well produced technically much of Romanian contemporary music is. 

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French chansons from the fairer sex

Recently Bernardo has highlighted songs in French by men of the moment such as Stromae and Maître Gims, now it is time to give les femmes a go. Here are two of the hottest up-and-coming female singers in France. Bien sûr, Le Bernardo has his fingers on Le pulse Français!

First up is Indila‘s Dernière Danse (Last Dance). Bernardo is sure it is not the last we will hear of her.

Joyce Jonathan‘s debut album in 2010 was a huge success in France. She released a follow-up last year, and the single from it, Ça Ira, is still lingering in the lower regions of the French charts. The title means “it will be fine” or “it will be OK”. The present tense equivalent is Ça va.

One of her songs, L’heure avait sonné, apparently featured in an American TV series called Gossip Girl. The title translated literally means “the hour had sounded” but in English we would probably say something like “the clock struck”. Anyway, let’s see what it’s all about.

You can find a translation of the lyrics to the latter song here.