The Best Songs By Belgium's Stromae

Stromae | Paul Van Haver - Stromae
Stromae | Paul Van Haver - Stromae
Photo of Stephanie Benoit
2 November 2016

Stromae is one of Belgium’s most famous contemporary musical exports. Born Paul Van Haver to a Belgian mother and a Rwandan father, Stromae has been making waves in the music world ever since his first big hit, “Alors on danse.” Beyond his music, he has been hailed as a perfect representation of the Belgian socio-cultural mix and also that rarest of things — a vocal advocate of Belgitude, or “Belgian pride.”

‘Alors on danse’

There is no better place to start than Stromae’s first hit. ‘Alors on danse’ is a darkly funny song about the mind-numbing routines we put ourselves through – but it also supplies the antidote. As the chorus explains: ‘that’s why we dance.’

‘Moules Frites’

Hiding behind the euphemism of mussels and fries is a cautionary tale about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.


The clip for this song became an internet sensation, as it was filmed on-location at the tram stop in Louiza in Brussels. Onlookers recognized Stromae and thought his drunken stumbling was completely real, and the police even stopped by to offer him a ride home.


Another great music video with some truly inspired dance moves, ‘Papaoutai’ tells the heart-breaking story of what it feels like to grow up with an absent father.

‘Tous les mêmes’

Catchy, and with a video that features Stromae transforming back and forth from a woman into a man, ‘Tous les mêmes’ pokes fun at the way women sometimes generalize men.


Featuring a very ominous Twitter bird in a cartoon-style music video, this particular song denounces both love and social media, with social media being a metaphor for the narcissistic and fleeting nature of love.

‘Ta fête’

‘Ta fête’ was chosen as the official song for the Belgian football selection at the 2014 World Cup. The music video, however, puts a more sinister spin on the game of football, as the ball is a human running for his life in a Hunger Games-esque stadium.

‘Ave Cesaria’

‘Ave Cesaria’ is Stromae’s tribute to the legendary singer Cesaria Evora from Cape Verde, also known as the barefoot diva. The song is both moving and catchy, and the hand-held recording of a family gathering in the clip will remind listeners of their own shaky home videos.

‘Quand c’est?’

A play on words with ‘cancer,’ this hauntingly beautiful clip shows Stromae battling with a spider-like cancer demon in an abandoned theater.

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