Everyone has New Year Resolutions and I’ve already spoken of one of mine. But another resolution of mine is to put more effort into maintaining and improving my strongest languages (specifically French, Italian, German, and Arabic.) As I work full-time, this has become a big issue.
I’ve continued to work on Duolingo, to listen to podcasts in French, and to read short stories. One of my favorite language learning tools has always been music. But unfortunately, I haven’t found many French artists that I truly enjoy listening to, besides Ridsa.
As fate would have it, yesterday I came across a new artist who I was instantly in love with. She came up as a suggested artist after Billie Eilish, so that’s a good start. Her name is Angéle.
Angèle van Laeken
Angèle is a 23-year-old Belgian singer, born just outside of Brussels. Her father, Laurence Bibot, is a comedian, and her mother, Marka, is a musician. Her brother Roméo Elvis is also a rapper. Clearly, the whole family has been gifted with artistic talent.
Angèle started off by performing at cafés in Belgium and making Instagram videos that combined music and comedy. What made her stand out to me is that fact that she sounded so modern and unique. She doesn’t sing with the same four chords like many others do.
She’s said that she draws inspiration by strong female singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Hélène Ségara. But despite those classic elements, Angèle also brings influences of rap and electronic music together, along with traditional French pop. It’s a cocktail of perfection.
She first gained recognition in early 2017 and released her first single, La Loi de Murphy, on YouTube at the end of the year. The music video now has more than 17 million views. Since then, it’s been a rollercoaster that only goes up.
Angèle has performed at popular festivals in Switzerland, France, and Belgium and put on a great show at the famous Le Trianon theatre in Montmartre, Paris.
Her first album, Brol, which I have been listening to practically non-stop for the past 24-hours, dropped in October. As of right now, Angèle has more than 850,000 monthly streamers on Spotify.
I definitely enjoy Angèle’s music greatly. The combination of French Chanson and Belgian Pop music is still knew to me but I know that I would love to be able to find more Belgian or French musicians like her.
I’m personally quite curious if Angèle will gain popularity in English-speaking countries, particularly The United States. Her style of music is popular here now, but I wonder if the fact that her lyrics are in French will prevent her from getting any traction.
I’m only 24 hours into my relationship with Angèle and, other than my general knowledge of her music and personal life, I don’t know much about her. But I do know one thing. Angèle van Laeken is bringing Belgian music to a whole new level.