By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d’Amérique
My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, how’s your singing voice? If I’m asking this question, it’s because in our next episode, we have a story about French rap singer Orelsan’s concert in New York; in a Brooklyn theater, to be more accurate. And in this story, you will see the entire audience, everyone in the room, starting to sing a capella with the band. It’s a very strong moment: an entire theater in New York singing with a famous musician from France. It gave me goosebumps…
It was a rare moment, but not a unique one. I remember the same thing happening in Las Vegas when I followed French pop star Patrick Bruel on one of his rare US concerts. It also happened in Los Angeles, when the king of French oriental music, Enrico Macias, played French songs at the Saban theater a couple of years ago.
Those were unbelievable moments. These musicians are used to these moments in France, on their home turf, not thousands of miles away.
To be honest, it’s true that most of the audiences of these shows were French. Expatriates, people on vacation in the US, fans following their favorite artists. Most of them were French, but nut not all of them. Every time, at least 20% of the audience was American. Some of them didn’t speak a word of French. They were here with a French friend, or on a date, or just out of curiosity. And they saw an entire room singing French songs with the artist on stage, thousands of miles away from the artist’s home.
It may be nothing, but it’s something that rarely happens in American concerts. It happens sometimes in France, with popular bands or singers. What can I say? We love to sing French songs, and to sing in France. And we do it everywhere, even in American theaters.
For the U.S. audiences watching those shows, it must be a surprising and very moving moment. Maybe some of them went on and tried to sing with the audience. Maybe one of the U.S. audience members will go home, download (legally, of course) songs from Orelsan, Patrick or Enrico and start singing with them, start singing in French, start learning French. In this moment, the French language will win another sympathizer.
Because it’s a spontaneous moment, we don’t realize it at the time. But when we start singing with the artist, whether a rap song, a pop song or an oriental song, we’re doing something to promote francophone culture in the U.S. through music, through joy, through fun.
So yes, my dear friends, go to a concert with a famous musician from France, and sing as loudly as you can. You probably don’t know it, but you’re doing more than just having fun. You’re serving Francophonie!
To learn more about famous musicians from France and the way live French songs affect Franco American culture, read our blog, and tune in to the latest episode of Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA.
Exploring a diversity of culture entwined with the insatiable energy of New York’s theaters, the bright lights of Las Vegas Blvd, the inspirational beauty of Louisiana’s bayous and beyond - Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face on the red carpet. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE USA and never miss an episode