Belgian singer, Stromae, might have left the music scene years ago, but his music has continued to captivate people around the world. Whether it was going viral on TikTok or as part of our recurring playlists, his songs have endured the passing of time. On October 15, however, Stromae made a surprising return with the single “Santé,” in which he calls for an “inclusive party.”  

The Rise To Fame And Racine Carré

Hailing from Brussels, Paul van Haver, better known in the music world as Stromae, is a musician who rose to fame with the hit “Alors on danse.” Sung entirely in French, the Eurodance track turned Stromae into a worldwide sensation. In 2010, the artist unveiled his debut album Cheese, receiving positive critique around the world. The success of the album led to several projects and crossovers with artists like Kanye West and the Black Eyed Peas.

Despite the international attention, it wasn’t until the release of his second album, Racine Carré, that the Belgian superstar cemented his influence. Through hits like “Papaoutai” or the poignant “Formidable,” van Haver saw a new level of notoriety. Exploring heavy themes like parental absence, gender stereotypes and the negative effects of social media, Racine Carré pierced the top of music charts. In France, the album became the best-selling record of 2013, surpassing Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. Racine Carré met similar success in Stromae’s homeland and other European countries. 

The Surprising Return 

In 2015, still riding the success of the critically-acclaimed album, Stromae announced his indefinite hiatus from music. While the news saddened fans across the globe, the artist has been active behind the scenes and hinted at a possible return last year.  Despite the cues that anticipated the release of new material, music lovers were caught off-guard when the “Alors on danse” singer took to Twitter to unveil a new song.

Titled “Santé”—cheers/health, in French—the single was recorded in Brussels and produced by Mosaert, Stromae’s music label. “Santé” is a cumbia-infused song that opens up with the distinctive sound of charango and borrows elements from South American music. Flawlessly mixing its inspiration with electronic pop, “Santé” is an homage to all the people who “work when others are partying.” Just like previous tracks, Stromae’s new single is armed with wordplay, satire, and socially charged lyrics. Evoking real life, the Belgian musician raises a glass for the often overlooked service workers and mocks people who look down on them.

An Ode To The Champions Of The Worst (Work) Hours

Accompanying the thought-provoking single, Stromae released a music video where workers are lured to dance along “Santé.” With easy-to-follow choreography, the video clip invites everybody to an “inclusive party, joy and respect for everybody.” 

Pour Notre Santé (For Our Health)

Needless to say, “Santé” instantaneously became a topic of conversation on social media. Fans, artists and even State institutions expressed their joy at the return of the “Maestro”—as Stromae is dubbed. Chris Martin, frontman of the British band Coldplay—with whom Stromae collaborated in 2019— celebrated his return through a candid message. “Stromae is back and the world gets brighter,” he wrote on Twitter. 

In addition to the happy reactions, Stromae’s new single became the most streamed song of October 15 in several countries. In Belgium, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Canada, “Santé” surpassed Adele’s new single “Easy On Me,” on Spotify.. 

Is This Just The Beginning?

Along with the unveiling of “Santé,” Mosaert also announced that Stromae signed a new contract with Universal Music France and Polydor for distribution of his music outside the USA.  Meanwhile, Universal Music Group, Interscope, and Darkroom will be in charge of Stromae’s music in the United States. 

Though there were no official announcements about new music, rumors point at a forthcoming record from the Belgian singer. According to France 24, “Santé” is just a taste of Stromae’s highly-anticipated album that has no name or date of release yet. However, his fans can rest assured as the star has already confirmed his appearance at the Werchter Festival, les Ardentes and Rock en Seine, next year. 

Want more? Check out our coverage on LIGHTSUM’s new single here!

Thumbnail courtesy of @Stromae