Paul Van Haver, known by his stage name “Stromae”, is a Black Belgian prominent singer-songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. Besides the political and social messages behind his lyrics, Stromae is also a vehemently influential figure for the field of design and typography. His exceptionally artistic video clips, which embody bold colors and patterns, create visual manifestations of the aforementioned political lyrics, touching on topics of human rights, LGBTQ and womens rights, and putting marginalized communities at the forefront of his artistic message. Despite the fact that Stromae debunks the stigmatization around pop music by broadcasting sophisticated, social, and deep meanings, he is also one of the few artists to encompass a general visual message through which he implements his political and social views. He is even considered by critics as the “Michael Jackson of this generation”.
For example, in his song Tous Les Memes, Stromae is dressed as a rambunctious figure, of both a man and a woman, showing the two female and male perspectives, and highlighting the oppression of women. The visual colors and the dancing that he conveys in this video clip validate his own idiosyncratic language, and render him an inspiration for artists and designers alike.
His new song, Sante, released after a 7 year hiatus, and right in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, talks about the hardships facing immigrants and other minority groups. In this song, he sheds light on the invisible people that we all tend to ignore – the cleaners, the waiters, and the fishermen. This message, as well, renders him a political artist.
In addition, in recent years Stromae created his clothing line “Mosaert”, commercialing his unique patterns and visual aesthetic to a grand audience, in palpable forms, through clothing. His androgynous, unisex clothing line also delivers a political and social message of equity, along with his music and lyrics.
All of the aforementioned artistic achievements, as well as his graphic design and typographic language and political messages make Stromae an inspiration for artists, designers, and activists alike.