Young, beautiful and with a voice of an angel. That’s what you might say at first about Angèle, the new European pop star on the verge of breaking onto the global music scene.

In a short period of time, the Belgian singer has become the most listened to francophone artist. Only a year ago she launched her first single “Tout Oubliez” with her brother, the rapper Romeo Elvis (another rising star), but it wasn’t until she came out with “La Loi du Murphy” or “Murphy’s law” that Angèle truly hit a home run. She’s won several awards, like the MIAs (Music Industry Awards) for Best Artist of the Year, Best Album of the Year and Best New Artist, as well as the Best Album and Best Video awards at the “Victoires de la Musique”, which is no small matter considering that these awards are considered the Grammies of the French speaking countries.

On November 8 this year, Angèle came out with “Oui ou Non”, a song from her new album “Brol la Suite”, which was released only 24 hours prior. The music video for the song lets us see more of her eccentric inner world and her strange sense of humor. We caught a glimpse of these in some of her previous works like “Balance ton Quoi” or “La Thune” in which the singer spoke out against gun ownership and sexual harassment (the song was later taken up by the #Metoo movement in 2018).  

This time, the singer tries to shift our perspective: she shines a light on current affairs and uses pop culture imagery to show us the cruel reality. All the while smiling from ear to ear.  

Oui ou Non” talks about an unstable couple: a love that seemed idyllic at first but the couple is now stuck in suspended animation; they constantly doubt their future and have high expectations of each other. The happy melody, the rhythm and the song’s good vibes accompany Angèle as she sings about what’s troubling her and how she’d like to give the relationship one more try. The singer relays the message by criticizing society in an artistic way: she portrays the idealistic life (and the idealistic woman, targeted by commercials, since no man, however hard it is to admit, will ever trust a female mechanic) shown in the TV commercials that we see every day.

Angèle criticizes the expectations these ads create by making parodies: the sensuality of luxury perfumes, the hypocrisy of local produce, the ease of getting loans and even the commercials for laundry detergent. All of these clips create a sort of satire with which the song makes absolute sense, considering it’s a love song. Haven’t we all said that love and hate are just two sides of the same coin? And who has ever wondered if our lives and the commercials that we see on TV are all based on the same myths, wishes and motivations? Angèle transmits these ideas and spices them up with her sense of humor that’s somewhere in between dark, childish and bitter.

The same is true for commercials and real life: the perfect love doesn’t exist. We are wedded to the idea that love will last forever, something engraved in us by fairytales when we were little. We trust appearances which (for the most part) trick and mislead us, forever hiding from us the complete and absolute truth. Just like with commercials, we are deceived by beautiful images which play to our desire of always wanting something more, even though we might just be chasing an illusion. Perhaps we will all end up like those in the music video: exhausted, breaking things and tired of always trying to find the next best thing while turning tables, literally.

Oui ou non” could be just another pop love song but thanks to its music video it has become something more that we can identify with and that makes us laugh at how ridiculous brands can be in their advertisements and, of course, how ridiculous we and our romantic lives can be: for better or for worse.

If you thought this would be just another article about a young, beautiful singer with a voice of an angel, we’ve shown you Angèle is so much more. But you know what they say about appearances: they can be misleading.

Brol La Suite is available on all streaming platforms.

Article translated by: Nika Ambrozic

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