Led by MC Solaar, French artists on a "pilgrimage" to the Fête de la Musique in New York

Led by MC Solaar, French artists on a “pilgrimage” to the Fête de la Musique in New York

In concert in New York, rapper MC Solaar feels like he is on a “pilgrimage” to “Mecca”, the rockers of Hyphen Hyphen are living their American “dream” and the electro trio Bon Entendeur is simply “delighted”: these French artists celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Fête de la Musique in Central Park on Tuesday.

The megastar of French rap, Claude M’Barali in the city, blue suit, cap and sneakers, surrounded by the beautiful ensemble of singers, brass, strings and drums New Big Band Project, delighted a thousand fans who danced in the rain , during a free concert organized by the associations “FranceRocks Summer Fest” and the French Institute Alliance Française, in Central Park, the immense green lung of Manhattan.

“It’s incredible, it’s fantastic, it’s the root land of my musical genre”, rejoiced MC Solaar in an interview with AFP before going on stage for this New York version created in 2017 of the French Music Festival born in 1982 and which has been exported to a hundred countries.

“New York, we call it Mecca; Harlem is Medina and then Brooklyn is Mecca”, murmured with a smile the French artist and poet born in 1969 in Dakar to Chadian parents and who in 30 years became an icon. of music and song and the precursor of rap in France.

For this composer adored for his sought-after literary texts, his puns and his groove and jazz musical influences, the New York megalopolis, an incredible cultural mosaic of nine million souls, remains “the place of origin” of his art.

Because “every time I meet an American artist or have the chance to cross the Atlantic, it’s like making a pilgrimage”, confided the author of “Who sows the wind harvests the tempo” , his triumphant debut album in 1991 which, 30 years later, still warmed Central Park on Tuesday evening.

MC Solaar denies “doing American rap”.

“We managed to develop a French specificity”, explained the one who built a reputation in the United States by collaborating with the American rapper who died in 2010 Keith Edward Elam, alias “Guru” of the duo Gang Starr.

– Sounds and lights of New York –

Also attracted by the sounds and lights of New York, the young trio from Nice of supercharged electronic pop rock Hyphen Hyphen confides to AFP that they have “always dreamed of playing in America”.

Formed at the end of high school in 2011, Hyphen Hyphen sings in English, a “universal” language, and has already carved out an international reputation.

“We were immersed in this culture of American music (…) we have always looked in this direction”, assure Samanta Cotta, Laura Christin and Romain Adamo, citing the influence of British and American rock groups Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac and Talking Heads.

For their latest album, they wrote two tracks with American producer Glen Ballard, winner of six Grammy Awards, who performed with them in Central Park and praised their “energy” and “seriousness”.

The members of the electro mixtape group Bon Entendeur, from Aix-en-Provence in the South-East of France, Pierre Della Monica, Arnaud Bonet and Nicolas Boisseleau are equally “thrilled” with their very first performance in New York , “a symbol all over the world”.

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