Famous in France: Meet the American from the first French rap song

Hello everyone!

Meet Valli, a woman who sang in France’s first ever rap song in 1981. Imagine that – an American woman rapping in French and then going ballistically viral.

The song – Chacun fait (c’qui lui plaît) by the band Chagrin d’amour went on to sell 2.5 million copies and made Valli so popular that she still gets stopped on the street to this day.

She tells the story of how she came to France as a youngster and recorded the song, and then how it set the story of her life.

But the funny thing is, she’s only really known in France. Back home in the States, she can walk the streets uninterrupted. Me, I love that idea, and keep your ears peeled for more chats like this in the future with other foreigners who became “Famous in France”.

Anyway, I met Valli at her home in the 12th arrondissement to discuss fame, music, and how answering machines and American cowboy boots were hot property in France in the eighties.

The episode

Here’s the episode. Why not subscribe to this podcast for more of the same?

I highly recommend you check out the song we’re talking about, which you can find on YouTube here (or just click play on the embedded video below).

Meanwhile, someone has translated the song into English here.

The photos

Have a tough time imagining an audio description of an apartment or of album art? Not to worry, here are a few pictures of things we mentioned in the episode.

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed the episode. If you did, and you want a lot more from this little community, why not join the other Earful Tower members on Patreon here. If you’re quick you’ll be able to watch along from my live video from Giverny at Monet’s gardens on Wednesday!

And lastly, to get that additional ten percent off from French Today audiobooks, as mentioned in the episode, go via this link.

3 thoughts on “Famous in France: Meet the American from the first French rap song

  1. Enjoyed the episode! Merci. Good luck in Giverny tomorrow. While you’re there see if you have time to pop over to La Roche Guyon, you will find it if you travel along the river from Vernon. It’s beautiful.

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