Gad Elmaleh releases ‘Dansez sur moi,’ an album of Claude Nougaro covers

By Catherine Rickman | Frenchly

When you heard Gad Elmaleh was working on something new, you probably got excited for a Netflix standup special, sitcom, comedy album, or international tour. But this giant of French comedy, so widely revered as to be referred to as “the French Seinfeld,” has something new up his sleeve: some surprising singing chops.

Over the course of the pandemic, Elmaleh has been recording an album of covers under Blue Note records, called “Dansez sur moi,” and re-envisioning the songs of the French master chanteur, Claude Nougaro. The Toulousian singer, who passed away in 2004, blended American jazz and Brazilian and African musical influences into the French chanson style. His hits range from the twangy, percussive “Bidonville,” a song about France’s slums; to “Cécile ma fille,” whose haunting hook describes Nougaro’s fear and wonder at becoming a father.

Elmaleh released the album’s first single, “Armstrong,” back in September, followed by “Nougayork,” and “Le cinéma.”

The album was set to be released in November, but was delayed due to COVID-19. A video for the song “Toulouse” was released in December. Set outside, with Elmaleh and his band playing by the river, the love song to Nougaro’s hometown was shot on site, the lyrics cut with footage of the city, include one lingering image of a larger-than-life mural of Nougaro on the side of a building. Continue reading “Gad Elmaleh releases ‘Dansez sur moi,’ an album of Claude Nougaro covers”

Netflix’s ‘Huge in France’ Is Almost Great

Netflix’s new fish-out-of-water comedy about a European megastar who relocates to Los Angeles is a strange kind of failure.

There are moments during Huge in France when you can perceive what the show might have been—a semi-satirical, semi-screwball comedy about the acute insanity of modern-day fame. The new eight-part Netflix series exists in a meta universe similar to HBO’s Entourage, in that it’s loosely based on the real experiences of an actor and comedian, Gad Elmaleh. The plight of the show’s Gad (he refers to himself in the third person, alors, c’est vraiment Gad) is that he’s a huge star. In France. In real life, this is also true for Elmaleh, who by most metrics is a bona fide celebrity: He has 1.8 million Instagram followers, he once sold out Paris’s Olympia theater for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks, and his former partner is the granddaughter of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly. In France, Elmaleh is Jerry Seinfeld. In America, though? If a celebrity lands in a city where no one has ever heard of him, does he make a sound? Continue reading “Netflix’s ‘Huge in France’ Is Almost Great”