In France in the early ’90s, Dominique A (born Dominique Ané in 1968) showed the way for those artists who wished to stick to singing in their birth language without necessarily putting aside their overseas pop influences, and thereby their poppiest edge. He more than often performed alone on-stage, jangling with synths, guitars, and microphones in a minimalist style that made him famous, relying partly on his high-pitched emphatic old-fashioned voice. His first hit, “Le Courage des Oiseaux,” from 1992’s La Fossette, inspired a whole generation of growing artists and quickly gained cult status.
Even after he added more instrumentation and sophistication to his works, and up to 1995’s La Mémoire Neuve and its single “Le Twenty Two Bar,” he kept following the same path of stripped-down-to-the-core songwriting. It was only when he discovered Alain Bashung’s L’Imprudence album that he decided to add even more sophistication, thereby closing the first chapter of his career and entering new stages of musical and lyrical creation. Though some surprised critics weren’t necessarily following Dominique A in his more and more challenging new formula, he kept on insisting on it, adding more and more literature influences and musical subtlety to his material. 2006’s L’Horizon was quite warmly received as the then-climax of this new era, both by music critics and his fan base. In 2007, he released a first live CD album, Sur Nos Forces Motrices. by Olivier Dubo