Artist

Mathieu Chedid

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-M- was the alias of French pop enigma Mathieu Chédid, an uncommonly idiosyncratic and far-ranging talent best known on North American shores for his contributions to the animated cult favorite Les Triplettes de Belleville. Born December 21, 1971, in Boulogne-Billancourt, Chédid was the son of French pop icon Louis Chédid (on whose 1978 hit "T'a Beau Pas Être Beau" the six-year-old made his recorded debut) and the grandson of renowned poet and novelist Andrée Chédid. As a teen Chédid collaborated with fellow pop scions Pierre Souchon and Julien Voulzy (children of the legendary songwriting duo Alain Souchon and Laurent Voulzy) in a series of short-lived groups like Les Bébés Fous and Les Poissons Rouges. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, he also emerged as an in-demand session player, contributing to recordings headlined by Philippe Chatel, NTM, and Billy Ze Kick. Upon completing his debut solo LP, 1997's Le Baptême, Chédid adopted the alias "-M-," abbreviating his first name while also playing on the pronunciation of "aime," the French word for "love." Developing a vividly theatrical stage show complementing his playful melodies and operatic vocals, -M- completed his transformation with both a guitar and a coiffure in the shape of his one-letter persona (to picture the latter, imagine a younger, space-age Grandpa Munster). After winning the prestigious Prix Félix Leclerc for his songwriting prowess, -M- began work on his 1999 follow-up, Je Dis Aime. Another commercial and critical success, it set the stage for a sold-out tour and Victoires de la Musique awards in the categories of Best Male Singer and Best Concert. While taking an extended break from recording to raise his first child, -M- in 2001 issued a live LP, Le Tour de -M-. Its 2003 follow-up, Labo -M-, was little more than a hodgepodge of instrumentals, demos, and outtakes, although his imaginative title theme for Sylvain Chaumet's acclaimed feature Les Triplettes des Belleville was itself highly regarded as well. Finally, at year's end -M- resurfaced with a new studio effort, Qui de Nous Deux?, a record that eschewed the flamboyance of his previous music in favor of a more personal and mature sensibility. The subsequent world tour yielded the double live release En Tête à Tête, issued in late 2005.
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