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"He breathes, scats, composes, writes, and then even sings! Jean-Louis Daulne, a Belgian with black roots, plays his mouth as if it was a percussion instrument that is ideally fit for his compositions which are as inspired by jazz as by chanson, influenced by african memories or with some astounding incursions into acoustic rap", thus goes more or less the description of the vocally apt Jean-Louis Daulne.


"La Rengaine"
54 sec. - 108 Kb.
song : Jean-Louis Daulne

"le cas "doum doum tchak"
59 sec. - 117 Kb.
song : Jean-Louis Daulne

"ndege ta akfajiri"
59 sec. - 118 Kb.
song : Jean-Louis Daulne

Productie : Fred Fraikin, Guy Waku
Year : 1998
Record co. : EMI

48 sec. - 95 Kb.
song : Jean-Louis Daulne

49 sec. - 96 Kb.
song : Jacques Brel

Productie : Fred Fraikin, Guy Waku
Year : 1998
Record co. : EMI


Jean-Louis Constant Daulne was born in Congo from a Belgian (white) father and a Congolese (black) mother. After the death of the fater during an insurrection in 1964, the rest of the family manages to flee to Belgium, where the Daulne's grow up in a country town in the Ardennes. Just as his sisters Marie and Anita Daulne (see Zap Mama for their story), Jean-Louis Daulne is bitten by the music virus. At first, he finds an outlet for his talents doing "bruitage" for commercials, by drumming in a few little bands, and by singing the backing vocals in the eithties (for example with BJ Scott), musical activities he combined with his professions as a ergotherapist in a home for the elderly.


Although he actually had been active in music much earlier than his worldfamous sister, she already got her breakthrough with her Zap Mama in 1990 (with Jean-Louis doings some vocal beats among the guest musicians). Our man had to wait until 1996 to get his chance of proving himself in the music bizz. In 1992 he participated in the preselections for the Eurosong Festival with the selfwritten song "Swinguez-vous la vie" (he finished third). In 1994 he made -together with his sister Marie- the soundtrack for the fim "Café au lait" (also known as "Métisse"), a film directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, who would also include this music in his later and better known movie "La Haine" (Hatred).

The debut CD in 1996 for the little label Sowarex received the title OnomatOpoiia, which is already sort of a description of the music on it: for Jean-Louis Daulne is a master in onomatopoetic forms and word (imitating sounds) and vocal rhythm. Other than his sister and her Zap Mama, he didn't head in the direction of roots- or worldmusic, but nonetheless he mingled his African influences with French chanson and funk, or as he himself explained later: "I started with percussion and only listened to Anglo-Saxon music, such as James Brown. My type of music was funky english music. I didn't know much about french chanson, although I of course knew Brel. But with my first record deal I got the advice of switching from English lyrics to French ones. So I did just that." Notheworthy on the CD was certainly the half-scatted, half-sung verison of the Jacques Brel chanson "Vesoul", a song which would again figure on his third CD later.


De CD was made together with Christophe Vervoort (also the right hand of Axelle Red), with whom he goes on tour - as a duo - after. The shows of this tour get very good press, and certainly in Quebec the reactions are very positive (see the quotes at the very beginning of this text, which were written then). In Spa (home of the Belgian version of the Francofolies) they are still speaking to this day about his gig, in a duet with Maurane, in 1997 at that venue.

De CD and concerts gathered enough attention and good press to arouse the interest of EMI, who offered Jean-Louis Daulne a record deal. This cooperation resulted in 1998 in a second CD, entitled "Doum Doum Tchak". On that album - very well produced - figure a song written by André Bialek (after years of silence) and one by Mweze Ngangura (the director of the movie "Pièces d'identités", in which Jean-Louis Daulne plays the part of taxicab driver Chaka-Jo) on "ndeqe ta akfajiri", which means "the morning bird".


In 2001 Jean-Louis Daulne resurfaced again with a cd in the shops, his third album and again with Christophe Vervoort, and now simply entitled "Jean-Louis Daulne". On this CD - the first that is alto scheduled to be released and promoted in France - he surprisingly headed in a somewhat different direction: that of melody. He explained it himself as: "I don't want to repeat myself, don't want to do thing I already know by heart. Too easy. I prefer to discover things, to explore uncharted territories. Man is by nature a curious and fickle being. So indeed, this album is without a doubt much more musical than the previous ones, but still the sounds play an important part.". In French he even could explain it with the nice wordplay "Cette fois, je n'ai pas abusé des sonorités. C'est plus chanson que chant et son" op. A remarkeable song on the album was certainly "Zusje", a track he wrote for his sister Yvette (who was born from the marriage of his mother with a Flemish father, and who is also a musician herself, albeit in the classical genre) and in which he adresser her in a mixture of French, Dutch and lingala, even quoting Hugo Claus in between.

Thierry Coljon of Le Soir made a good summary of his career so far as "On "Onopatopiia" we discovered a talented writer, effortlessly juggling with words and sounds, while "Doum doum tchak" revealed us an interpreter, gifted with an extraordinary feeling for rhythm and melody. As for the new album, this will certainly be known as the album that revealed us the personality of Jean-louis Daulne liet kennen. That explains the eponimous title. A sign of maturity?"

Buy CD's of this artist at proxis

Albums :
- Onomatopoiia (Franc'Amour/Sowarex, 1996)
- Doum Doum Tchak (EMI, 1998)
- Jean-Louis Daulne (EMI, 2001)

Websites :
- Official presentation of the CD Jean-Louis Daulne at Wanadoo
- interview with Jean-Louis Daulne at KKunst

Forum :
- Read the messages about Jean-Louis Daulne
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Jean-Louis Daulne in the Forum


    Jean-Louis Daulne

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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