Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Florent Pagny: Encore

A trip to Cuba for the new video by Florent Pagny.

The song Encore comes from his album Habana, which sees him immerse himself in the style of the Caribbean's most celebrated musical nation.

Pagny's most recent studio album was 2013's Vieillir avec toi, a number one album in France. There's been a live collection since then, but he's probably been most visible as a coach on the French edition of the TV talent show The Voice.

His new album sees him perform in Spanish, the third time he's released an album in that language. The album was recorded in Havana and was written and composed by Cuban star Raul Paz.

Raul Paz lived in France for several years after he completed his musical studies in Havana, before returning to his home country in 2010. His time in France led to his being nicknamed the French Cuban, and during his time outside Cuba he established himself as an artist at the forefront of reinventing his country's music scene. His 1999 debut Cuba Libre was a massive international seller, subsequent work seeing him combining elements of traditional Cuban music with more modern flavours from hip hop and rock.

Pagny became interested in Cuba during his time living in Miami, a city home to many Cubans who left the country following the revolution and recent changes in the relations between the USA under Obama and Cuba have brought the once divided community closer together.

Cuba is again in the international spotlight, and a softening in America's attitude to the country has benefitted both Americans and Cubans. Florent, aware of the scent of change in the air, has taken his French style and combined it with a Cuban flavour to create an interesting mélange.

Habana is released on April 29.

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