Stromae gets candid about his mental health on “L’Enfer,” a new piano-backed single in which he explores themes of loneliness and depression and reveals he’s had suicidal thoughts in the past.
“I’ve considered suicide a few times and I’m not proud of it/Sometimes you feel it’d be the only way to silence them,” he sings on the track, backed by a haunting choir and unsettling beat. “All these thoughts putting me through hell/All these thoughts putting me through hell.”
The “Papaoutai” singer debuted the track during a televised news program interview over the weekend. When asked if music helped free him from his dark thoughts during a Q&A, he performed the track while sitting at the newsdesk as he held back tears.
“People often define my songs as ones with joyful music and themes that are a little darker, a little sadder,” he said before performing. “It’s how I see life… There is no high without low, there is no low without high. That’s life.”
On Wednesday, the Belgian artist also released its emotional music video where he personifies his intrusive, depressive thoughts.
“L’enfer” or “Hell,” follows “Santé” as his second single from the forthcoming album Multitude, out March 4. The new album is his first record in more than eight years; he released his sophomore effort Racine Carrée in 2013.
Back in August, Stromae’s 2010 breakout track “Alors on Danse” — which had recently gone viral on TikTok — was sampled on dance producers Joel Corry and Jax Jones’ song “Out, Out,” featuring Charli XCX and Saweetie.
Since Racine Carrée, he’s provided vocals on French rapper Orelsan’s track “La Pluie” and Coldplay‘s song “Arabesque” from the band’s album Everyday Life. In 2018, he also directed Dua Lipa‘s trippy “IDGAF” music video. He also runs his own clothing line, Mosaert.