Title of the beatboxing, bluesy, Latin-influenced Parisian street cabaret song by French singer Zaz. The song became an international hit and brought the earthy, no-nonsense Zaz to a wider audience in part due to a viral video of her "Toy Session" clip, in which she sang the song accompanied by a guy on ukelele and another on cello, on a sidewalk in Paris.

Her voice is best described as a less fragile and less fluttery Edith Piaf. She has a strength and assurance which is uncommon in popular French female vocalists, who typically strive for more of the childlike, breathy, high-pitched voice first popularized by Vanessa Paradis. Compare "Joe le Taxi" to "Je veux" and you'll see what I mean - even stadium rockers like Mylene Farmer do a great deal of rock-n-roll kabuki that never reaches the voice, which remains hyperfeminine at best (the luscious, velvety, supersensual voice of Zazie), or stylistically neotenized to that of a child at worst (the horrifying Olivia Ruiz). 

Zaz breaks out from the conventional spectrum of French female vocals - her voice is strong, smoky, and has a full body resonance. She reminds me of unfiltered cigarettes, whiskey, and the afterparty. As far as I know, she is completely unique among French female vocalists for singing in such a raw, personal, unstylized but beautifully versatile voice. There are a few other strong female vocalists who perform in French, but in a completely different genre - Diam's (no typo) and Keny Arkana are both rappers who perform in French but have extranational identities. 

"Je veux" fit Zaz perfectly - not only was she a performer unlike any other, it expressed her lack of interest in conventional French feminine romantic economies of affection and value. I've translated it by rendering the English translation in pipelinks:

(Removed by ed fiat due to copyright concern, msg me if you want to see the lyrics in translation, it's a charming song.)





Zaz, the Toy Session: "Je veux"

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