Etienne Daho Biography

Étienne Daho (pronounced: [e.tjɛn da.o]) (born January 14, 1956 in Oran, French Algeria) is a French singer, songwriter and record producer who has released a number of synth-driven and rock-surf influenced pop hit singles since 1981.

He sings in a low, whispery voice somewhat akin to Leonard Cohen or Chet Baker and his music established him as a pop cult hero. He cites Serge Gainsbourg, The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys and Syd Barrett as his musical influences. All his albums have been certified at least gold or platinum, including "Mythomane" in 1981, "La notte, la notte" in 1984, "Pop satori" in 1986, produced with a young William Orbit, "Pour nos vies martiennes" in 1988 and the double platinum "Paris ailleurs" in 1991, recorded in New York.

A best-selling recording artist in his own right in France, Daho is best known in Britain for his appearance on the number 11 Saint Etienne hit single "He's On The Phone", which is an English-language adaptation of his 1984 French-language big hit "Weekend à Rome". He also collaborated with Saint Etienne on the Reserection EP, his album Eden, and his single hit Le Premier Jour.

Daho's collaborations and productions both on stage and in the studio with other artists have been extensive. He has worked with Brigitte Fontaine, Arthur Baker, Air, Working Week, '80's new wave band Comateens, Jane Birkin, Marianne Faithfull, Françoise Hardy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Paradis, Dani and more. His music has also been remixed, among others, by Air, Fischerspooner, Amon Tobin and William Orbit.

Daho's 1996 album Eden displayed a diverse array of electronic-oriented songs that included downtempo ballads, drum 'n' bass-influenced tracks, and HiNRG dance. He duetted with Astrud Gilberto ("Les bords de Seine") and was accompanied by The Swingle Singers on "Timide intimité". Backing vocals on several songs were provided by Lyn Byrd of the Comateens, Sarah Cracknell (who co-wrote "Les passagers"), and Elli Medeiros.

Eden was subsequently re-released for the anglophone market with great reviews with the song "A New World", which was an English-language version of "Au Commencement". Daho performed in a sold out I.C.A. He also sang at the Marquee in 1989.

After a double platinum greatest hits compilation Best of Singles in 1998, the number one Corps & armes in 2000 saw Daho eschewing electronics in favour of a more orchestral sound fuelled by traditional instruments: piano, acoustic guitar, horns, directed by Wil Malone. One of the tracks included an English-language duet with Vanessa Daou ("Make Believe"). It includes also "Le brasier", "La baie" and "Ouverture".

Daho shifted gears once again for his dark and moody 2004 album Réévolution, which featured a guitar-heavy rock sound. He released the single hit "If" with Charlotte Gainsbourg as well as the Phil Spector influenced "Retour a toi" and "Les liens d'Eros" with Marianne Faithfull, reading her great uncle Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in furs.

In 2005, Daho released a live album Sortir Ce Soir, which featured many of his greatest hits performed in concert. He is working on a project with David Roback from Mazzy star and a new album for 2007.

In 2007, his new album, L'Invitation, which was created with Edith Fambuena, was released to good press reviews. In 2008, a compilation of covers was released, called Tombés pour Daho (after Daho's single, Tombé pour la France). The recording artists include Benjamin Biolay, Doriand, Elli Medeiros, Daniel Darc, and Arnold Turboust. In the same year, on March 8, Daho received a Victoire de la Musique award in the category Album Pop / Rock of the Year.

For record sleeves and music videos Daho collaborates with Pierre et Gilles, Michel Gondry, Nick Knight, Doug Nichol, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, M/M (Paris), Åbäke, Inez van Lamsweerde and Guy Peellaert among others.
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