Manu Chao Tickets
Manu Chao (born June 21, 1961 in Paris; real name Jose-Manuel Thomas Arthur
Chao; also occasionally credited as Oscar Tramor) is a French Latin singer of Galician-Basque
Manu Chao sings in French, Spanish, Arabic, Galician, Portuguese, English, and Wolof, often mixing them in the same song. His music has many influences including rock, French chanson, Iberoamerican salsa, reggae, ska, and Algerian rai. Most of his lyrics are about love, living in ghettos and immigration, and often carry a left-wing message, reflecting Manu Chao's own political beliefs. Order your Manu Chao Tickets online today for the concert experience of a lifetime!
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Manu Chao's mother was Basque and his father, writer and journalist Ramon Chao, Galician from Vilalba. They moved to Paris to escape Francisco Franco's dictatorship, which lasted until the dictator's death in 1975. Shortly after Manu Chao's birth, his family moved to the outlying suburbs of Paris, and he spent most of his childhood in Boulogne-Billancourt and Sevres. Whilst growing up he was constantly surrounded by artists and intellectuals, most of whom were his father's acquaintances with wide multicultural diversity that influenced his personality to a large extent. He grew up with thoughts of social equality and a thirst for diversity which largely shows in the mixture of distinct exotic sound without boundaries in his music.
In 1987, Manu Chao, his brothers and their cousin Santiago Casariego founded the band Mano Negra. Mano Negra's sound was mostly characterized by lively rhythms which transmit a vibrant energy, symbolized by the title of their first album, Patchanka (which is a colloquial term for "party"), and a distinct informality which allows the audience to get involved and feel familiarly close to their sound. Although successful, the group disbanded in 1995.
Manu Chao and other bandmates from Mano Negra formed a new group, Radio Bemba Sound System, featuring artists from widely varying groups such as Tijuana No! (from Mexico), Skank (from Brazil), and Todos Tus Muertos (from Argentina). The goal was to replicate the sound of street music and bar scenes from a variety of cultures; to that end, Manu Chao and the group spent several years travelling throughout South and Central America, recording new music as they went. The resulting music differed drastically from Mano Negra; the songs were primarily sung in Spanish with far fewer French tracks, and the musical style had shifted from punk and alternative styles to the street vibe Manu Chao was aiming for. The songs were collectively released as Clandestino in 1998, under Manu Chao's own name. Though not an instant success, the album gained a steady following in France with hits such as "Bongo Bong" and "Clandestino", and the album eventually earned the Best World Music Album award in 1999's Victoires de la Musique awards.
Though Manu Chao is one of the world's best selling artists, he is less well-known in the English-speaking world. Tours in the United States with Mano Negra never led to much success in that country, and Manu Chao seems inclined to focus his efforts in Europe and Latin America, where his musical style finds its roots and his left-wing populism is more widely greeted.