Arthur H

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Arthur H
Arthur H concert in Paris (May 2007).
Arthur H concert in Paris (May 2007).
Background information
Birth nameArthur Higelin
Born (1966-03-27) 27 March 1966 (age 55)
OriginParis, France
GenresFrench pop music, Experimental, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Electronica
Occupation(s)Pianist, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsPiano, accordion, jaw harp, didgeridoo, bass, harmonium, organ, guitar
Years active1988–present
WebsiteArthurH.net

Arthur Higelin (born 27 March 1966), better known under his stage name Arthur H (IPA: [aʁtyʁ ɑʃ]), is a French pianist, songwriter and singer. He is best known in France for his live performances—four of his albums were recorded live.

Life and career[edit]

He is the son of the French singer Jacques Higelin and Nicole Courtois, and half brother of singers Izïa Higelin and stage and film actor, theatre director and music video director Kên Higelin.

After traveling in the West Indies, he studied music in Boston before returning to Paris and developing his eclectic but highly personal musical style, drawing on such influences as Thelonious Monk, Serge Gainsbourg, the Sex Pistols, jazz, blues, Middle Eastern music and the tango. He first performed in 1988 in clubs in Paris, as leader of a trio with bassist Brad Scott and drummer Paul Jothy.

His first album, Arthur H (1990), combined rhythmic experimentation and bal-musette elements with a vocal style which has been compared to Tom Waits. He toured widely around this time, particularly in France and Japan, adding a fourth band member, Jon Handelsman (saxophone), and produced a second album, Bachibouzouk (1992). In early 1993, he did a six-week season at the Magic Mirrors, an antique circus big top, which was later put on as a touring show and recorded on the live album En chair et en os.

In 1996, he released the album Trouble Fête, following which he performed a season at the Gymnase in Paris. The live album Fête Trouble (1997) included some tracks from these shows as well as others recorded on tour in Africa. He toured the United States and Canada in 1998.

In 2000, he wrote the soundtrack for Michel Couvelard's film, Inséparables, before touring in Asia and Canada. His next album, Pour Madame X (2000), featured the touring band of Nicolas Repac (guitar), Brad Scott (double bass) and Laurent Robin (drums).

In 2001, he took part in the show Le Cabaret Imprudent with "Le Cirque Cahin-caha". The following year, he released the album Piano Solo, recorded live in a studio and mainly consisting of solo interpretations of earlier songs. This was followed by a band album, Négresse Blanche (2003), comprising tracks dedicated to the memory of famous women such as Marilyn Kaddish and Bo Derek.

In 2005, a planned tour of China was cancelled, and he returned to the studio to record the album Adieu Tristesse. This was the most commercially successful of his career, and included several duets, one with his father and another, "Est-ce que tu aimes?", with the musician -M- (Matthieu Chedid). He subsequently toured widely in France, Lebanon and Canada.

In 2006, he published a book, Onirique attaque, containing lyrics, reflections and photographs. He also composed the soundtrack for the film L'homme qui rêvait d'un enfant, directed by Delphine Gleize. The soundtrack was performed by an ensemble of children from a local music school.

The album Show Time, issued late in 2006, was recorded live on tour and includes duets with Matthieu Chedid, Pauline Croze, Lhasa de Sela and Jacques Higelin. In June 2008 he released the album L'Homme du Monde, which won the award of Pop/Rock Album of the Year 2009 at La Victoire de la Musique.[1]

His 2010 double CD, Mystic Rumba, contained 24 songs from his repertoire performed solo at the piano, the result in part of a snow storm which cut the power in his studio during recording.[2] The next album, Baba Love, was released in October 2011.[3] In 2012, he collaborated with Nicolas Repac on the album L'Or Noir, comprising musical settings of poems by Caribbean writers.[4]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
FRA
[5]
BEL
(Wa)

SWI
1990 Arthur H
1991 Cool Jazz (remixes)
1992 Bachibouzouk
1996 Trouble-Fête
2000 Pour Madame X 62
2003 Négresse Blanche 49
2005 Adieu Tristesse 16 58
2008 L'Homme du Monde 14 45
2010 Mystic Rumba 49 81
2011 Baba Love 13
2012 L'Or Noir
(jointly with Nicolas Repac)
2014 Soleil Dedans 12 47
L'Or d'Éros
(jointly with Nicolas Repac)
2016 Les souliers rouges
(jointly with Cœur de Pirate & Marc Lavoine)
6 7 40
2018 Amour Chien Fou 10 70 57
2021 Mort prématurée d'un chanteur populaire dans la force de l'âge 78

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 2009: 2 For 1: Arthur H + Trouble-fête
  • 2010: 2 For 1: Négresse blanche + Adieu tristesse
  • 2011: Master Serie
  • 2012: Les 50 Plus Belles Chansons (3-CD compilation)
  • 2015: 2cd originaux: Baba Love / Soleil dedans

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
FRA
[5]
1993 En chair et en os
1997 Fête Trouble
2002 Piano Solo. 109
2006 Show Time 158

Soundtracks[edit]

  • 1999: Inséparables

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak positions Album
FRA
[5]
2014 "Oh là-haut!" 175 Soleil dedans
2016 "Vivre ou ne pas vivre"
(with Cœur de Pirate & Marc Lavoine)
14 Les souliers rouges
2017 "La boxeuse amoureuse"

Books published[edit]

  • 2006: Onirique attaque

Awards[edit]

  • 1993: Victoires de la Musique (France) – Popular music – best male newcomer (révélation)
  • 2006: Victoires de la Musique – Music video of the year for Est Ce Que Tu Aimes
  • 2009: Victoires de la Musique – Pop/rock album of the year for L'Homme du Monde

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arthur H reçoit la Victoire de la musique de l'album pop/rock de l'année"
  2. ^ HMV.com Archived 21 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Arthur H: Baba Love
  4. ^ "L'Or Noir" at arthurh.net[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "Discographie Arthur H". lescharts.com. Retrieved 14 September 2021.

External links[edit]