Hocus Pocus (group)

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Hocus Pocus
Background information
OriginNantes, France
GenresHip hop, jazz, soul, funk
Years active1995–present
LabelsOn and On Records
DJ Greem
David Le Deunff
Antoine Saint-Jean
Hervé Godard
Matthieu Lelièvre
Past membersCambia
Yves-Dominique Richard
Yannick Busi

Hocus Pocus is a French hip hop / jazz band from Nantes. Formed in 1995,[1] their music is a mix of hip hop, jazz, soul and funk. Originally being 20syl's brainchild, Hocus Pocus was formed in 1995, and gradually gained attention in the late '90s. The band, however, reached significant commercial and critical success in 2006 with the re-release of 2005 LP 73 Touches, the "Hip Hop?" single (featuring The Procussions) having hooked many listeners who were curious about its blend of French, English, and acoustic/electronic elements. Though quite far removed from legendary bands evolving in that same category (like The Roots), Hocus Pocus' more radio-friendly recipe happened to be very effective. The band came back in 2007 with a mixed live/studio LP, Place 54, featuring more international collaborations and another hit single, "Vocab!".[2]



20syl (real name Sylvain Richard), the MC of the band, got his name from switching the "syl" and "vain" in his name to form "vainsyl". The number 20 in French, "vingt", pronounced "vain", was then substituted in for "vain", creating "20syl". He has also worked on individual projects, including the release of a solo EP Motifs in 2014, which included his collaboration with Oddisee, resulting in a charting single, "Ongoing Thing". Motifs II was released in 2015.


  • 20syl
  • Matthieu Lelièvre – guitar
  • Hervé Godard – bass
  • Antoine Saint-Jean – drums
  • DJ Greem – DJ

Earlier members included Cambia, Yves-Dominique Richard and Yannick Busi.



Year Album Peak positions Certification

1998 Seconde Formule  –  –  –
2002 Acoustic Hip Hop Quintet  –  –  –
2005 73 Touches 103  –  –
2007 Place 54 13  –  –
2010 16 Pièces 13 76 59

Maxi singles[edit]

  • "On and On" (October 2001)
  • "Conscient" (January 2003)
  • "On and On – Part 2" (December 2004)


Year Single Peak positions Album
2010 "À mi-chemin"
(feat. Akhenaton & Ben l'Oncle Soul

Discography: 20syl[edit]


Year Album Peak positions
2014 Motifs (EP) 102
2015 Motifs II (EP) 113


Year Single Peak positions Album
2014 "Ongoing Thing"
(feat. Oddisee)
172 Motifs (EP)


  1. ^ "Home". onandon-records.com.
  2. ^ "Hocus Pocus on Amazon Music". Amazon.
  3. ^ a b "Hocus Pocus discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b "20Syl discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2014.

External links[edit]