Zaz (singer)

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ZAZ © Play On.jpg
Zaz in 2014
Background information
Birth name Isabelle Geffroy
Born (1980-05-01) 1 May 1980 (age 37)
Origin Tours, Indre-et-Loire, Centre-Val de Loire, France
Genres Jazz, chanson
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 2001–present
Labels Play On

Isabelle Geffroy[1] (born 1 May 1980 in Tours, France), better known by the nickname Zaz, is a French singer-songwriter who mixes jazzy styles, French variety, soul and acoustic. She is famous for her hit "Je veux", from her first album, Zaz, released on 10 May 2010.[2] She has sold over 3.4 million albums worldwide and is currently[when?] one of the most successful French singers in the world.

Early life[edit]

Her mother was a Spanish teacher, and her father worked for an electric company. In 1985, she entered the Conservatoire de Tours with her sister and her brother, attending courses from the ages of five to eleven. She studied music theory, specifically the violin, piano, guitar, and choral singing. In 1994, she moved to Bordeaux. In 1995, she took singing lessons and played sports for a year in Bordeaux, all while studying kung fu with a professional coach. In 2000, she won a scholarship from the regional council, which allowed her to join a school of modern music, the CIAM (Centre for Musical Activities and Information) of Bordeaux. Her musical influences included 'Four Seasons' by Vivaldi, jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, and other singers such as Enrico Macias, Bobby McFerrin, and Richard Bona, as well as African, Latin, and Cuban rhythms. In 2006, she moved to Paris.

Singing career[edit]

Zaz performing with Benoit Simon at the TFF Rudolstadt festival in 2011

In 2001, she started her singing career in the blues band "Fifty Fingers". She sang in musical groups in Angoulême, especially in a jazz quintet.[3] She became one of the four singers of Izar-Adatz (Basque for "Shooting Star"), a variety band which consisted of sixteen people with whom she toured for two years, especially in the Midi-Pyrenees and the Basque Country. She worked in the studio as a backing singer in Toulouse and performed with many singers, including Maeso, Art Mengo, Vladimir Max, Jean-Pierre Mader, Eduardo Sanguinetti, the latinoamerican philosopher and land-artist,[4] and Serge Guerao.

In 2011, Zaz won an EBBA Award. Every year the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) recognize the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.

In May 2010, French magazine Télérama announced: "Rumor has swelled in recent weeks: Zaz is an extraordinary voice, and she will be the revelation of the summer!".[5] On 10 May 2010, Zaz released her first album. It contains songs she wrote ("Trop sensible") and co-composed ("Les passants", "Le long de la route", "Prends garde à ta langue", "J'aime à nouveau", "Ni oui ni non"). Kerredine Soltani produced the album on the label "Play On" and wrote and composed the hit single "Je veux". The pop singer Raphaël Haroche wrote her songs "Éblouie par la nuit", "Port Coton" and "La fée". In 2010, she signed a contract for her tours with Caramba and publisher Sony ATV. She was invited to make several television appearances (such as Taratata or Chabada) and was featured in several programs on the radio. On Sunday 6 October 2013, Zaz appeared on BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show in London and sang "Je veux" live.

Zaz then toured France (Paris, La Rochelle, Montauban, Saint-Ouen, Chateauroux, Landerneau, Fécamp...), performed at the Francofolies of Montreal (Canada), and sang in Monthey (Switzerland), Brussels, Berlin, and Milan. In autumn Zaz topped the charts in Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria. Matthieu Baligand, her manager and producer at Caramba Entertainment, explained to Libération: "We talk a lot of her right now and people are waiting her at the turn... Despite the demand, it seems preferable to do her first tour in fifty small places which will render her credible. Zaz is a popular, intuitive artist, who is familiar with music, who can sing, but doing a quality show is something else (...)." In November 2010, the debut album Zaz became double platinum and she was awarded "Revelation Song" by the Académie Charles Cros. Zaz also won the European Border Breakers Award: she was named the French artist most played abroad in 2010. According to a survey published by L'Internaute, Zaz was the most popular French singer in the 2010 ranking.[6]

She is also featured on the song "Coeur Volant" for the soundtrack of the 2011 film, Hugo. Her live CD and DVD Zaz live tour Sans Tsu Tsou was revealed.

Her song "Eblouie Par La Nuit" was featured in the 2013 American neo-noir crime thriller, "Dead Man Down".

In 2012, Zaz went on tour and held concerts in various countries around the world including Japan, Canada, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Czech Republic (Colours of Ostrava), Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Turkey, among other countries.[7]

Zaz (Paris Tour) in Brest in 2016.

With her album Paris she won the 2015 Echo award for best international female rock/pop artist.[8]

In 2016, Zaz was invited to perform in Zacatecas City, Mexico as part of the Festival Cultural Zacatecas[1].


In 2011, she joined the Les Enfoirés charity ensemble.

Zaz created the project Zazimut to "develop and promote projects for a society more respectful of life in all its forms".



Title Album details Peak positions[9][10][11] Certifications
ZAZ 1 12 51 1 3 3 19 1 10 56 3 3 93
Recto Verso
  • Released: 13 May 2013
  • Label: Play On, Sony Music Entertainment
2 4 16 3 2 5 1 73 1 21
  • Released: 10 November 2014
2 4 8 2 5 2 3 54 3 17
  • AUT: Gold
  • FRA: 2× Platinum
  • GER: Gold
  • POL: 2× Platinum[23]
  • SWI: Gold
"–" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.
  • 2014: Recto verso / Zaz (joint re-release of the two albums) (Peak: FR: #64)[25]

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions Certifications
Sans tsu tsou Live Tour
  • Released: 2011
24 27 17
Sur la route
  • Released: 30 October 2015
3[26] 10 18[27] 9
"–" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.


Title Year Peak chart positions Album


"Je veux" 2010 16 34 2 34 22 23 Zaz
"Le long de la route" 821 16 62
"La fée" 2011 681 7 40
"Éblouie par la nuit" 671 34 13
"Cette journée" 2013 811 Recto Verso
"On ira" 74 831 16 12 47 15
"Comme ci, comme ça" 761 561
"Si" 861 531 34
"Gamine" 2014 571 169
"Paris sera toujours Paris" 77 71 48 Paris
"Sous le ciel de Paris" 170
"Champs Élysées" 177
"Si jamais j'oublie" 2015 27 11 43 Sur la route
"–" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

1 Did not chart on main chart Ultratop, but bubbling under Ultratip Chart. Added 50 positions to actual Ultratip position for reporting purposes in table.

Charity singles[edit]

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Trop sensible" 2013 52 Zaz
"Belle" 136 Non-album single


  1. ^ "Zaz : de saltimbanque chanteuse de rue... au sommet des charts !" (in French). Purepeople. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "interview et live de Zaz, chanteuse aux actualités A2" (in French). 2424actu. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Zaz n'a pas la voix dans sa poche" (in French). Respectmag. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Carlos Espartaco, Eduardo Sanguinetti: The Experience of Limit Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ediciones de Arte Gaglianone, first published 1989 ISBN 950-9004-98-7
  5. ^ "Zaz – chanson". Telerama (in French). Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Musique: Zaz personnalité préférée de l'année" (in French). Linternaute. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "ZAZ - Bandsintown - Facebook". 
  8. ^ Brunner, Ula (27 March 2015). "'Die Helene-Fischer-Festspiele haben begonnen'" ['The Helene Fischer festival has begun']. RBB online (in German). Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg. Archived from the original on 30 March 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "ZAZ – ZAZ, in various albums charts" (in French). Lescharts. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "ZAZ – ZAZ, in various albums charts". acharts. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "ZAZ – ZAZ, in various albums charts" (in Russian). Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Peak chart positions in Poland:
  13. ^ "Zaz – Zaz, Czech Albums Chart" (in Czech). ČNS IFPI. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Zaz – Zaz, Austrian certification" (in German). IFPI. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Zaz – Zaz, Belgian certification". IFPI. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Zaz – Zaz, French certification". SNEP. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Zaz – Zaz, German certification" (in German). IFPI. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "2012 Polish Platinum Certifications" (in Polish). ZPAV. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Zaz – Zaz, Russian certification" (in Russian). IFPI. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Zaz – Zaz, Swiss certification" (in German). IFPI. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Belgian Certifications in 2013". Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "SNEP Certifications October 2013" (PDF). SNEP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "2016 Polish Platinum Certifications" (in Polish). ZPAV. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  24. ^ SCHWEIZER HITPARADE – ALBEN TOP 100 << 22.09.2013 (in German). Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  25. ^ Lescharts: Recto verso / Zaz album page
  26. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums - SNEP". 1 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart :: sales for the period 26.02.2016 - 03.03.2016". OLiS. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  28. ^ " – Zaz discography". Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  29. ^ " – Zaz discography". Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  30. ^ a b "ZAZ – "Je veux", in various singles charts" (in French). Lescharts. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 

External links[edit]