Mysterious French rap duo PNL have stormed the Itunes charts; with their new rap album ‘Le Monde Chico’ current sitting top of the French charts. It is not just through Itunes that PNL have dominated either, through their music videos on youtube they have racked up a considerable number of views; even more impressive when one considers they are not signed with a record label at all. The duo are understandably happy about this:
10 000 000 de vues !! LE MONDE OU RIEN CHICO !! https://t.co/5yS68Xe7d7
— PNLMusic (@PNLMusic) November 5, 2015
However it is not just their music that has taken France by storm but rather the mystery of the band. Very, very little is known about the two rappers, other than they go by the names of NOS and Ademo and that they are based in Tarterêts estate in Corbeil-Essonnes, just south of Paris, an area notorious for crime.
You might wonder why we’re writing about a French news story; and the fact is that the manner of their rise through social media and without using a record lable is a testament to the growth of musicians independently releasing their work. That affects the global music market hugely. A self made album is currently sitting top of the Itunes charts for a huge country; that is highly significant.
“We don’t know who they are, we only have their lyrics to go on. The mystery around them has no previous equivalent in French rap.
“Their success comes down to the atmosphere they create: a kind of melodic sadness. They deal with familiar themes – drug sales, criminality, the banlieues – but there’s something in their tone, a kind of absence, a hypnotic quality, a solitude, that’s totally different and absolutely their own. Rather than brutality, it’s a sadness that rings out.”
PNL performed their very first gig in Paris last week in a small venue, again details are hard to come by. We can only hope for more gigs and more details about the successful duo to emerge.