Born in the early 70s, Ludovic Navarre, the son of an interior decorator, grew up in the chic Parisian suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Ludovic‘s first great passion in life was sport and the young boy spent most of his free time sailing, fun-boarding and rollerblading. However, young Ludovic‘s sporting career was cut short when he was involved in a serious moped crash at the age of 14. The accident left him bed-bound for two entire years and it was during his long period of convalescence that Ludovic discovered the joys of computer programming.
The teenage boy’s computer skills would serve him well when he launched a career as a DJ in the early 80s. Inspired by the happening house sounds filtering over from Chicago and Detroit, Ludovic locked himself away in the studio and began mixing electronic music on his banks of computers and machines.
Ludovic also went on to build up an impressive musical culture in his teenage years, listening avidly to blues and reggae, then moving on to discover soul, jazz and hip hop. His encyclopedical knowledge of music laid the foundation for the innovative fusion work he developed later in his career.
Strangely enough, as his name moved towards cult status in electro circles, St Germain was spending less and less time in the studio on his own account. Indeed, apart from his remix activities, the French mix-master went almost five years without producing a follow-up to “Boulevard“. Uneasy with his new-found celebrity and restricted by his categorisation in the electro movement, Ludovic Navarre even reached the point where he considered dropping his St Germain pseudo and giving up music altogether.
- From Detroit to St Germain (album) St Germain ITUNES
- Black Man St. Germain 05:29
- Alabama Blues St. Germain 07:19
- Walk so lonely St. Germain 04:39
- Jack on the groove St. Germain 04:37
- Préclusion St. Germain 07:13
- French St. Germain 05:46
- How do you plead St. Germain 06:40
- Move St. Germain 06:52
- Deep in It St. Germain 07:20
- Soul salsa soul St. Germain 10:11
- My mama said St. Germain 05:20
- Dub Experience St. Germain 04:23
Then, in an abrupt about-turn, Ludovic decided what was missing in his work was the fusion element that had inspired him from the start of his career. Eager to meet other musicians and explore new musical horizons, St Germain decided to quit electro specialist label F.Com and sign to the legendary jazz label Blue Note instead.
This led to him re-developing an exciting fusion edge to his work and working with real musicians such as Senegalese star Idrissa Diop and Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin. When St Germain‘s second album, “Tourist“, came out in April 2000 the French mix-master took the world by storm with his cutting-edge fusion of house, jazz, reggae and African rhythms.
Indeed, the sales of “Tourist” proved even more successful than “Boulevard“, rocketing through the roof after the success of the first single release, “Rose Rouge“, and hitting the 250,000 mark in France. But this was nothing compared to world sales. “Tourist” was released on the international market in September 2000 and by the summer of 2001 sales had topped 1.5 million!
Following the phenomenal success of “Tourist“, St Germain was inundated with concert requests and he spent most of the latter part of 2000 touring intensively. Kicking off an extensive European tour in London on October 20th, the turntable king completed the French leg of his tour with a triumphant performance at the Olympia in Paris on November 9th. St Germain would return to play another show at the Olympia on April 6th 2001, before setting off to conquer dancefloors in the U.S., Asia and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, rave reviews from the critics continued to pour in and on February 17th 2001 St Germain found himself nominated at the “Victoires de la musique” awards – in three different categories! The fusion wizard went on to walk off with awards for “Best Jazz Newcomer of the Year“, “Best Electronic Album” and “Best Live Show of the Year“.
St Germain kept up a hectic schedule throughout the summer of 2001, performing at some of Europe’s top music events including the Nice Jazz Festival, the Paleo Festival in Switzerland, “Les Vieilles Charrues” and the Fourvière Festival in Lyons.
At the end of August 2002, St Germain put an end to his impressive tour of 260 dates by performing a last concert in Hyde Park, London. In the two years following its release, his album “Tourist“, which topped the 600,000 mark on the single French territory, sold more than 2 million copies around the world.