Philippe Katerine, generally known simply as Katerine, is a French alternative singer/songwriter who emerged to underground acclaim in the mid-'90s and steadily gained commercial success in subsequent years as his renown grew.
Born Philippe Blanchard on December 8, 1968, in Chantonnay, Vendée, he made his full-length commercial recording debut in 1991 with Les Mariages Chinois on the Rosebud label. A home-recorded lo-fi album comprised of one- or two-minute minimalist songs, Les Mariages Chinois proved highly influential and was reissued with bonus material in 1993 as Les Mariages Chinois et la Relecture. Subsequent albums L'Éducation Anglaise (1994), Mes Mauvaises Fréquentations (1996), Les Créatures (1997), and L'Homme à Trois Mains (1999) solidified Katerine's reputation as a leading light of the French indie pop scene. His reputation was further enhanced by a variety of collaborations; most notably, he wrote an entire album for Anna Karina, Historie d'Amour (2000). By the turn of the century, Katerine's fan base had grown to the point where he began hitting the French albums chart with regularity, beginning with 8ème Ciel (2002). His mainstream breakthrough came in 2005 with Robots Après Tout, which reached the Top 30 of the French albums chart and spawned the Top 40 hit single "Louxor J'adore." Thanks to the popularity of "Louxor J'adore" and the follow-up single "100% V.I.P.," Robots Après Tout spent nearly two years on the French albums chart, logging 97 weeks in total. In the wake of his mainstream breakthrough, the album Studiolive (2007), essentially a re-recording of Robots Après Tout done live in the studio, was released in a couple different formats, one of which included a lengthy DVD. His self-titled release in 2010 was accompanied by videos for each track -- directed by his friend, artist and bassist Gaëtan Chestnut -- which combined the wonderful imagery Katerine had created with the visuals captured by Chestnut. In 2011, he embarked on a triple album project with a jazz band formed by saxophonist François Ripoche. The album, 52 Reprises dans l'Espace, consisted of 52 cover versions of songs by artists such as Pierre Bachelet and Phenomenal Club. In addition to his musical output, Katerine established himself as a talented actor after the turn of the century, appearing in numerous films. He released Magnum in 2014. ~ Jason Birchmeier