Indochine is a French new wave/rock band, formed in 1981. The band was very successful in France in the 1980s, as well as other parts of continental Europe and Latin America, with songs like L’Aventurier and Canary Bay. Following the release of several critically acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful, albums in the 1990s, the group returned to stardom with the release of Paradize in 2002. The band have sold over 10 million albums and singles, making them the best selling French band.
Indochine (French for Indochina) was formed in 1981 by two Frenchmen in their late teens, Nicola Sirkis and Dominique Nicolas, in Paris. They soon added Dimitri Bodianski, the cousin of one of Nicola’s friends. After enjoying enormous chart success during the new wave era, French pop group Indochine spent more than decade grappling with commercial frustration, roster defections, and even the death of a founding member. Only in 1999 did their fortunes turn yet again, and three years later the band capped off its comeback with a number one single, “J’ai Demandé à la Lune.”
The roots of Indochine lie in a newspaper advertisement placed by singer/guitarist Nicola Sirkis and answered by Dominique Nicolas, a journeyman guitarist with a series of short-lived punk bands under his belt. After writing enough songs to sustain a live performance, they recruited Sirkis’ twin brother, Stéphane, to play keyboards while friend Dimitri Bodiansky was installed on saxophone. On September 29, 1981, Indochine made their professional debut at the Paris café Rose Bonbon, and the following February issued their first single, “Dizzindence Politik,” a minor hit that paved the way for the EP L’Aventurier. When the title song emerged as a breakout hit in the summer of 1983, Indochine was appointed the essence of French new wave, and their melancholy yet infectious electro-pop found favor with consumers as well as critics, who at year’s end awarded the group the coveted Bus d’Acier award.