Françoise Cactus, the singer, drummer and co-songwriter of the prolific French-German indie duo Stereo Total, has passed away. The band took the news on social media. “We are devastated to announce the death of our beloved friend, singer and drummer Françoise Cactus,” wrote Stereo Total on the band’s Facebook page. “She died peacefully at home of cancer this morning, February 17, 2021. Rest in peace, notre amie! ❤️ FOREVER 16! ”
Cactus and the multi-instrumentalist Brezel Göring founded Stereo Total in Berlin in 1993. Cactus, a self-proclaimed “anti-diva”, previously sang and played drums in the French garage band Lolitas.
Stereo Total made its full-length debut in 1995, Oh Ah. As a band, they adhered to a number of basic principles: instruments should be affordable, even cheap, lyrics should be sung in all kinds of languages (except English), and big record labels should be avoided, as should contemporary tastes. Cactus and Göring looked back lovingly for inspiration, and their sound reflected a fondness for lo-fi pop and the yéyé of the 1960s.
Stereo Total released between their 1995 debut and their last album Ah! A steady stream of records in 2019. Quel Cinéma! In 2001 the duo released Musique Automatique, the best-selling album, which contained titles such as “L’amour à trois” and “Wir Tanz im 4eck”. On her 2015 LP Les Hormones, Cactus took on production and mixing duties for the first time, in addition to her roles as songwriter, percussionist and multilingual singer.