Folk-jazz singer/songwriter Cali emerged as one of French pop's biggest new stars when the listening public adopted his 2003 debut single, "C'est Quand le Bonheur?" (When's Happiness?), as an anthem for post-adolescent disillusionment.
Born Bruno Calicuri in Perpignan, France, in June 1968, he initially dreamed of a career as a professional Rugby player before a 1984 U2 concert shifted his priorities to music. A self-taught guitarist, he soon emerged as a staple of the local live circuit, and after a series of short-lived band affiliations, he joined the group Indy in 1994. After two LPs and more than 200 live dates, Calicuri joined the band Tom Scarlett, issuing a self-financed album to scant attention in 1998. After dissolving the project, he abbreviated his name to Cali and, in collaboration with Tom Scarlett guitarist Hugues Baretge, began a lengthy residency at the Perpignan club Le Mediator. Opening dates in support of superstars including Bénabar and Brigitte Fontaine earned attention from audiences and critics alike, and a celebrated July 2002 performance at La Rochelle's famed Francofolies festival proved the turning point of his career, earning a record deal with the Labels imprint. Cali's debut LP, L'Amour Parfait, hit stores in mid-2003, immediately earning comparisons with rival singer/songwriter Miossec, leader of the so-called "chanson réaliste" movement. "C'est Quand le Bonheur?" struck a profound chord with listeners of Cali's post-revolt generation and earned him a nomination as Best Newcomer of the Year at the annual Victoires de la Musique awards. In late 2004 Cali released Plein de Vie, a live DVD documenting his May 26 performance at Paris' Le Bataclan, and in January 2005 headlined the legendary music hall the Olympia. Cali's sophomore effort, the much-anticipated Menteur, finally dropped that autumn. The following summer, he co-starred in the film musical Magique! In 2008, he released his third studio album, L'Espoir. The singles from the album were "Resistance" and "1000 Coeurs Debout." ~ Jason Ankeny