Story by Marie-Michèle Bouchard | Wednesday October 9th, 2019
Artists and bands are invited to apply now for the 2019 edition of the music competition Les Francouvertes can do so until Oct. 23, 2019. They can submit application packages directly on the Francouvertes website for a chance to be one of the 21 contestants in this 24th edition.
SOCAN is proud to once again collaborate in the presentation of this prestigious competition, which runs from Feb. 17 to May 4, 2020.
What is Les FRANCOUVERTES? Each year, the event offers an exceptional showcase of Francophone artists and bands. It offers unprecedented visibility to its participants, and awards several impactful prizes. The grand prize is a $10,000, offered by Sirius XM, and all 21 participants can win several other prizes. Those are intended to promote their professional development with cash, studio time, paid shows during major events, as well as professional and promotional support. The participants will experience rich artistic and professional encounters. Moreover, each participant will walk away with a professionally shot video of their performance at Montréal’s Lion d’Or. Click here to see videos from previous editions.
The Francouvertes is composed of a preliminary round, semi-finals and the final round, for a total of 11 evenings presenting three or more artists per night. To find out more about this competition, visit www.francouvertes.com.
Laurence Nerbonne and Émile Bilodeau are the spokespersons of the 2020 edition of the event, whose mission will be to promote diversity, musical open-mindedness, and quality, the three cornerstones of this year’s competition.
“Aimons-nous” to be inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
Story by Howard Druckman | Thursday October 10th, 2019
The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame is proud to announce that the song “Aimons-nous,” with lyrics by Yvon Deschamps and music by Jacques Perron, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 15, 2019, during the inaugural ceremony of the Palestre Nationale pavilion of the Association sportive et communautaire du Centre-Sud.
“We are truly proud to induct and celebrate this legendary song that, just as its creators, transcends the ages and is as impactful today as it was nearly 50 years ago,” said Vanessa Thomas, Executive Director of the CSHF.
“Aimons-nous,” which was the counterpoint to Deschamps’s monologue “Le P’tit Jésus,” was initially released on the album Le p’tit Jésus/Le foetus/La honte (1970). This was Deschamps’ third collection of monologues, which wryly look at Québec society on a cultural, social, and political level, turning his acerbic humour on unions, racism, and intolerance. Clémence Desrochers one day gave him a wise piece of advice: “When you don’t know how to end a monologue, sing a song.” The first song he included in his live shows were “Aimons-nous” and “Dans ma cour,” and Yvon Deschamps would write nearly 60 more over the course of his career.
Jacques Perron and his band Vos Voisins accompanied Yvon Deschamps onstage from 1969 to 1973, when his shows at Théâtre Maisonneuve were increasingly frequent, and “Aimons-nous” was a crowd favourite. The song was one of the highlights of the show 1 fois 5, in 1975, when Deschamps celebrated Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on Mount Royal alongside such luminaries as Gilles Vigneault, Claude Léveillé, Jean-Pierre Ferland, and Robert Charlebois – a historical event that was released on a double album of the same name.
One day, someone heckled Deschamps and shouted, “Stop singing, you’re a horrible singer!” To which he replied, “Can’t be that bad, since everyone’s singing along!” His songs were covered by the likes of Ginette Reno, Monique Leyrac, Nicola Ciccone, Laurence Jalbert, Dan Bigras, Isabelle Boulay, Judi Richards and her daughters Karine and Sarah-Émilie and, above all, by Diane Dufresne on her album Deschampsons (2015).
In 2017, “Aimons-nous” took on a whole new meaning in the wake of the attack on Québec City’s great mosque. Ariane Moffat, Karim Ouellet, and La Bronze – who sang part of the song in Arabic – turned Aimons-nous into a hymn to diversity, and the song reached the top of the iTunes chart in Canada.
Yvon Deschamps became Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec in 2001, has won a Governor General Award for the Performing Arts, and became a Compagnon de l’ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec in 2017.
Photo by The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame/Le Panthéon des auteurs et compositeurs canadiens
Lowell, Les Louanges win 2019 Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award
Story by Howard Druckman | Wednesday October 9th, 2019
Self-aware singer-songwriter Lowell, and genre-blending artist and multi-instrumentalist Les Louanges have been announced as winners of the 2019 Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award, presented by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Established in 2017, the Award celebrates the current achievements and future potential of Canadian songwriters on an upward trajectory in their career.
“To be considered part of Canada’s incredible roster of growing talent is an absolute honour,” said Lowell. “I’m quickly learning that songwriting, while rewarding, can also be a relentless pursuit, and it’s support like this back home that keeps me going. Thank you.”
Travelling back and forth between L.A. and Toronto, Lowell co-wrote two EPs with JUNO Award-winning artist Bülow, spawning the hit “Not A Love Song” and the Halsey-approved “You and Jennifer.” The Calgary-born pop writer and artist also collaborates with Jason Evigan, J Kash, T-Minus, John Ryan, and more. She co-wrote Madison Beer’s debut LP and the first single, “Dear Society,” which has quickly garnered more than 30 million streams. Lowell crafted her own recent Arts & Crafts-released LP, which earned song placements on Grey’s Anatomy and The Bold Type, and her single “War Face” charted on alternative radio. She recently signed to TAP Management (Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, Hailee Steinfeld), and is currently working alongside Steinfeld on her upcoming EP.
Last week, Lowell and fellow winner in the Francophone category, Les Louanges, were honoured at the SOCAN Gala in Montreal. In addition to receiving a cash prize, and access to songwriting camps, the winners will attend the SOCAN Awards in Toronto in the spring of 2020.
“As a Francophone songwriter, I’m really happy to be honored in the rest of Canada, and I hope this prize will help my music cross the language border and be exported across Canada,” said Les Louanges.
Les Louanges is Vincent Roberge. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Les Louanges creates a jazz-infused, undeniably groovy pop sound, boasting poetic yet easy-to-relate-to lyrics. With music born in the streets of Lévis, Québec, Les Louanges was first heard at the Francouvertes, and today is saluted as one of the most important new artists out of the province. After releasing his first EP, Le Mercure, an indie-rock gem, Les Louanges came back strong with his first album, La nuit est une panthère, released in September 2018, via Bonsound.
In Montréal in the Spring of 2019, Les Louanges was awarded the Rapsat-Lelièvre Prize, presented by a partnership between Québec and Belgium, thereby asserting his growing buzz overseas. Locally, Radio-Canada then named Les Louanges as Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Soon after, he kicked off the summer season at Les Francos de Montréal. In the span of a few days, Les Louanges was granted the prestigious Félix-Leclerc Award, and played his biggest show ever in front of a sold-out Club Soda. As he’s finishing up his upcoming EP Expansion Pack, he welcomed a nomination on the Polaris Music Prize Short List, for his very first album.
The 2017 winners of the Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award were Jessie Reyez (Anglophone) and Charlotte Cardin (Francophone). For more information on the award, visit the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame website.