Singing detours, let’s go! And it starts strong with the Canadian artist Samuele, who will put down his suitcases and his very pop-rock songs for two evenings at Le Bijou.
Noticed in 2017 with “The good girls go to heaven, the others go where they want”, Samuele took a professional break in 2019 in order to perform “gender affirmation surgery”. Samuele assumes in the fall of 2019 “trans and non-binary”. On February 17, the artist will publish a book-album: “A spangle in the gear”, to say – with this wonderful Montreal accent and in 12 songs – transformation, healing and appeasement.
The Détours de chant festival celebrates French-speaking song. Where do you fit into this vast family?
Hmm, how to answer? I don’t know everyone yet! (laughs) I have been singing and playing for several years, and eight years that I have been doing this job professionally. My music is “dirty” electro-pop, there’s some “greasy” in there!
Your music makes the link between the French literary tradition and American blues-rock: the perfect marriage, isn’t it?
It’s a good description. It’s true that texts have often had a central place in my work: I’m a storyteller! But I’m inspired, it’s true, by blues, rock, American folk. I also have French influences and if I had to describe my music, I would say that Niagara and Christine & the Queens made a baby out of glitter and that gave my songs!
“A spangle in the gear” is a multidisciplinary book-album that tells your gender transition: why did you want to tell this intimate adventure?
As an artist, I tell what happens to me and I wanted a joyful approach. The narrative in these trans stories is often linked to drama and violence. Me, I wanted to show the joy that there is on the other side of the transformation. The models we are shown are often dramatic; the one I present is happy, joyful. It is a revolutionary act. Intimate and global revolutions are inseparable.
Do you say that on stage?
Oh yes, people tell me all the time that I talk a lot! (laughs) I explain: “So, this song was when I was very close to the operation and I was very stressed”, “This one is right after the transformation”… I need to situate the narrative, it’s important.
The joy you evoked is expressed in your songs, very pop and catchy!
In concert, we start, with my two lifelong accomplices, Julie Miron on guitar and bass, and Alexandre Pépin on bass and drum sequences, on something quite electro, then a little rock, then downright rock ! I want people to dance! It fidgets a little at first, but you have to move your heart, body and mind!
What feelings do you want to convey to the public?
I am often told: “You made me laugh, you made me cry!” and that’s the best compliment. I want people to come with an open mind, that we seek our childhood joy together. I don’t know how you’re going to feel, but I want you to feel things.