I love girl power. Songs of the Spice Girls, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé are key staples of my music library. In a quest to expand my girl power music squad, I thought about exploring Québec artists. I was inspired and amazed at what the Québec crew had to offer. I’ve curated a selection of my findings in this list of my three favourites…
Cardin is a woman wonder; modeling for Interview, walking in a Christopher Kane show, and being a contestant on the French Canadian The Voice (La Voix). This presents two paths for her to choose from: partaking in the fashion industry as a model or being sold as a product of a reality television show. Remarkably, she chooses neither. Instead, Cardin forges her own path, bravely making music on her own accord and by her own means.
Cardin sings in both English and French on her EP Big Boy, consisting of six calming chansons. Her soothing music and smoky voice create an intimate feel. Listeners have likened her voice to Amy Winehouse, especially on the track “Dirty Dirty.” The track “Like it Doesn’t Hurt” features rapper Husser and has a dynamic music video to match, which features both artists in a tumultuous relationship. Sticking to her French roots, the track “Faufile” is a heartbreaking romantic tune one can understand, despite the language barrier. Cardin’s unique sound will make you thankful she stood strong on her beliefs.
Milk & Bone
Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin are the electropop duo who met at Cégep (a post-secondary school in Québec) and have been creating great music ever since. Both have musical backgrounds, Lafond-Beaulne being classically trained and Poliquin having toured as a singer for Cirque du Soleil. The two received the 2015 Breakout Award at SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) for their album Little Mourning and have been picking up speed ever since.
A standout track from the album is “Tomodachi.” The tune features Toronto rapper Terrell Morris whom the duo found on SoundCloud, then received vocals from the same day via Internet! This tech influence is also seen in their music with synthesizers and their online popularity with blogs, playlists, and the like. However, their music isn’t too futuristic, as their harmonies, lyrics, and occasional use of ukulele reminisce human passion (their music beats remind us of our own heartbeats). Other songs I recommend from their debut album Little Mourning include the hypnotic track “Easy to Read” and cool electronica hit “Coconut Water.” Seeing two women supporting each other makes great music.
Safia Nolin is the epitome of girl power. Upon winning the Breakthrough artist award at the Gala de l’ADISQ (Québec Association for the Recording, Concert and Video Industries), she received a lot of attention— not for her talent, but for her appearance, because apparently wearing a t-shirt, a cardigan, jeans and sneakers, and swearing is not proper behaviour for a woman. To herself she stays true, calling out her online haters in a powerful open letter on Urbania (http://urbania.ca/236261/salut-les-gens/). In the letter she writes with confidence, encouraging others to be less critical of their neighbours, artists, cultures, and especially women.
Nolin is from the Québec City quartier Limoilou, which is the title of her first album. The standout song is “Igloo.” It’s chilling and haunting in a beautiful way. “Noël partout” is another great track one can imagine listening to during a magical Canadian snowfall. Her music recalls the beauty of la belle province, having a folk sound accompanied by acoustic guitar— and, of course, her singing in her native French tongue. She recently released a second album, Reprises Vol. 1, reinforcing her love for Québec by covering songs of well-known Quebecois artists. To Safia Nolin I say merci beaucoup for providing great messages inside and outside of her songs.