After weeks of competition, the Francouvertes competition is finally ready for its grand finale. Which will prevail among the electrorock of Hôte, the pop-rock of Émile Bourgault or the soul jazz of Rau Ze? That’s what we’ll find out on Monday. The newspaper asked four questions to the three finalists.
How did your musical project start?
Host (Marc-André Dupaul): “Hôte started following the separation of my old folk project De louves. I wanted to get away from the sounds of guitars and what I knew to create something new and stimulating for me.
Emile Bourgault: “I was in high school, I was around 15, that’s when I started to play the guitar more seriously and my first songs came. I haven’t stopped composing since!
RauZe: “Since our first meeting [Rose Perron et Félix Paul, noyau auteur-compositeur-interprète de la formation], a few years ago already, it is a project which tends timidly to materialize. Our artistic relationship first evolved within various formations of the jazz and R&B scenes of Montreal. It was only in the fall of 2021 that we seriously began to compose French-language songs, with a view to participating in the Francouvertes. It is moreover at the Francouvertes that our formation, now composed of six musicians, gave its first and only two public performances.
Photo courtesy, Éléonore Delvaux-Beaudoin
Why was it important for you to participate in the Francouvertes this year?
Host : “I saw so many friends doing the Francouvertes who are now career musicians, it seemed natural to me. I admit that after my refusal last year, I had no idea. I will have had surprises from start to finish.”
Emile Bourgault: “I think I was there. I wanted my project to gain visibility and above all, I wanted to meet people, inspiring artists, to take a real first step in this environment. I am very happy to have done it!”
RauZe: “On the one hand to forge links with the artists who gravitate around the competition. The French-speaking pop scene, as an industry and network of contacts, is still mysterious for us. What better than a showcase like the Francouvertes to catapult us into it? On the other hand, for the many prizes that are offered. We want to be able to record our music and put it online as quickly as possible. But without financial assistance, it’s already good if we can get online at the grocery store every week.
Photo courtesy, Ariane Béliveau
Did the contest go as you had imagined?
Host : “Competitions in art don’t make sense to me. This experience will certainly have broken our hearts on several occasions, but will also have been formative for us as musicians.
Emile Bourgault: “I really didn’t know what to expect going into this, except that everyone was really, really talented. To be honest, I never thought I would make it to the final, but I’m taking it and I’m very happy with the turn of events!”
RauZe: “Since the project is very recent, it was already a surprise for us to have been selected for the preliminary rounds. It goes without saying that our expectations were far exceeded.”
How confident are you in your chances of winning the Grand Final?
Host : “We are further in the competition than we could have imagined going and we have nothing to lose. It’s thanks to all the love we received during the contest. In our hearts and minds, we have already won the Francouvertes.”
Emile Bourgault: “It might sound a bit cliché, but at the point where I am, I’m going to come out of this contest with so much more than a win or a loss. Making the final is a big victory for me. It’s clear that it would make me happy, but I’m not here to win at all costs!
RauZe: “We are going to give it our all and stay true to ourselves. Then, come what may.”
The grand finale of the Francouvertes will take place on Monday, 7:30 p.m., at Club Soda. It will also be broadcast online at thepointofsale.com. In addition to the finalists, Lydia Képinski and Les Louanges will offer a performance. For info: francouvertes.com.