Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Reasonable Bling

Recommended Artist - Corneille
Genre - HipHop/R&B

Corneille’s career started in 1993. At the time he was part of a Rwandan R&B group and he got into writing lyrics and composing music. The group recorded a demo and went on to win the "Découverte 1993" talent-spotting contest on Rwandan television. The war and its internecine dramas took its toll on the group, his family and a good number of his friends. Finding himself alone in a crippled country, he sought asylum in Germany. In Europe, he had several opportunities to perform solo on the local scene. In July 97, he left Germany to carry on with his studies in communication at Concordia University in Montreal. A few months after his arrival, he met up with Gage Pierre and Gardy Martin who were to become co-members of the R&B group O.N.E. The group soon carved out a reputation for its telling harmonies and their on-stage charisma, especially Corneille, thanks to his leadership and his talent for lyrics and musical composition (as author of Zoukin, which topped the BDS French Canadian Airplay charts for several weeks). This airplay success led to their playing support group for Isabelle Boulay (Théâtre St-Denis in Montreal) and Kelis (Club Soda in Montreal).

In January 2001, Corneille left the group to concentrate on his solo career. He refocused his writing on his war experience but also on sincerely expressed romantic feelings. Corneille is a touching singer whose strength lies in the softness and depth of his lyrics, and the intensity of his compositions and voice. In 2002, he took part in several projects: the number Ce Soir (Tonight) for the compilation Cocktail (Ghetto R&B/Sony Music), he also wrote the track Si on s'aimait (How About Loving Each Other) featuring Passy, D.Mory, Kamel, Snipper, Nadya, Cheraz, EJM, Nathalie Loriot to name but a few, for the artists against violence movement "Hip Hop Folies" (Sony Music).

On stage, in July 2002, he grabbed attention as part of an unplugged formation at the FrancoFolies in La Rochelle as support for Burning Spear. He moved straight on to a brilliant showcase at the Réservoir in Paris, a venue that he came back to in October 2002, invited by Dave Stewart for the launch of his new label D.U.P, where he featured with living legend Jimmy Cliff.

Corneille’s first album is called Parce qu'on Vient de Loin (Because We Come From Afar). This album was written, arranged and co-produced by Corneille. Personal Favorites from this album: Parce qu'on Vient de Loin, Toi, Seul Au Monde, Sans Rancune. Needless to say, this is not music you'll hear on the radio if you're not in France or Quebec.


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