Pierre Lapointe

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Pierre Lapointe
Pierre Lapointe.JPG
Lapointe performing in the Côté-Cour café-théâtre in Jonquière, QC (March 2011).
Background information
Born (1981-05-23) 23 May 1981 (age 34)
Alma, Quebec
Canada
Genres Chanson
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, keyboard
Labels Audiogram
Website www.pierrelapointe.com
Pierre Lapointe at the FrancoFolies de Montréal,one of the largest music festivals in the French-speaking world (18 June 2014)

Pierre Lapointe (born May 23, 1981 in Alma, Quebec) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. His work largely follows in the tradition of French chanson, though he draws considerable influence from modern pop music.[1] Defining himself as a "popular singer", he has built an egocentric persona of a dandy onstage, but says he does this mostly to deflect attention from himself.[2] His records have found critical and commercial success in Canada.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Pierre Lapointe was born in Lac-Saint-Jean (Alma), May 23, 1981, and grew up in Gatineau, Quebec, in the Outaouais region.[3][4][5]

He began studying plastic arts in 1999, but changed his program and started to take theatre courses at the Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe.[6] He left after a few months to focus on songwriting, but later returned to complete his studies in plastic arts. While there, he entered a competition called Tout nouveau, tout show. Lapointe won the "Award for Songwriter-Performer of the Year" and the "Audience Award". He moved to Montreal and continued studying art at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). In September 2001, he came first in the songwriter category at the Festival international de la chanson de Granby. In November 2002, he held two critically acclaimed shows in Montreal. In December, he received a grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec which allowed him to prepare his first commercial album.[7]

Initial success[edit]

In the summer of 2003, he signed on with Audiogram.[8] He released his debut studio album, Pierre Lapointe, in May 2004 [9] and it achieved platinum status in July 2006.[10][4] In June 2004, he was invited to perform at the Festival Pully Lavaux in Switzerland, where he won the Jury Award.[11] In July of the same year, at the FrancoFolies de Montréal, he played a full house for four days in a row, during which he won the Prix Félix‑Leclerc de la chanson.[12]

In celebration of International Francophonie Day on March 22, 2005, he appeared as a guest speaker on Couleurs francophones, a radio show broadcast to French-speaking Europeans.[13] In May 2005, he won the Académie Charles Cros Special Jury Award at the Alors… chante Festival in Montauban, France.[14]

In October 2005, he won a total of six Félix Awards: three on his own for Pop Album of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Art Direction of the Year, as well as three in conjunction with his collaborators, Jean Massicotte (for Arrangement of the Year and Producer of the Year) and Louis Simon Hétu (for Sound Technician of the Year). [15] In November 2005, the Académie Charles Cros awarded him the Grand Prix du Disque for French Song for his album, Pierre Lapointe.[16]

In March 2006, Lapointe released a second album, La Forêt des mal-aimés,[17] which attained platinum status in July 2006.[18] In October 2006, he received three more Félix Awards for La Forêt des mal-mimés: one for Songwriter of the Year, one for Pop Album of the Year and another in collaboration with Philippe Brault and Jean Massicotte for Arrangement of the Year.[19] On October 28, 2007, he won a Félix Award in the category of “Performance of the Year – Singer-Songwriter” for La Forêt des mal-aimés during the 29th ADISQ Gala.[20]

In April 2007, he joined Brigitte Fontaine in performing her song, La symphonie pastorale, at both the Printemps de Bourges music festival and the La Cigale concert hall in Paris.[21][22] He was also the recipient of the 2007 Rapsat-Lelièvre Award for La Forêt des mal-aimés, which the jury considered to be of “exceptional quality”.[23][24]

In August 2007, Lapointe was joined by the Orchestre Métropolitain, with director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to close the 19th annual FrancoFolies de Montréal.[25] He performed for a crowd of over 100,000 — the largest in the festival’s history.[26]

He returned to the festival the next year, where he staged his new work, Mutantès, for four nights at the Place des Arts.[27] Featuring a futuristic stage production by Claude Poissant, the show tells the story of a mutant on his quest for happiness.[28]

Following the show’s success, he reworked Mutantès into a studio album, releasing it under the title Sentiments humains.[29] He again went on tour, concluding at the FrancoFolies de Montréal in June 2010, marking his ninth consecutive appearance at the festival.[30] In January 2011, he released Pierre Lapointe Seul au piano, which saw him revisit earlier songs in a stripped-down form, featuring an unaccompanied Lapointe on piano.[31] 2013 saw two new releases: a studio album proper, Punkt, and Les callas, an EP of short compositions and rough takes.[32][33] In June of that year, Punkt was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.[34]

International success[edit]

Lapointe crowdsurfing at the 25th FrancoFolies de Montréal in July 2013

In July 2014, he appeared at the Francofolies de La Rochelle in France.[35] During this time, he hosted his own weekday radio show, Les Petites Morts, which was broadcast nationally on France Inter.[36] In the program, Lapointe discussed some of his favourite artists and featured guests such as Christophe, Christine and the Queens and Alexandre Tharaud. The exposure greatly increased his popularity in France.[37]

In November 2014, he released Paris tristesse in France and Belgium.[38] The album, recorded in Paris, consists of reworked songs from Punkt as well as covers of French pop classics. The album was later released in Quebec on February 10, 2015.[39]

He is currently one of the coaches on the third season of La Voix, the Quebec edition of the international reality show The Voice.[40]

Artistry[edit]

Themes[edit]

Failed relationships are often the subject of Pierre Lapointe’s songs, though he prefers to maintain a degree of ambiguity as to the relationships in question, allowing for more diversity in interpretations.[41] Another recurring theme in his work is death, which he believes has a far greater presence in music than either love or happiness.[42] With La Forêt des mal-aimés (Forest of the Rejected), he explains that it is usually the feelings of sadness and heartbreak that move an audience.[4] He strives to create a tender and melancholic atmosphere on stage.[43][42] Rather than tell a story through his songs, he aims to elicit images and emotions. Lapointe considers his work to be symbolic, mystical and surreal, as well as abstract and avant-garde.[41][43] His provocative words, which typically deal with sexuality, are a way to challenge the music industry, whose demands, he believes, have resulted in a culture of polite and acceptable music.[42]

Influences[edit]

Pierre Lapointe has been described as having an eclectic style, drawing inspiration from genres as varied as disco, cabaret, and gospel. However, chanson and pop remain the foundation of his work.[4][42][43] Among his influences, are French singer-songwriters (Léo Ferré, Serge Gainsbourg and Barbara), contemporary chanson artists (Matthieu Chédid and Vincent Delerm) and pop artists (Robert Charlebois, Abba and France Gall).[43][42][6][44] He also credits Diane Dufresne, Beck and Björk for shaping his musical development, claiming that, like his influences, he aims to innovate and bring an intellectual approach to popular music.[43] However, he denies having invented anything new, asserting that his “postmodern” work simply seeks to revitalize French-language pop.[42]

Visual arts and choreography play a prominent role in Pierre Lapointe’s work, given his background in graphic arts and theatre.[43][42] He works with dancers and many contemporary artists, particularly when producing music videos, and he often includes them on stage.[45][42][46]

Lapointe has been influenced by visual artists like Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Montreal native David Altmejd, whom he credits as a major inspiration for Mutantès[42][47][41] Having been introduced to the Bauhaus and Dada movements at a young age, several of his shows (such as Mutantès) give the impression of being performance art.[45][6] Lapointe has lamented the indifferent attitude toward contemporary art expressed in modern society and education.[46]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certification
Quebec /
Canada
France
2002 Pierre Lapointe
(Promotional CD - limited release)
 –  –
2004 Pierre Lapointe  –  –
2006 La Forêt des mal-aimés 1 112
2009 Sentiments humains 2 72
2011 Seul au piano
(also known as Pierre Lapointe Seul au Piano)
2 184
2013 Punkt 1  –
2014 Paris tristesse 9 131

Remix albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Notes
Quebec /
Canada
France
2007 2 X2  –  – 24-minute small album with remixes of the album La Forêt des Mal-Aimés plus one previously unreleased track "le Maquis")
25-1-14-14  –  – Vynil record. Limited re-release of 1000 copies of album 2 X2, less the track "Le Maquis"

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certification
Quebec /
Canada
France
2007 En concert dans la forêt des mal-aimés
(full title Pierre Lapointe en concert dans la forêt des mal-aimés avec l'Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal dirigé par Yannick Nézet-Séguin)
22  –

Songs / Videos[edit]

  • 2004: "Le Columbarium"
  • 2005: "Tel un seul homme"
  • 2006: "Deux par deux rassemblés"
  • 2007: "Qu'en est-il de la chance?"
  • 2009: "Je reviendrai"
  • 2009: "Au bar des suicidés"
  • 2013: "La Sexualité" (with Random Recipe)
  • 2013: "Nos Joies Répétitives"

Collaborations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Passelègue, Valérie (September 11, 2006). "Pierre Lapointe. Sortie française de La Forêt des mal-aimés". RFI Musique. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Pierre Lapointe, le favori de Montréal". Télérama. September 23, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Music-Story - Pierre Lapointe. Biographie". Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Frey, Christopher (July 11, 2006). "Pierre the Who?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Pierre Lapointe - «La création est ma vie»". Canoë. April 4, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Gomez, François-Xavier (February 9, 2015). "Pierre Lapointe. Funambule". Libération Next. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Pierre Lapointe". Canadian Blast. Canadian Independent Music Association. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Pierre Lapointe". MusiMax. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Pierre Lapointe". Québec Info Musique. Québec info Musique. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Music Canada. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Les «Guy Bel»". Festival Pully Lavaux à l'heure du Québec. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Prix Félix-Leclerc". FrancoFolies de Montréal. FrancoFolies de Montréal. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "La nouvelle vague". Radio-Canada. Société Radio-Canada. March 22, 2005. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Bernard, Nicolas. "Les coups de coeur Charles Cros Chanson 2005" (PDF). Charles Cros. Académie Charles Cros - L'abbaye. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2005 - Nommés et gagnants". ADISQ. Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  16. ^ Bernard, Nicolas (November 24, 2005). "Grands Prix 2005 - 58ème Palmarès" (PDF). Charles Cros. Académie Charles Cros - L'abbaye. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ "La Forêt des Mal-Aimés". Pierre Lapointe. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Music Canada. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2006 - Nommés et gagnants". ADISQ. Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Archives Gala - Gala de l'ADISQ - 2007 - Nommés et gagnants". ADISQ. Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  21. ^ acoustic (November 4, 2014). "Pierre Lapointe et Brigitte Fontaine "La symphonie pastorale" - Acoustic/TV5MONDE". YouTube. Google. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ Andrieu, Pierre (April 20, 2007). "Critique de concert Shannon Wright + Brigitte Fontaine + Pierre Lapointe + Motel Martel et Seb Martel (Printemps de Bourges 2007)". Concert And Co. Neolab Production. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  23. ^ [swords=Rapsat-Leli%25C3%25A8vre&tx_ttnews[posted]=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3344&tx_ttnews[backPid]=2408&cHash=48327cf752fd4c81700e3e50d73b9cef "La forêt des mal-aimés enchante : Pierre Lapointe reçoit le prix Rapsat-Lelièvre 2007"]. Culture et communications Québec. Gouvernement du Québec. April 26, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Pierre Lapointe, prix Rapsat-Lelièvre 2007". Radio-Canada. Société Radio-Canada. July 23, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Biographie". Pierre Lapointe. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Les chansons essentielles de Pierre Lapointe en version symphonique sur CD". Audiogram. Audiogram. November 26, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Programme de l'édition 2008". FrancoFolies de Montréal. FrancoFolies de Montréal. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  28. ^ "FrancoFolies Archives - Mutantès, de Pierre Lapointe". FrancoFolies de Montréal. FrancoFolies de Montréal. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  29. ^ Cormier, Sylvain (April 4, 2009). "Pierre Lapointe, de Mutantès à Sentiments humains". Le Devoir. Le Devoir. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Pierre Lapointe". FrancoFolies de Montréal. FrancoFolies de Montréal. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Pierre Lapointe seul au piano". Audiogram. Audiogram. February 8, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Punkt - Vinyle transparent". Audiogram. Audiogram. February 26, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  33. ^ Chantal-Boivin, Catherine (December 3, 2013). "Pierre Lapointe surprend avec LES CALLAS". Canoë. Corporation Sun Media. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  34. ^ Hudson, Alex (June 13, 2013). "Polaris Music Prize Unveils 2013 Long List". Exclaim!. Exclaim! Media Inc. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Pierre Lapointe aux Francofolies 2014". Culturebox. France Télévisions. July 14, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Les Petits Morts de 08H52". France Inter. Radio France. August 22, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  37. ^ Dana, Jean-Yves (October 17, 2014). "Pierre Lapointe, un Québécois à Paris". La Croix. Bayard Presse. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  38. ^ Boileau, Fabien (September 24, 2014). "Un nouvel album parisien pour Pierre Lapointe". Canoë. Corporation Sun Media. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  39. ^ Pierre Lapointe http://pierrelapointe.com/paristristesse. Retrieved May 4, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ Chabot-Johnson, Marie (July 30, 2014). "Pierre Lapointe - Un nouveau coach à La Voix". Journal de Montréal. Sun Media Corporation. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  41. ^ a b c Strouk, Cécile (June 6, 2011). "Pierre Lapointe : «Je fais de la chanson surréaliste»". Le Figaro. Société du Figaro. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hache, Victor (January 17, 2014). "Pierre Lapointe : "La chanson francophone tourne en rond"". L'Humanité. Société nouvelle du journal L'Humanité. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  43. ^ a b c d e f Passelègue, Valérie (September 11, 2006). "Pierre Lapointe". RFI Musique. France Médias Monde. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  44. ^ Paul, Nathalie (January 30, 2014). "Pierre Lapointe: concert mythique à l'Olympia avec Matthieu Chedid en special guest". Concertlive. Concert Live publishing. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  45. ^ a b Blais, Marie-Christine (August 1, 2008). "Mutantès de Pierre Lapointe: le sorcier bien-aimé". La Presse. GeSCA Limitée. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  46. ^ a b "Pierre Lapointe". Apathy is Boring. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  47. ^ Clément, Éric (November 25, 2010). "Conte crépusculaire : performance éphémère de Pierre Lapointe et David Altmejd". La Presse. GeSCA Limitée. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]