Aliocha Schneider is mainly known for his acting work in Québec TV productions and a handful of Canadian movies (Closet Monster, winner of the Best Canadian Film Award at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival [TIFF]) and Québec feature films (Ville-Marie, with Monica Belluci and Pascale Bussières). He was also consecrated as the Rising Star at the 2015 TIFF. Québec youth have adopted him as one of their favourites, following popular roles in such productions as Taktik, Yamaska, Les Parents and Le Journal d’Aurélie Laflamme.
Niels Schneider’s younger brother boasts a résumé that suggests his next step would be Hollywood, or La Croisette, but the 22-year-old has decided to tread a new path: music!
“I wrote my first song when I was 15, inspired by the chords to Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay,’” says Aliocha, who chose to use only his first name for his musical career. “I was in charge of evening entertainment at a summer camp back then, so I was able to try out my song that night around the campfire, where I slipped it in between my covers of Cat Stevens, Jack Johnson and John Lennon. The next day, a camper was humming my chorus. It might sound trivial, but I was ecstatic! It gave me the confidence to do it again.”
Thus, with his songs and a record deal with Audiogram, as well as a publishing deal with Éditorial Avenue, he hired Samy Osta – the producer from France behind the most recent albums by Feu! Chatterton and La Femme – and will release his first EP on Sept. 9, 2016.
When asked about his inspiration, the young songwriter says, “Our fleeting emotions, sensations and thoughts. What I’m interested in, what I seek, is to be able to capture those shapeless, ephemeral things and crystallize them in a song, so that I can feel them again and – if I’m successful – make others feel them, too.”
All the songs on this first EP will be in English, but Schneider doesn’t exclude the possibility of writing in French at some point. “It’s true that it’s easier for me to write in English; it comes more naturally, for some reason. The Francophone artists that I admire all have a very personal and singular way to sing that language. I haven’t found mine, yet. When I try, I sound like a wannabe Jean Leloup. I’ve tried to sing one of my own songs in French, but it doesn’t work, even with Prévert,” the singer explains, conscious of the fact that he’ll have to answer the same question over and over again in the coming months.
With feelers already well deployed in the direction of France – the EP will be launched here and there simultaneously in the fall – chances are L’Hexagone will rapidly fall for this handsome blonde. “We’re already building our team over there: label, booking, etc. It’s important for me to have a presence in both places, since I was born in France, but grew up in Québec.”
And what’s next? What will the second half of 2016 hold in store for him? “Play live as much as I can!” he says. “I’ll spend a bit of time in France this fall. Next will be the album!”