“To be perfectly happy as a musician right now, I need two projects that seem to stimulate very distinct parts of my brain. Also, there’s never any downtime, and that’s great for someone like me who thrives on new challenges and exciting projects,” says Antoine Lachance of the challenges inherent to his burgeoning solo career, on top of being a member of pop-rock trio On a créé un MONSTRE for nearly 10 years.

Last winter, the singer-songwriter was a contestant in the Ma première Place des Arts competition, where he won the Grand Prize in the Singer-Songwriter category, as well as the Song of the Year Award for “Le fleuve,” a song that can be heard on his first album, Cimetière d’avions, released in April 2016.

“I wrote ‘Le fleuve’ during the roughest period of my life,” says Lachance. “I went through a very bad heartbreak a few months after losing my dad to brain cancer. Alone, in a nearly empty apartment, I felt like everything was collapsing around me, that everything was being ripped away from me. I was born in Sorel (a small town of about 34,000 people one hour northeast of Montréal) and the St. Lawrence is part of our daily lives. I stared at the water and imagined myself on an ice floe.”

His solo career might just be taking off, but he still needs to put it on hold every so often, since On a créé un MONSTRE will launch not one, but two EPs before the end of this year. The first of those two EPs, Théâtre des catastrophes, was just released by Slam Disques.

“The difference lies in my contribution to the project,” he says. “In On a créé un MONSTRE, I’m called upon mainly for the musical aspect of things, arrangements, the fact that I can play many instruments, and, more recently, my expertise in recording and mixing the band. For my personal project, the main difference is that I’m the writer of those songs. Everything depends on me, although I do get some help from my friends Maxime Reed-Vermette, Éric Tessier and Louis-Étienne Sylvestre. This solo project also allows me to sing from a more personal perspective,” says the man who will play the Francofolies de Montréal on June 11, 2016, and who’ll also spend the latter part of the coming summer in France to test the waters.

“Strangely enough, both endeavours work perfectly well with one another,” says Lachance. “I never have any scheduling or any other type of issue that comes from having two serious creative projects. They even benefit from one another in terms of visibility and creativity. I’m constantly learning from both projects and both projects benefit from those learnings.”