The great Paul Piché will be inducted to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on May 7, 2023, during the SOCAN Gala held, once again, at Montréal’s La Tohu. Paul Piché has become one of the most influential songwriters on the Québec music scene. A free-thinker, poet, and standard-bearer of protest song, Piché sings as much about love as he does about social issues close to his heart, such as the preservation of rivers, and Québec’s sovereignty.

The induction will be presented by Julie Snyder, while Pierre Kwenders, Ingrid St-Pierre, and Stéphanie St-Jean will perform during the evening.

Piché contributes to our musical heritage with an impressive collection of songs, including several classics – “Heureux d’un printemps,” “Mon Joe,” “Y’a pas grand-chose dans l’ciel à soir,” “L’escalier,” “J’aurai jamais 18 ans,” “J’appelle,” “Car je t’aime,” “Ne fais pas ça” – songs that are as much campfire classics as cover material for young artists.

Released in 1977, his debut album À qui appartient le beau temps? sold more than 100,000 copies, and is now considered one of the key Québec albums of the ’70s. Music heavyweights like Serge Fiori, Alain Lamontagne, Pauline Lapointe, and several members of Beau Dommage helped to create it. His next two albums, L’escalier and Nouvelles d’Europe, were huge popular successes, and Piché followed them up with a live double-album, Intégral, recorded at Montréal’s Le Spectrum, on which he re-visits his entire repertoire.

In 1988, he released Sur le chemin des incendies, an album that gave us some of his most memorable hits such as “J’appelle,” “Un château de sable,” and “Car je t’aime.” The next year, he embarked on his so-called Tour of Montréal, that saw him play one show in each of the five most important venues in the city: Club Soda, Le Spectrum, Théâtre Saint-Denis, Théâtre Outremont, and Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts. Two years later, in addition to concluding his tour with a recording broadcast on Radio-Canada’s Beaux dimanches, Piché participated in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities on the Plains of Abraham and on Île Sainte-Hélène, in front of more than 200,000 people. In the fall of 1993, he released L’Instant, an intimate and mature album where love is front-and-centre, but where the people of his homeland are not to be outdone. Then, in August 1994, he was invited to participate in the special event La Symphonie du Québec, presented during the FrancoFolies de Montréal, where he performed a few songs accompanied by a symphony orchestra.

In June 1996, Piché released the double “Best Of” album L’un et l’autre, which went Platinum; then, on the ninth day of the ninth month of 1999, he released his ninth album, Le Voyage, containing nine songs.

The spring of 2000 saw Piché’s return to the stage; accompanied by guitarist Rick Haworth, bassist Mario Légaré, Jean-Sébastien Fournier on keyboards, and Pierre Hébert on drums, he played a dozen cities in Québec, before taking over Le Spectrum in Montréal and Le Capitole in Québec City.

In 2002, he cycled 550 km to deliver a letter to Québec’s then-Premier, Bernard Landry, whom he successfully convinced not to build mini hydro-electric power plants on Québec’s rivers. Piché is also one of the spokespersons for the Adopt-a-River cause, and he celebrated the International Year of Water with J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle, a politically charged show presented in 2003 at Métropolis in Montréal, alongside Luck Mervil, Richard Desjardins, and Daniel Boucher.

In 2004, he released Paluche 3.14, a bold project that saw some of the biggest names on Montréal’s electro-urban scene re-mix some of Piché’s great classics.

Piché published his first book, Déjà vu, in 2007. Starting from an observation about the cyclical nature of fashion trends, he draws a parallel with the recurrence of political impulses, whether left- or right-leaning. The book’s intent is to clear the ground of the collective unconscious through the passage of time.

In 2009, Piché completed a series of intimate concerts, during which he performed some of the new songs he was considering recording. Love, friendship, death, and social comment are at the heart of these songs, which appeared on his 10th album, Sur ce côté de la Terre. Following the release of what has so far turned out to be his last album of original songs, Piché embarked on herculean six-year tour, that concluded in 2015.

Two years later, he undertook what he called the Célébration des 40 printemps to mark the 40th  anniversary of the release of his first album, À qui appartient le beau temps? He played great shows at the Bell Centre in Montréal and at the Centre Vidéotron in Québec City, alongside artists such as 2 Frères, Safia Nolin, Éric Lapointe, Vincent Vallières, Koriass and Les Trois Accords. The response from the public was such that he was asked to tour throughout Québec. Piché will tour this show for three years, inviting different artists to play and sing with him onstage at each show. The very last performance of this tour was scheduled at Place Bell in Laval on May 20, 2020, but the pandemic forced its postponement; it was then re-scheduled for May 20, 2022.