Thirty years ago, the Kashtin tornado hit Québec with its Innu-language song, “E Uassiuian.” Its irresistible melody propelled them to great success in the rest of Canada, and even Europe, and 200,000 copies were sold – an unprecedented feat, at the time, for an Indigenous band. This tornado still reverberates in 2019, with “E Uassiuian” becoming the first SOCAN Classic to have risen from the First Nations, with an award presented to the songwriter during the 30th SOCAN Montréal Awards on Sept. 22, 2019,  at La Tohu. SOCAN met with Florent Vollant, who explained the context of that era; the impact of the song on the duo he formed with Claude Mackenzie; and the pride the entire Innu community felt because of it.

Both the SOCAN Awards gala and Béatrice Martin, a.k.a. Cœur de pirate, were celebrating their 30th anniversary on Sept. 22, 2019. The artist couldn’t have hoped for a better gift than the prestigious Songwriter of the Year Award, and a Popular Music Award she earned for her song “Prémonition.” The honours were the first in her career celebrating her talent as a songwriter, an important distinction for an artist known for her emotional songs, as intimate as they are powerful. SOCAN met with her before the gala, where she tells us, among other things, about her very personal creative process, and the story behind “Prémonition.”

No one was surprised that singer-songwriter Hubert Lenoir’s “Fille de personne II” won a Popular Music Award during the 30th SOCAN Awards Gala in Montréal, on Sept. 22 at La Tohu. The song, the second part of a trilogy on his album Darlène literally sparked the flame that burns ever higher between he and his always-increasing audience. SOCAN met him as he left the stage,  and Lenoir discusses the origin of that song; and the sometimes harsh reactions he received after he sang it live on La Voix; and the creative freedom and confidence he gained from his popular success.