The sounds of Quebec have been changing thanks to the cultural diversity of artists who have left their homelands and become part of Quebec's vibrant music scene. Many francophone artists from places such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Mississippi, Louisiana, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and France have been enriching the sounds of Quebec. 

CBC’s A Propos presents a two-part series featuring amazing songwriters and singers who were born outside Quebec and have had a significant impact on the province’s musical landscape. You'll hear their fine contributions to the new portrait of Quebec’s evolving music scene. 

In addition, you'll find videos below of some of the artists whose songs and voices have brought new sounds and ideas to Quebec and the French world.

Karim Ouellet

Born in Dakar, Senegal, and later raised in France, Rwanda and Tunisia, Ouellet now lives, writes and records in Quebec. His latest album, Fox, catapulted him into Quebec’s popular music scene, and Ouellet is now getting a lot of attention in both France and Europe.

His song "L'Amour" gives you a sense of his personal style of songwriting and uplifting beats.


Elage Diouf

Born in Dakar, Senegal, Elage Diouf now lives in Montreal. He sings in Wolof, English and French. He has a large fanbase in Quebec and his first solo album, Aksil, won a Juno Award last year.

Discover his voice and contagious smile in this video for his song "Dama La Nob."



Lhasa de Sela was born in Big Indian, New York. She spent her youth travelling all over North America and Mexico with her family, and finally came to Quebec. She wrote and recorded remarkably well in Spanish, English and French. Lhasa was only 37 years old when she died at the hands of cancer. According to Jim Corcoran, host of A Propos, “her contribution to Quebec’s music scene was and remains exceptional, inspired and very, very personal.”

You can watch Lhasa in this live version of her song "Love Came Here."



Bïa was born in Brazil, and sailed around the world before docking in Quebec and choosing to stay. She brought her Latin rhythms, contagious smile and sensuality, and has produced remarkable albums.

Lately, Bïa was touring with the talented Yves Desrosiers. Watch them performing together live.


Radio Radio

Radio Radio, from Clare, N.S., is an electro hip-hop trio that raps in Chiac, an exquisite mixture of English and French. Radio Radio have surprised and intrigued Quebec and all of the French world since 2007 with the beauty and fascinating charm of Acadian French.


Zachary Richard

Scott, Louisiana’s Zachary Richard has been bringing zydeco music to Quebec since the 1970s.

“Thanks to great artists like Zachary Richard, there is a rebirth and a renewed pride in Acadian culture, music, language, and amazing Cajun food,” says Corcoran. One of the most poignant songs written by Richard is entitled "Réveille." It's a moving reminder about the Acadian deportation by the British that began in 1755. 


Discover the lyrics of this Acadian torch song, recorded in 1976 by Zachary Richard, and translated by Jim Corcoran, host of A Propos

Tune in to A Propos to discover many more artists from all over the world who are now living in Quebec and having a serious impact on its music. A Propos airs on Sunday at 4 p.m. (4:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Radio 2 and Saturday at 11 p.m. (6 p.m. AT, 6:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Radio One.  

posted by Sophie Laurent on Feb 06, 2014