Montreal’s Antoine Gratton is a remarkable singer-songwriter, a talented multi-instrumentalist and also the man behind many of Quebec’s recent CD releases. Winner of a Juno Award in 2007 for his album called Il était une fois dans l’Est, Gratton is a coveted and very successful record producer, musician and arranger. He is Jim Corcoran’s guest on A Propos this week.
Gratton’s musical skills are large and inclusive. He's a great pianist, an impressive singer but also a multi-intrumentalist who is sought after for his orchestral arrangements. This week on A Propos, he presents songs from some of the many great records he has produced here in Quebec, recently. Here are a few of the artists with whom he has collaborated.
The most recent release of Gratton’s production is Brigitte Boisjoli’s sophomore solo album, Sans regret.
Boisjoli is an extraordinary singer who has a very diverse experience, including participating in Quebec’s Star Académie (the equivalent of Canadian Idol). She is a solid performer, and this album reveals the power of her voice. An all-star team of songwriters participated in this album: Alex Nevsky, Dumas, Betty Bonifaci, Ingrid St-Pierre, Yann Perreau and Amylie. It was recorded in a special context, on a tight schedule.
“The great thing about a singer like Brigitte is that she can deal with pressure. She’s not one of these tormented singers, she’s a pro,” says Gratton.
Amylie is an original voice on the francophone musical landscape. She has a lot of soul in her voice and she is a solid songwriter.
“She’s got a very interesting way of writing songs," says Gratton. "She’s got the beat and the melody and nothing in between. So I had the great task of filling in the gap between the beats and the voice.”
Last year, she released her album Le royaume, produced by Gratton. This song, "Les filles," became a hit last summer.
Myëlle is a cellist and background vocalist who has been playing with many artists from Quebec. She’s a versatile and talented artist. Recently, she decided to record her first solo EP, inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained. She approached Gratton for the arrangements and production of this album. The result is a collection of songs that are almost like movies. You can discover one of her songs, “Cheri,” below. And you’ll get to see Gratton at the piano, as well.
This very young guitarist has produced his first EP with Gratton.
“He plays the guitar like nothing I’ve ever seen. He’s got the power of youth and no fear with him. He’s a great guy to work with,” according to Gratton.
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Gratton has also worked with Chloé Lacasse, a singer-songwriter who was revealed to the Montreal audience through the Francouvertes competition in 2011. In her most recent album entitled Lunes, she was inspired by nature to create her own style of alternative pop songs.
Tune in to find out more about these artists and about producing music in Quebec by listening to a friendly conversation between Antoine Gratton and host Jim Corcoran, this week on A Propos.
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.