Julien Sagot is first and foremost a percussion passionate. The self-taught musician, who also picked up guitar and piano, met François Lafontaine, with whom he quickly became friends. Shortly thereafter, Lafontaine invited him to play congas with a then-unknown band, Kalembourg, from the ashes of which Karkwa was formed in 1998. The quintet recorded four albums, played to packed houses in Canada and France, and became trailblazers for a new style of Quebec rock. Among the group’s many distinctions is the prestigious Polaris prize for best Canadian album in 2010.
The few Karkwa songs penned by Sagot display his dreamlike, literary style, and his somber, smooth and spellbinding voice. He explains that he likes to tell “stories taking place in unusual spaces”, adding that his writing borrows heavily from cinema, lending him an incredible capacity to evoke images, shapes, colours and visual markers through his music.
In addition to his work with Karkwa, Julien Sagot - who’s always hungry for new challenges and music - kept time in exciting side projects involving other fan-favorites, such as Radio Radio, Pierre Kwenders, Fred Fortin, Galaxie et Pawa Up First.
During Karkwa’s hiatus to explore new territories, Sagot, percussionist turned singer-songwriter, delved into a fruitful creative period. He released his first solo album, Piano mal, in 2012, a project he describes as his search for self-discovery.
A number of performances followed the album’s release, for which Sagot selected a group of likeminded, seasoned musicians to bring to Quebec stages the distinctive dreamlike universe he crafted over the years.
As his musical family grew, the multi-instrumentalist continued to write lyrics and music, adding the new material to the hefty piles that had been accumulating for months. With a pronounced willingness to explore electroacoustic sounds, the material formed the foundation of what would become Valse 333, his second album with Simone Records.
Three years later, the artist jumps head first into a new project, Bleu Jane. The album is even is bolder and self-assured, proving once again that Sagot is not only an intelligent musician, but also a skillful and accessible poet, holding a key place within canadian music’s landscape. His transcending texts are highlighted and supported by a minimalist, worldbeat inspired music, which also recalls progressive rock. Within each song, we dive further into Sagot’s creative universe, a journey on a treacherous, hypnotic and ethereal sea. This new record, under Simone Records, will be released on March 31.
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