Editor’s note: This article is part of a series called New Music Mondays, where we feature new music by musicians from the Greater Sudbury area on Mondays. If you’re an area musician and would like us to profile your work, email us at email@example.com.
A tough year for musicians and artists has not only meant the closing of shows, but the closing of moments. The moment when a thousand lighters are lit while an artist performs, when a musician plays and begins to hear the crowd sing along.
It’s a moment that Stef Paquette has missed, and one that he hopes to recreate as part of the opening of FrancoFEST in Hamilton on June 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the performance of his new song, “L’amour.”
He’s recorded a new song for the event as part of his showcase, but he is asking for a little help with the chorus.
So if you have been longing to “la-la-la,” this is just the opportunity for you.
Many artists, including Paquette, were holding out hope for a summer full of in-person festivals, rather than virtual ones.
But since that isn’t the case, he says he wanted to try something new when it came to recreating the experience of a festival, and as is this case with many virtual events, one that could be attended by francophones from across the country.
“We can't have these people in the crowd singing the ‘la-la-la’ if I was on stage,” said Paquette. “But everybody has a telephone.”
So he and the hosts of the FrancoFEST came up with an idea. “I did a live recording, “said Paquette, “and I cut the chorus out. We’ve added the chorus to Youtube and we want everyone to record themselves singing the chorus. The la-la-las.”
If you go to Youtube, you can view the chorus. After you’ve picked up it’s simple refrain, record yourself singing it, and then submit it to @francofesthamilton on Facebook, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate your name, your age, and if you are a student, the name of your school.
The finished product will be aired live during the show, and it will be the first time it is performed with the addition of so many new voices. In fact, it will not only be the first time that the audience hears the la-la-las, but Paquette will hear the finished version for the first time that night as well.
“I can't wait,” said Paquette. “I'm excited to see what they're going to do with this. It’s always weird to shoot out a song you wrote, whether it's a video, whether it's an audio recording, you never know what kind of reaction you're gonna get. That's, that's the gamble of writing music.”
Though Paquette sings primarily in French, he would like all language speakers to send a video. “No matter what language you write,” said Paquette, “I'm hoping everybody will want to just take their camera out and film themselves.”
Grab your phone, record some la-la-las, and you could be joining Paquette on the virtual stage at the Hamilton Francophone concert. Paquette is hoping his home community will show up and represent. “Pick up your phone,” he said, “ and pretend you're doing a big show.”
It’s time to take that bedroom and hairbrush karaoke practice to the big stage. You can find the YouTube videos below.