Watch out Sudbury, Edouard Landry is about to take a leap.
It’s one that not every French musician feels they can make, that perhaps the chance to perform in another language might remove their opportunity to make it back home again. Especially if you’re moving away from a minority language into a majority one.
While Landry did take a long time to decide, he said the choice felt natural to him. Though he’s created four albums in French, he said his first EP had a mix of English and French songs.
“But (this choice) wasn't really on purpose,” said Landry. “The songs I was pulling out of the air just happened to be in English.”
Those songs pulled together to make Landry’s new album, “Be Here Now.”
He said more than a specific choice, it was simply that after back-to-back French albums, “I just kind of got out of my own way and released an English album.”
It was about following his muse.”There's other French stuff coming, but I wanted to get out of my regular circuit and expand the team a bit. It's switched things up for me at the right time.”
Landry works as a city planner for the City of Greater Sudbury and does so mostly in English, so the change in language wasn’t so overwhelming for him. In fact, he says he second-guessed himself less in English.
“In French, I run things by people. ‘Is this the right way to say it’, pronounce it,” said Landry, “But also, is this the right way to sing it? What kind of accent on syllables, that kind of thing. I've got to run that by people. And in English, it was just a bit easier.”
Of course, there are also aspects of the process that were harder for Landry. “This isn't my first rodeo,” said Landry, “But I've got all my tools in French, like a press kit and all my contacts in French. So that was a bit of a challenge. “
He found himself having to reach outside of his comfort zone to have the communications translated, which he says was both harder, “but also welcome and kind of reinvigorating.”
Also a challenge for Landry, for every artist — for every person, really — is the pandemic. No shows to play, but also, that lack of creative energy and inspiration that so many find integral to creation.
“I'm always kind of in the middle of a song,” said Landry. “When you're traveling, and you're finding pieces of information that are last pieces of a puzzle, where it kind of fits into the song. I’ve always got my songwriter eyes on. It helps with the process.”
And while he got much of his writing done before the lockdowns, he is going to learn to work in an industry that not only works in another language, but in a more difficult period than they may have ever faced before.
His new single off the album “Be Here Now,” is called “Words.” In it, he says it’s “time to break new ground.” Check it out below.