“The need to assert one’s identity” is how the Francbâtards define their artistic path. Singer and poet Danyèl Waro from Réunion island was a key influence by claiming a “Batarsité,” which is the assertion of the Creole language and maloya music, a recurring theme that the Francbâtards keep radiating. Their name was inspired by its members’ diverse French-speaking origins: Québec, Réunion and Mauritius.
A shared passion for film led to the friendship between the original members, and an irresistible desire to “blast the multitudes” laid the origins of the group, which now has nine members: Alex Paquette (vocals), Jérôme Cadet (vocals and guitar), Maxime Cormier (bass), Adrien Chulo (bass and keyboards), Julien Rose (drums, percussions and saxophone), Félix Rheault (trumpet), Tim Savard (trombone), Geneviève Duplin (saxophone) and Sam Hampell (saxophone).
A blend of culture, music and thought determines the musical perspective of this collective. It is also from this mix of genres that they draw the festive energy that has added so much to their notoriety since the early days. Their ska, reggae and Afrobeat make it impossible to avoid being carried away by their contagious good humour!
The eponymous début album from the Francbâtards, released in June 2014, quickly set the tone. Distributed by Propagande Musique, the album enjoyed high visibility among independent record dealers in Canada and digital platforms worldwide. They built on this dream opportunity the following year with a 16-concert European tour across France, Belgium and the Basque Country. Also in 2015, five years after the group’s founding, they gave their 100th concert, on the occasion of the Montréal Ska Festival at the Petit Campus.
In 2018, the Francbâtards was back with a second 16-date European tour. Québec was by no means forgotten, with the group providing real sparkle to various festivals that year.
The Francbâtards will have yet another reason to celebrate in 2020 since this year marks the 10th anniversary of the group’s first concerts. As part of the Étoiles Nuits d’Afrique series, they will present their new EP, Karné, with compositions that are both rhythmic and challenging, reminiscent of Les Colocs or Loco Locass. This highly flattering comparison promises a very special evening to the delight of festival-goers and fans!