Stefie Shock is a Quebecois singer, composer, musician, producer and DJ. He has released five original albums since 2000; the latest, Avant l’aube, came out in October 2014. While he is much celebrated for his talent as a songwriter, he is also an accomplished performer who delivers wildly energetic concerts that are always a great success with audiences.
He was born on March 9, 1969, in Montréal. At the age of four he received a box of abandoned records as a gift and discovered his first musical loves. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and James Brown played nonstop on the turntable in his bedroom. Meanwhile, the kitchen radio introduced him to French singers such as Aznavour, Dassin, Pagliaro, Ferland and Charlebois. The arrival of electronic music at the end of the seventies, which he used to enjoy remixing using makeshift tools, was also just as life-altering and educational.
While he was given no fewer than three guitars between the ages of three and nine, he was more attracted to the drums, which he began to play at school when he was thirteen. After just three months of practice, he performed in a concert staged by his music class, and from that moment on he dreamt of having a musical career. In 1986 he joined his first rock band, but in 1989 he quit in order to indulge a sudden desire to write his own songs.
As he had never written lyrics, never thought of singing and never really played the guitar, his first efforts were modest. All the same, he recorded a song the following year and it aired on a few local radio stations. As funds allowed, he acquired the equipment needed to create his own music and ended up recording a self-produced demo, which he launched at a nightclub where he had been working for several years. Gradually, producers took notice of him and he signed a record deal, going to London in 1999 to record his first real album with French producer Dimitri Tikovoï. Presque Rien was released on April 11, 2000 and critics praised him as an original and innovative artist. His first tour confirmed he was a brilliant stage performer, and he was awarded the Wallonie-Bruxelles (now the Rapsat-Lelièvre) and Félix-Leclerc awards in 2002.
In 2003, Shock released Le Décor, which quickly went gold; he took this opportunity to sign with Warner Music France. With sales nearing platinum status, multiple singles on the radio, including “L’amour dans le désert” and “Un homme à la mer,” and a 100-venue tour to his credit, he stormed the 2004 ADISQ awards night with eight nominations, the peak for that year. He left with the Félix award for pop-rock album of the year.
In 2006, Stefie Shock’s album Les Vendredis gave him two number-one hits in a row on the BDS Québec charts: “Ange gardien” and “Pixels flous.” Major issues with his contract overshadowed the promotion of his album and led to the 2009 release of Tubes, remixes et prémonitions, a compilation of hits and remixes created by Shock himself. In spring 2011, Shock released La mécanique de l’amour, on which he played almost all of the instruments, and produced it in partnership with the ever-reliable Mathieu Dandurand, who had been working with him since the Presque Rien tour. On the strength of its first single, “Un jour sur deux,” which was the most-played song on Radio-Canada in 2011 and won a SOCAN award for its worldwide success, the album was once again lauded by critics.
In October 2014, Shock released Avant l’aube, a collection of well-paced songs with more of the powerful, introspective lyrics he’s known for. He even indulged himself and covered songs by Leonard Cohen and Alain Bashung. And like all of his other covers, he has managed to make them his own and give them a whole new sound.
In February 2016, Douze belles dans la peau — an album of Serge Gainsbourg cover songs to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the french songwriter’s death — was released, keeping with Gainsbourg’s love for words and female vocals. Shock surrounded himself with twelve ladies, singers and actresses, for original duets produced with his usual unique signature.
2017 will mark the debut english album of Stefie Shock, whose early musical influences and british ancestors go together well.
Stefie lives with anxiety disorder and has spoken openly about his struggles since the first Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign in 2011 as a spokesperson.