Stefie Shock

Stefie Shock is a Quebecois singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and DJ. He has released eight albums since 2000. 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, and started his musical career on drums—his favourite instrument—at the age of 13. He also developed an interest in DJing along the way, collecting top singles and remixing them using makeshift tools. He started writing lyrics and singing at the age of 20, again as best he could.

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 album, which he launched at a nightclub where he had been DJing at 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 prize in Belgium (now the Rapsat-Lelièvre) and the Félix-Leclerc award at Les Francofolies de Montréal 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, his album “Les vendredis” gave Stefie Shock 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 first album 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 managed to make them his own and give them a whole new sound.

In 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. In keeping with Gainsbourg’s love for words and female vocals, Shock sang fresh-sounding duets with 12 female singers and actresses in his usual, and unique, style. He spent the rest of the year touring after the release of the album.

His album “Le fruit du hasard” came out in March 2019, with the first single “As-tu deux minutes,” about anxiety, from a sample taken from a Pauline Julien song written by Michel Tremblay. Actress, singer-songwriter and Stefie’s girlfriend, Sonia Cordeau also participated in two duos, including the cover for the song “Bye Bye Bye” by the Montreal group, Plants and Animals. Stefie then recorded a Christmas album as drummer and bassist with Sonia’s group, Joli-Bois. The album “Vert forêt” came out on November 15, leading up to a series of concerts at the end of the year at the La Petite Licorne theatre.

Also in the fall, he recorded a cover of the Rita Mitsouko song, “Marcia Baïla”, one of his favorite French songs.

In 2020, a remix of the song “Comme d’habitude”, taken from the album “Le fruit du hasard” and produced by RealMind made in into the charts in February, and on May 8, he released a cover of the song “Juste une p’tite nuite” by Les Colocs to mark 20 years since the disappearance of the singer-songwriter Dédé Fortin. Shock’s version is slower, and more serious, but still with high dance appeal.

At the end of 2020, a vinyl compilation, Stefie Shock’s first in the format, entitled “Presque tout Vol. 1”, was released on November 27. The title is a nod to his first album “Presque rien” (2000). Eleven songs selected by Stefie himself, with some mixing, an exclusive version, a personal remix and an alternative version already released on “Tubes, remixes and prémonitions” (2009), and six original versions. The idea was to bring together what he considered to be his best work to date, perhaps a spot of housekeeping before the scheduled release of his latest creations in 2021.

Photo credit: Hugo B Lefort

Stefie Shock

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