The Francouvertes take off this week with two first preliminary evenings. And for the first time in 27 years, an indigenous artist, Samian, is acting as a spokesperson. He shares the task with the rapper Calamine.

“There is something symbolic in that,” says Samian, who has never competed at the Francouvertes, but who has participated in non-competition events of this important springboard dedicated to the next generation of French song.

The presence of Samian testifies to the decision of the Francouvertes to now welcome participants who sing in indigenous languages ​​as well as French.

“It’s important to highlight that,” says the Abitibiwinni First Nation artist.

Of the 21 artists or groups that will perform on the seven preliminary nights, there is only one Indigenous competitor, Katia Rock. According to Samian, it is a long-term job to reach artists where they are so that they register. “I can’t do this on my own. But I have the impression that the more we say it, the more it will be hammered that we have the right, the more it will make a difference in the long term. »

He believes that the secret to attracting indigenous artists, as well as those of diversity, who are practically absent from the selection this year, is to get out of the known cores of emerging music, whether in Montreal or Quebec.

“We will say that it depends on those who apply. But you also have to inspire. That’s why we need a wider deployment,” says Samian, who sees, thanks to the Minotan show he hosts every week on ICI Musique, how much indigenous music is boiling.

For rapper Calamine, “the best way to attract diversity is to have it in the organization and as a spokesperson”.

“It’s a good path that the Francouvertes are taking. I know it’s difficult. In the next few years, it will be necessary to ensure that there are more people of color. It takes a small step each year to ensure everyone is included. »

Calamine made it to the final of the Francouvertes two years ago and says she is “very honored” to be the spokesperson this year. “I feel like it’s been two seconds since I went to Les Francouvertes… I feel indebted, it really gave me the first momentum. »

The rapper, who comes out as queer, lesbian and feminist, finds that artists from the LGBTQ2 community are increasingly willing to express their identity in their art. This is what she also embodies as a spokesperson.

Calamine takes its role as spokesperson very seriously, appreciates the variety of musical genres that we will be able to hear at the Francouvertes this year, and is proud to see that two rappers are among the selected artists.

“Rapper Parazar, I was the one who advised her to enter because she didn’t necessarily know about the contest. That’s what being a role model is all about: leading the way for others. His remarkable participation in the Francouvertes two years ago as well as his career which quickly took off certainly had an impact for those who follow.

“Yes, it opens the door. It gives the right. In front of me, there was no one in this feminist niche. But rappers like Marie-Gold and Sarahmée, they had it even harder because there was no one before them. For me, they were a beacon in the night. It will be easier and easier, and that’s good. »

Samian also hopes that his presence will inspire others. “It’s a way of saying: look, in future editions, apply. We need it. »