The rapper Samian, who was invited to perform in the next edition of the Festival International de la Chanson de Granby, learned to cancel his show. The reason? The artist, who is known for singing in French and Algonquin, refused to comply with any of the conditions imposed by the festival, with 80% of the songs being delivered in French and 20% in aboriginal languages.
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The rapper, who hails from Picogon’s indigenous community in AbitB-Temiscomingue, publicly shared his frustration and lack of understanding by posting a long message on Instagram on Monday. This happened a week after he was invited to participate in the next FICG after learning by email that he had left the festival.
“Finally, this morning I was surprised to learn that my presence had been denied, because my concert would not be 100% in French,” wrote the 38-year-old artist. In 2022, should native languages still be considered foreign languages?
Joined by NewspaperSamian stated that he made this publication out of desire and with the intention of emptying his heart and asking social questions openly.
“I made this publication so that people knew it existed and it should not exist,” he explained. Thought so, I realized they did not.
The aboriginal artist turned it into his passion to promote his language and his culture. He emphasized the logic of inviting a primitive artist to take part in an event “for who we are and the songs we know about him”.
“Francos de Montreal’s frequent participant said, ‘I’m 100% with whoever the event is, without editing his concerts. From my side, take it or leave it and they allowed it and the reasons are not fully justified. ⁇
Samian explained that he had good discussions with the mediator about the direction of the festival, but to no avail.
“I, I hear, have political messages behind it all: you’re going to do it in our language or not at all,” he said. This is where it shocks me, because I have been fighting for 15 years for this place, for these languages to be recognized, and once again, we have to deal with sanctions and mentality. I really feel colonial.
Mainly a French speaking festival
Through a telephone conversation with Le Journal au, FICG General Manager Jean-Franois Lippe shared his frustration with the removal of Samian from his programming and stressed that the event was “primarily a French-speaking festival whose aim was to promote French-speaking song”.
“I’m sad about what’s happening now,” he said. We talked to Samian’s representatives and it does not have to reflect the reality of the discussion, because during the festival we were ready to perform the songs in Samian’s first language as well. The ratio is 80-20%. If we invite him, we will respect him very much. ⁇
Samian stated that he often refused to appear in scenes where events were imposed on him in relation to his language, his culture and his comments.