Tucked away in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of north western Quebec, on the banks of Osisko Lake, the city of Rouyn-Noranda plays host to a hidden gem of a festival called Festival de Musique Emergence. Now in its 15th year, FME is a four day, multi-venue celebration of up and coming artists from around the world.
The 2018 instalment kicked off August 30th with some amazing performances including South Africa’s Nakhane who’s startlingly stunning vocals cut to the very soul of those in attendance. Given his turbulent past with religion and the basis of his latest work being his journey wrestling with his homosexuality and Christianity, the setting of the performance in a church made the sensual yet fragile set all the more heart-stopping.
Polaris shortlisted artist Hubert Lenoir followed Nakhane and gave no doubt why the 24-year-old is popping up on radars in the Anglophone music scene. Hubert exploded on the stage with the energy you typically expect of an arena act and his fans responded in kind. The rest of the world is in no way ready for Hubert Lenoir but Hubert Lenoir is about to take over the world and I for one can’t wait to watch it happen.
Changing venues later in the night I was ecstatic to have finally see Moncton’s Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire and it was everything I could have hoped for. After living in Moncton off and on for 25 years and having missed seeing them numerous times the bar was set pretty high going into their set, nothing prepared me for the experience that left me grinning from ear to ear and wishing it would never end.
For more photos from FME 2018, head to our Facebook page!
Taker of pictures, writer of words, worker of magicks! Based in Toronto!