Piché, Paul

Paul Piché. Singer, songwriter, b Montreal 15 Sep 1953. He studied archeology at the University of Montreal, and in the early 1970s sang in Quebec colleges. In 1977 the keyboardist Robert Léger (of Beau Dommage) encouraged him to record his first LP, À qui appartient le beau temps, which sold more than 100,000 copies. From then on, Piché also began working with the keyboardist Michel Hinton (also from Beau Dommage), with whom he was to stay. 'Tous les vents,' reached second place on the Radio-activité chart in August 1984 and his LP Nouvelles d'Europe won the Félix Award for rock LP of 1985. In 1986 he performed with Michel Rivard and recorded a douple LP, Intégral, which was a collection of all his works. He then travelled throughout Quebec and performed at the festivals of Millénaire in Brussels, in La Rochelle, and in Nyon (Switzerland).

Sur le chemin des incendies, which sold more than 100,000 copies, revealed a more personal facet of the songwriter. Many pieces were written in collaboration with the guitarist Rick Haworth. 'J'appelle,' reached first place on the Radio activité chart in December 1988. In the spring of 1989 Piché performed on five stages in Montreal and then before 4000 persons at the Centre Sportif of the University of Montreal. His participation in the huge St-Jean-Baptiste nationalist gatherings in 1990 on the Plains of Abraham of Quebec City, and on St-Helen's Island in Montreal, established his popular success. Often associated with the great names of the Quebec chanson, Piché participated in La Fête à Vigneault at the Francofolies of Montreal in 1990, which celebrated the 30 year-career of the national poet. Montreal's La Presse proclaimed Piché 'Personality of the Year' in the song category.

An artist committed to the causes of workers, of the state, and of ecology, Piché is the songster of the common man. Such songs as 'À qui appartient le beau temps,' and 'Les Pleins' have become classics of the genre. If he evolved, during the 1980s, toward a more personal style, he nevertheless took part in all the struggles. A French journalist stated that he was the missing link between Bruce Springsteen and Jacques Brel, 'an original mixture of French song, American rock, and Quebec folklore,' according to Laurent Saulnier. (Voir, 23 Feb 1989).