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Damien Robitaille


Song – "Casse-Tête" - Now playing...

Damien Robitaille grew up in the Franco-Ontarian village of Lafontaine, on Georgian Bay, the son of an English-speaking mother and a French-speaking father. He began studying classical piano at the age of 8 and guitar at 13, and played the trumpet in his high school band while also taking violin lessons. At 15, he started writing Beatles-inspired songs in English.

In 2000, when his music teacher encouraged him to pursue a music career in French, Robitaille, now 18, wrote his first three French lyrics, but failed his initial audition for the Ontario Pop competition. That same year, he and his mentor teacher began recording Damien’s first CD in his high school studio. In 2001, he enrolled in classical piano studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., where he started a rock group, The Mezameeze, with his English-speaking friends, played his Francophone songs with them and went on to win a campus talent competition.

In early 2003, Robitaille released his first, self-titled album, a collection that aired only on Lafontaine community radio, but brought him gigs in Lafontaine, Sudbury and Waterloo. In 2003, he made the Ontario Pop finals and won a scholarship to the Granby National Song School. For a nine-month period starting in the fall of that year, he worked on his songwriting technique and stage performance at Granby with such seasoned instructors as Robert Léger et Luc De Larochellière. In 2004, Robitaille took part in the Chanson en Fête festival in St-Ambroise, Quebec, and in the Granby International Song Festival, reaching both contests’ finals.

Settling in Montreal in October 2004, Robitaille won several distinctions, including a first prize in the 2005 Francouvertes festival and the SOCAN Best Song Award. His career has rocketed since then with an unending stream of shows, scholarships, nominations (for Juno and ADISQ Awards), awards (including six Trille Or prizes in March 2011), three albums (including the much acclaimed Homme autonome, released here in 2009 and being distributed in Europe since 2011) and extensive tours at home and in Europe, where he will return this summer to perform at the Francofolies festivals in La Rochelle, France, and Spa, Belgium.

Performances/news this month
May 27 – Waterloo, QC, Maison de la culture de Waterloo
May 28 – Bécancour, QC, Moulin Michel de Gentilly
June 10 – Tadoussac, QC, Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac


Homme autonome (2009)
L'homme qui me ressemble (2006)
Damien Robitaille (2003)

SOCAN Connection
Member since 2002