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'Success is a stroke of luck': Cornell honored for 20-year career

'Success is a stroke of luck': Cornell honored for 20-year career

As if he hadn't amassed enough success over a 20-year perfect career, Corneille has found himself up front more often than not in recent weeks.

This winter, the 47-year-old singer was hailed for his role as coach voice. Each week, more than 1.3 million viewers were able to admire his professionalism, kindness and interest in imparting sound advice to the young singers he took under his wing.

A week ago, he released his new album echo pearlswas well received, an original project that consisted of giving a second chance to old songs that he loved but that did not have a happy fate like his more resounding successes.

Finally, he will receive a beautiful honor in a few days: he will be awarded the Icône Dynastie Prize, which rewards outstanding figures from Quebec's black communities in media, arts and culture. This honor pleases the singer. “The Icon Award is a way of saying ‘Well done for a job well done.’ “This includes companies that didn’t do well, successes…this includes your doubts, your big moves, what you did but you weren’t aware of the results,” Cornell says of the award. Which we will award during the eighth cultural eveningH Edition of Dynasty ceremony On April 27th. “I am thrilled that this was given to me by an organization that fights for more visibility for certain communities…”

The ultimate coach voice, a new album, an award presentation, and these new milestones add to Cornell's exemplary career. In our interview, the singer was generous in providing an overview of his artistic career. He talked about his beginnings and today looked at the genocide that occurred in Rwanda 30 years ago.



QMI Photography Agency, Joel Lemay

An impressive start

He talks about his impressive musical debut in the early 2000s thanks to the success of his first album Because it comes from far awayThe artist, born in Germany in 1977 to a Hutu mother and Tutsi father, has a suspension of refreshing humility.

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“Success is a stroke of luck. All my successes I can explain by a moment in which I was not involved. Because it comes from far away“It's a song that, on paper, should not have radio popularity in France,” says the 47-year-old, who arrived in Quebec in 1997 after finding refuge in Germany after the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. His first album, of course, conjures up this great drama.

The acoustic version of the title song was found one day in a pile of demos by a programming director at a French radio station. “That day, he was feverish, he had a weak point (…) he listened to this song and it touched him deep down in a way that had not been possible the day before,” explains Corneille. This opportunity allowed the song to be played frequently on the airwaves, and it quickly became a hit.

“It wasn't me who wanted this. I just wrote one.” Tune “In my little apartment in Longueuil,” he says with a laugh. All success is often explained by things we don't talk about, and don't see. (…) This is often a set of circumstances, things that happen behind the scenes, conversations, states of mind…”

thought Cornelius. “Meeting with [m]He adds: We also have times. This is also why I do it echo pearls. I realized that just because a song isn't as successful as you think it deserves to be doesn't mean it's any less good.

The power of abandonment

This very realistic vision gives Cornell the opportunity to let go of what drove him to do so echo pearlshis new album that revisits lesser-known songs from his repertoire such as selfishness, leave me alone, Male in the heart And I know enough With collaborators like Lawrence Nearbon, Zach Zoya and Melody Jade.

“Maybe it's the luxury of having a 20-year career behind me, full of ups and downs. It gives me perspective. 'I hope the album works, because I know it will make me happy if it does,' he adds. If not, it doesn't take away from what I've done.”

Thirty years after his parents, brothers and sister were assassinated before his eyes during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Corny recalls that it was the need for love that led him to change his passion for a career in music. “I certainly wouldn't be an artist if I didn't experience that. And then I say to myself: What else would I not be in? He says.

“Unfortunately, there is news coming from other places in the world that brings me back to this,” he says. I'm always torn, because it reminds me how much humans act in ways that are so ridiculous, so hard to understand, so hard to explain, but also that there is potential to fix things.

“This is going to sound so weird… I'm so grateful to experience this,” he said emotionally. First, it was inevitable, it was coming my way. But it also gave me a place in the world, and set me on a path that has led me to the happiness I feel today that I might not have achieved without these events, which he described as “extraordinary, special, and tragic.” .



Art Cornell

QMI Photography Agency, Joel Lemay

“I might have a little spirituality strangeBut I have a different relationship with the dead, Cornell explains. They are gone, but they are not gone. I'm writing a book in which I talk to my father, for example. (…) I look at my daughter and my son, and I see my family in their faces.”

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The joy of helping

Cornelius smiles. “I've never said this before, but I'll say it. I think the only reason I keep doing this work, still getting on stage, still releasing albums, is because I think I owe something to my fans. If it wasn't for them, I would have stopped.”

Influenced by his experience as a coach voiceIncreasingly, Cornell wants to engage with emerging artists. “I want to support young people in music, mentor, and put my 20 years of experience at the service of others.”

“I feel like I've used myself enough,” he adds. I did what I had to do for myself in this business. I pushed out things from my past, self-medicated by singing in front of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, receiving that love, and feeding my ego in the crowds. (…) I had fun, and I healed myself. I had this intuition before voice“This has since been confirmed.”

It is truly impossible not to see his joy in accompanying his students, including Ridge Olibris, 28, who reached the final of this season of voice. “Redge can be a great player and can really make his mark, if he continues to gain confidence. You have to have a lot in this profession to keep going, there are a lot of things that can break you. (…) In my job, unfortunately, it can “It would be violent on a human level.”

  • Cornell will receive the Dynasty Icon Award during the 8th Annual Cultural EveningH Edition of Dynasty ceremonyOn April 27 at the Théâtre Maisonneuve.
  • echo pearls Available since April 12. To follow Cornell Newshe is here.