The JUNO Award winning singer-songwriter from Montreal, Dominique Fils-Aimé, is an artist that puts the history of African-American musical culture into the heart of her work, reflecting on the social realities that influenced the genres of blues, jazz and...
The JUNO Award winning singer-songwriter from Montreal, Dominique Fils-Aimé, is an artist that puts the history of African-American musical culture into the heart of her work, reflecting on the social realities that influenced the genres of blues, jazz and soul. She released a trilogy of albums, shedding light on the history of Afro American music, inspired by 40’s and 60’s soul icons such as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Etta James.
Her debut full-length album Nameless, launched in 2018, was about confronting historical silences and sorrows. This blues-tinged album has become an audiophile’s reference recording across the globe and led to two sold out shows at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2018.
In 2019, her second album, Stay Tuned! was a call for revolution. This album won the 2020 JUNO Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year as well as the Félix prize for Best Jazz Album at the 2019 ADISQ Gala, was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and featured among the 19 best Canadian albums of 2019 by CBC. Dominique Fils-Aimé was also nominated that same year as Radio-Canada’s 2019-2020 “Revelation in Jazz”.
Following this album, she toured all over Quebec and Canada’s Jazz festival circuit in the summer of 2019 (Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal). She was nominated for the Félix Prize for “Anglophone Show of the Year” at the 2020 ADISQ Gala and did her first shows in France and at the Winter Jazz Festival in New York City.
In 2021, she closed the final chapter of her album trilogy with Three Little Words, a call for reconciliation. The record received rave reviews in prestigious publications all around the country and in the world. It made the Polaris Short List, claimed the #1 spot for best-selling album in Quebec and hit #2 in Canada, with over three hundred media mentions worldwide. In 2022, in addition to her tour in Quebec, she presented her show in front of a sold out Théâtre Maisonneuve during the Montreal International Jazz Festival and across Europe during the summer. She was invited to open the concerts of Diana Krall at Jazz in Marciac, Melody Gardot at Jazz en Ville in France and Ibrahim Maalouf at Montecarlo Jazz Festival.
Harmonizing is one of Dominique Fils-Aimé’s primary sources of inspiration. She loves to get lost in the process of creating because it brings her into a timeless state. In this state, she experiences a contentment that gives a magical quality to her work—undefinable, yet truly authentic.
Her fourth album entitled Our Roots Run Deep has been released on Ensoul Records in September 2023.
What she does with her voice is absolutely incredible.
Dominique Fils-Aimé’s voice – a defined, sinewy muscle – guides her across a constellation of genres and eras in a robust trilogy dedicated to the history of Black music.
JUNO Award-winning R&B songstress Dominique Fils-Aimé releases her fourth full-length project with clear, tight harmonized a cappella vocals throughout, and using bare minimal instrumentals, relying instead on syncopated inflection and a great use of dynamics, vocal leaps and scat stylings. Fils-Aimé presents haunting lead melody lines and a delicious full sound, with precise delivery and gorgeous melismas. Acoustic bass, minimal drumkit sounds, and muted trumpet build over scat intros with stunning mix and production quality shining through.
On ‘Our Roots Run Deep‘, Dominique Fils-Aimé offers a humanist side to healing where mind, soul and body connect to word, rhythm and imagery. It’s an album that dreams in lush colours, a stunning work of folk-magic and fellowship.
About the album Our Roots Run Deep:
(Title: These 14 highly anticipated albums will be your fall soundtrack)
A real tour de force vocal performance by Fils-Aimé, which subtly incorporates elements of R&B, jazz and gospel.
Dominique Fils-Aimé Fertilizes a Network of Communication Between Souls with New Single “Our Roots Run Deep”.
A heavyhearted, bluesy guitar opens “Like Mama Said,” the lead track from Dominique Fils-Aimé’s EP “The Red,” but not even the song’s aching chords can match the emotion that the Canadian singer conveys with her voice. She fills every nook and cranny of the melody, and her tone is so tender and disarming that it’s won her comparisons to such bygone greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Still, the 2019 Polaris-nominated artist doesn’t imitate the past—she uses its inspirations to compose contemporary soul that tackles oppression and offers hope for the present day.
Fils-Aimé’s powerful vocals and chorus create a steady beat with a deliberate cadence, soothing and empowering listeners.”
The Haitian-Québécois singer, songwriter and arranger is considered a rising star in vocal jazz; that’s the category in which her previous album won a JUNO Award—the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy—last year. But she relates to jazz more as a mindset, one that’s wide open to elegant vocal exploration. Her own voice–reedy, lustrous and continually fanning out in downy harmony, sculpted counterpoint and frisky licks that could easily be played on instruments–is her most important accompaniment.”
Her songs are haunting, often feeling as though they came from a place of both struggle and strength, and leave you hypnotized and singing softly to yourself.
Taking those influences into the future produces a contemporary groove that is along the lines of similarly powerful and inspired composers
These societal issues that Dominique Fils-Aimé skillfully puts on the table with each song and which give this project a rare resonance and depth.
Words is an infectious, original work, one that solidifies Dominique Fils-Aimé as a grounding force in contemporary jazz…
On her latest record and the final installment of her album trilogy, Dominique Fils-Aimé is simply glowing. Three Little Words serves as a reminder of the artistic richness of the African diaspora and the timeless power of African-American musical traditions, but it’s also just a wonderful collection of songs and performances.
NPR New Music Friday: The top 8 albums: “the stunning voice of singer Dominique Fils-Aime”
Three Little Words in summary is dense, heartfelt, and thought-provoking all at once. There are so many layers to unpack as she brings a unique human experience on wax that is relatable and vivid.