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Concerts

Francos de Montréal 2024 Recap: Four Artists Who Stood Out at The Festival of Francophone Music

About a hundred musicians took to the festival stages for a week in Montreal. Here's what caught our attention.

Pomme playing at Les Francos de Montréal 2024

Pomme playing at Les Francos de Montréal 2024

Productions Novak / Francos de Montréal

The musical summer began with great fanfare in Montreal with the Francos, one of the biggest global festivals for francophone music.

Thousands of festival-goers gathered from June 14 to 23 in the Quartier des Spectacles of the Quebec metropolis to celebrate French-speaking music from around the world.


Local stars Karkwa, Souldia, Les Trois Accords, Corneille and Marie-Annick Lépine were there, as were French legend Francis Cabrel and his compatriot Zaho de Sagazan.

But they were not the only ones who knew how to conquer the Montreal public. Here are four acts that we discovered at this year's Francos.

Yamê

For his first appearance in Quebec, Yamê made an impression. The French-Cameroonian artist was invited by the Francos to Club Soda two evenings in a row, June 15 and 16, to present his late-2023 album Elowi.

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He's still on the rise, but global tastemakers are taking note. Belgian star Stromae offered him an opening slot at his concerts and Timbaland shared his own homemade remix of one of his videos on social media without them having ever met.

Yamê's styles and influences — hip-hop, soul, jazz, rumba — are as surprising as they are impeccable. "Bécane" hit the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 early this year, and it was a highlight of his set. His cover of "La Bohème" by Charles Aznavour was another standout.

He was a big hit, packing the venue on both nights. The artist saluted “the warmth of the Montreal public” and promised to return as soon as possible.

Virginie B

Montrealer Virginie B also had the opportunity to perform twice during the Francos this year. The hyperpop sensation was able to prove her chops during inventive and high-energy pop sets.

She played twice, once with Rau_Ze on June 18 at Studio TD in front of an audience of industry professionals, then in front of festival-goers the next day on the Spotify stage for La Traversée. At that show, she shared the bill with Radiant Baby, Lisa Ducasse and Oete. She won over crowds at both.

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Virginie B's second album, Astral 2000, is her first record with the Quebec label Bonsound and its release date is announced for September 20. We're impatiently awaiting it.

Rau_Ze

This duo of R&B/neo-soul singer-songwriters formed by Quebecers Rose Perron and Félix Paul were at the Francos for three performances this year. Their smooth songs were the talk of the festival.

In addition to the showcase alongside Virginie B and Blesse, Rau_Ze brought together crowds who were eagerly awaiting their concert on June 22 on the Spotify stage. They also played the big closing show of the festival dedicated to French-speaking R&B, with Corneille, Les Louanges, Barnev, Zaho, Vacra, Yellowstraps, Naomi, Naïma Frank and Shah Frank.

Rau_Ze, whose popularity has continued to gain ground since their victory at the Francouvertes in 2022, released their first album, Virer nos vies, in March. What happens next should be watched very closely.

Pomme

This French artist divides her time between both sides of the Atlantic, but she's got a major following in Montreal. Her show at this year's Francos on June 16 on the Bell Stage was her biggest in the city. Pomme delighted the packed crowd by performing songs from her successful albums Les Faults, Consolation and Saisons, in a magical atmosphere.

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What marked Pomme's show at the Francos all the more was undoubtedly the limitless generosity she demonstrated, both towards the audience and the artists she invited on stage for emotional moments of sharing. The Boulay Sisters, Safia Nolin, La Force and Klô Pelgag joined her on stage, giving it the feel of a big communal love-in.

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