Samian

Portrait of Samian

Born in Pikogan, a small autochthonous community nestled in the city of Amos, in the Québec region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Samian—the Algonquin translation of the artist’s first name, Samuel—has come into his own, proudly sporting the colors of his people, an “invisible” people he calls “invincible” and for whom he claims respect and recognition. A voice of the present day telling a story from several centuries ago, the Métis rapper lays down his poetry with the soul of a warrior, at times delving into dark moods, but not without a shade of hope (“Je suis vivant, c’est pour ça que j’y crois,” meaning “I am alive, therefore I believe”). Samian conjures the past in the name of the new generations, calling upon their courage to create a bright future, a nation where people live in brotherhood.


Ancestries: First Nations

Albums

Album Cover
Face À La Musique [nominated: 2011]
mp3 clipSo Much (966.4K, 01:00s)
mp3 clipMino Picaok (973.6K, 01:00s)
mp3 clipTshinanu (966.0K, 01:00s)

Awards, Nominations & Submissions

2011Aboriginal Songwriter of the YearTshinanuNominee
2011Single of the YearTshinanuNominee
2011Best Rap / Hip Hop CDFace À La MusiqueNominee
2011Best Music VideoTshinanuSubmission

Videos

TshinanuSamian Tshinanu

Biography

Born in Pikogan, a small autochthonous community nestled in the city of Amos, in the Québec region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Samian—the Algonquin translation of the artist’s first name, Samuel—has come into his own, proudly sporting the colors of his people, an “invisible” people he calls “invincible” and for whom he claims respect and recognition. A voice of the present day telling a story from several centuries ago, the Métis rapper lays down his poetry with the soul of a warrior, at times delving into dark moods, but not without a shade of hope (“Je suis vivant, c’est pour ça que j’y crois,” meaning “I am alive, therefore I believe”). Samian conjures the past in the name of the new generations, calling upon their courage to create a bright future, a nation where people live in brotherhood.

Discovered through the recordings and music videos he produced with the Wapikoni Mobile project—a mobile audiovisual training and creation studio founded by Québec filmmaker Manon Barbeau—Samian’s talent was exposed in 2004 when the rapper took part in various cultural events associated with the project in Québec and in France. In Montréal, he became acquainted with André Dudemaine, manager of cultural activities for Terres en Vues, the society behind the Présence Autochtone festival. Dudemaine introduced him to hip-hop trio Loco Locass and the same year, Samian developed a friendship with the three rappers, first joining them on stage informally for the release of their album Amour oral and subsequently performing with them during their tour of Québec.

Samian has become increasingly popular with today’s youths, who are inspired by his authentic message and fascinated by his musical universe, an amalgamation of urban rhythms, traditional Amerindian instruments, and the Algonquin heritage of his grandmother. Through his music, Samian retraces the story of his people and learns to speak their native language. He fervently carries out his mission by getting involved with various organizations, including Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the National Film Board, and the APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network).

In 2006, Samian met Anodajay, a “deep woods rapper” and passionate advocate for Québec hip-hop who founded Disques du 7ième Ciel, a record company he manages from his native Abitibi. Their meeting resulted in a collaboration and spawned the production of a debut album. The same year, Samian’s music video for the song “Courage,” produced for the Wapikoni Mobile project, received the Best Music Video award at the Festival International des Peuples Autochtones Unis in Pau, a city in southern France. At this event, he met Florent Vollant, a member of the famous duo Kashtin, and performed as his opening act on the festival’s main outdoor stage.

Samian then focused on finalizing his debut album, Face à soi-même, collaborating with Florent Vollant, Anodajay, Shauit Aster—an Innu artist who fuses reggae with his mother tongue—as well as Loco Locass, who guested on several tracks. Before the album’s release, the single La Paix des Braves, which features Loco Locass, enjoyed radio play on several Québec stations. As a result, Laurent Saulnier, head of programming for the FrancoFolies de Montréal, was won over by the rapper’s music, which led him to perform at the Place des Arts as part of the 2007 edition of the festival.

Released in November 2007, Face à soi-même was met with great enthusiasm by audiences and received unanimous praise from the press. Over the next couple of years, Samian offered numerous performances and was featured in major events, including the Festival international de jazz de Montréal, the FrancoFolies de Montréal, and the celebrations for Québec City’s 400th anniversary. The rapper also reasserted his social commitment by contributing to various causes, including acting as a spokesman for the Quebec Social Forum alongside Paul Piché and Raoûl Duguay, taking part in the First Nations Socio-Economic Forum with Florent Vollant, working with Ghislain Picard, the Grand Chief of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, and getting involved with the First Nations Education Council.

The year 2010, which Samian kicked off by carrying the Olympic Flame through the streets of his native Pikogan, was a memorable one indeed for the artist. Among other things, he performed at the Vancouver Olympic Games, gave a series of concerts in Finland, France, China, and Indonesia, released a widely anticipated follow-up album, Face à la musique, and performed as the opening act for Kashtin’s reunion concert. Moreover, he released a version of the aforementioned duo’s Tshinanu, which was stunningly rewritten and recorded in collaboration with Florent Vollant, Claude McKenzie as well as Chafiik, whose imaginative touch brought the classic song up to date. He also enjoyed several radio hits, took part in the International Literature Festival Berlin, and received the French CBC’s musical revelation award. Clearly, Samian’s talent is now recognized throughout the world, and 2011 should only further broaden the horizons of the acclaimed rapper, who will be making his homecoming appearance in Montreal this spring.