Fiddler singer and songwriter Aleksi Campagne stuns on his debut bilingual single
Aleksi Campagne, Montreal’s bilingual indie-folk fiddler and singer, is ready to captivate and comfort listeners with his debut single “Won’t Be Scared,” available in English and French, along with this full-length album, For The Giving, which came out this month.
The lead single, “Won’t Be Scared,” was selected as a finalist at theKerrville Folk Festival’s prestigious songwriting competition, where Aleksi was the only Canadian to compete. The song explores the courage required when leaving home and venturing to new places for the first time, echoing Alexei’s personal journey as an artist.
Alexei began performing alongside his mother, Canadian folk icon Connie Kaldor, at the age of five, and at 19, he moved to Paris to study under jazz violin legend Didier Lockwood. At 25, Alexei’s musical odyssey has led him to grace the stages of Canada’s renowned folk festivals, including the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Regina Folk Festival, Canmore Folk festival, and the Northern Lights Festival, among others.
Given the emphasis on the violin in his music, it may surprise audiences to know that, “I sometimes wished that I had studied a harmonic instrument, like the guitar or piano, instead of the violin when I was younger because it would have made singing and playing–my two passions–much easier.”
However, he said, “having grown up at folk festivals, I got to see legends like April Verch or André Brunet sing while accompanying themselves on the fiddle, so I knew it was possible. It’s really thanks to their example that I now also fiddle-sing–but in my own indie-folk way.”
“Won’t Be Scared” is structured to be as comforting to the listener as possible, evident in its heartfelt lyrics, rich acoustic guitar, and the powerful unison of voices at the song’s peak. The choir of voices singing together at the halfway mark is made up of members of Aleksi’s musical family, reinforcing the importance of togetherness and community during difficult times. As a nod to his bilingual roots, Alexei is proud to release the single in both English and French.
For The Giving was made possible through grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and FACTOR, enabling Alexei to record the album in his childhood home during the COVID pandemic. Despite the challenges posed by the health restrictions, he collaborated with his band remotely, creating intricate arrangements and incorporating elements such as vocal harmonies, strings, and a whistle solo. The final recording process took place with the producer and the band living together in Aleksi’s childhood home for a month, ensuring a safe and cohesive production.