Saturday, February 24, 2018

Quebec’s Radio Radio expands horizons with new album

March 16, 2016 by Kali Moreno, contributing writer

Quebec hip-hoppers Radio Radio have expanded their Francophone horizons with their newest album, Light the Sky, and the fun, high-energy duo says that the results show their sound moving in a different direction.

“The album was fun,” says Jacques Doucet, one half of Radio Radio. “We wanted to go to a different genre, we had different producers, it’s a bit more pop, but we’re rapping about the same fun stuff we’re doing.”

Band members Gabriel Malenfant and Doucet talk about a wide range of topics—both in English and in French—in their music. The upbeat attitude of Light The Sky clearly echoes Malenfant and Doucet’s easygoing personalities.

“Since the beginning, we’ve been using humour to get a stronger message across,” says Doucet. “Some people don’t get it, some people do. We’re playing around; we want people to realize that there are a lot of different ways to interpret everything.”

Quebec’s Radio Radio are taking their sound in a new direction (photo provided).

Quebec’s Radio Radio are taking their sound in a new direction (photo provided).

Light the Sky, the group’s fifth album, is their first entirely English release. They hope that the album will expand their audiences across Canada, and that adding the English component to their music will bring more crowds to their partially French show.

“The new album is English; the show is bilingual. It’s a way to get French known across Canada, and it’s also a way to get different fans from across Canada,” says Doucet. “It’s a win-win.”

Radio Radio’s lyrics touch on myriad subjects, and they use inspiration from their own lives and the lives of those around them to shape their music. Although they come across as entirely goofy in many of their music videos, Malenfant and Doucet rap about serious subjects such as, to name just a couple, gender roles and consumerism.

“Usually in our songs about funny subjects, the second part is more serious,” says Doucet. “My aunt had the ugliest couch in the world, with the wallpaper to match. She only started changing it because of all of those TV shows, and now every four years she has to change it. It’s new this year, but it’s old next year, and that’s our consumer society.”

It’s no secret that times are hard for many musicians due to people downloading music without paying for it, which has made Radio Radio shift their focus away from selling their music and toward perfecting their performance.

“CD sales are down across the board for everybody,” says Doucet, “but that’s normal. It just makes us want to do a better show. We did a good album, but we’re banking more on the show being good; that’s what we’ve been working on for the last four months. It’s a solid show.”

Although their music touches on some serious topics, Doucet emphasizes that Radio Radio’s primary goal does not require their audience to understand Radio Radio’s humour, agree with their points of view, or even notice that those topics are being entertained at all. He just wants them to enjoy the music and leave happy.

“I want people to come away with a smile on their face,” he says. “Lots of people come that don’t expect anything and leave exhausted from dancing all night. Come to the show and forget any issues at home. Come to the show to relax and forget about life. I want people to come out of the show happy. Think about life differently if you want, but if not, just forget about what’s bothering you, relax and have fun.”

Radio Radio
Friday, March 25
$12, Upstairs Cabaret

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