Veteran Québec superstar Kevin Parent plays SOCAN Session for Toronto staff
Million-selling, award-winning, Québecois roots-rock singer-songwriter and SOCAN member Kevin Parent performed at a SOCAN Session for our staff on Nov. 9, 2016, at SOCAN’s head office in Toronto.
SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste introduced Parent, who played and discussed three songs. Parent was then briefly interviewed by SOCAN Words & Music Editor Howard Druckman, followed by a question-and-answer session with the assembled staff.
The much-celebrated Parent has earned a staggering 13 SOCAN Awards, including five SOCAN Classics, as well as seven ADISQ Awards and five JUNO nominations, including one win. His first two full-length albums each sold more than 350,000 physical units in 1995 and 1998, respectively, and his next two, in 2001 and 2003, both also achieved more than 200,000 sales each.
In his deep, raspy voice, Parent sang and played solo-acoustic versions of three songs from his current album (And her name was...) Kanji, his second full-length English recording (the other six are in French). He played the aching song “Brother,” about how “burning flags and beating drums” can create fatal conflicts between peoples; the murder ballad “Hands to the Sun,” which he described as his equivalent of a vintage spaghetti Western movie; and “Time Can Heal,” about overcoming pain, emptiness and sorrow.
Asked about the dark content of his work, Parent said “I try to describe complex feelings with simple words. Songs are a perfect venue to let things out.” He also talked about how he likes to challenge himself, and grow in different directions in his music, because “I don’t want to be contrived to one language or one style.” And he revealed his deep appreciation of nature, explaining that a walk in the woods allows one to realize that “Money doesn’t matter, being in style doesn’t matter… you’re very small. You’re not the boss of everything.”
Even before Parent began his performance, he said, “I’ve always loved SOCAN. “In Montéal, their [Gala Awards] parties are the best. There, I got to meet other songwriters, which made me feel less alone, and inspired me.”