Loved for her music and moved by her voice, Dominique Fils-Aimé is that elusive performer reviewers credit for creating “a transcendent performance.”
A popular force on stage in Eastern Canada, the Juno Award-winning recording artist is making her regional appearance at the Arden Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 14.
The Quebec-based performer is perfectly at ease in her own skin. Her first album trilogy explored the roots and culture of African-American music bringing with it a steady stream of accolades.
The blues-sounding Nameless appeared in 2018, followed by the jazz-oriented Stay Tuned in 2019. Three Little Words book ended the final installment in 2021 with a jazz focus. Much of her confidence as a songwriter grew through this trilogy cementing her place in the Canadian lexicon as a torchbearer of Black femininity.
In our fast-paced world with a heightened need for speed that demands recording artists roll out singles quickly, Fils-Aimé chose to create space for her music through more expansive trilogies.
“I want to take the time to do whole trilogies and not allow external pressures. As an artist, it is important to travel at your own pace, and in creating a trilogy there is more room than we expect,” said Fils-Aimé.
Ensoul Records released the first album of a second set of trilogies titled Our Roots Run Deep in Sept. 2023. The 14-song album, a nod to her ancestors, is woven together as a loose, dreamlike narrative that tells a story of growth.
She creates a hypnotic vibe with a variety of catchy, wordless sounds that feel like yoga mantras or prayers. It’s a style where voices are looped over and over and multi-layered. Many of the lines are repetitive but soothing. Internet fans have called the songs “a mystical experience.”
Fils-Aimé didn’t go into any detail about future albums, except to say they will not be anchored in any specific genre. But during her first trilogy's recording, she felt connected to the accessibility of contemporary jazz.
“You don’t have to be a music head to enjoy jazz. Some people think it’s very elitest, but it offers a great deal of freedom. In my next trilogy, I will create freely and combine all influences – electronic music and jazz, anything going from tribal to futuristic.”
Her shadow performers, the unsung band support includes Étienne Miousse (guitar), Harvey Bien-Aimé (drums and percussion), David Osei-Afrifa (keyboard), Danny Trudeau (bass) and Simon Levesque (soundman).
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at the Arden Theatre, 5 St. Anne Street. Tickets are $44. Call 780-459-1542 or online at tickets.stalbert.ca.