Era Inducted To: Modern Era
Gilles Valiquette’s popular hit Je suis cool can be heard on his second LP, Deuxième arrêt, released in 1973. This native Montrealer wrote and performed this song after being challenged by the record company to come out with a legitimate ‘hit’.
At a time when most artists were concentrating their efforts on reproducing American or French hits, this Montreal-born singer and songwriter wanted to prove to everyone that he had the knowledge and expertise to produce an original hit. This would be a turning point in Quebec’s musical history as far as a songwriter’s autonomy and freedom of expression. Artists of that generation and the generation before them had a great deal of difficulty getting their original creations produced and had no say in the different aspects of the creative process involved in the recording business.
Armed with his quick, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, Gilles Valiquette wrote Je suis cool in the early 70s, poking fun at people who were under the mistaken impression that all you had to do to become a successful recording artist and subsequently a ‘star’ was to follow a simple pre-established formula without any regard to content or the listening public.
Je suis cool is based on a sarcastic monologue Valiquette presented on stage, describing a farmer’s dream of riches by becoming a superstar singer. Lampooning in a playfully casual yet sometimes arrogant manner, this pioneer in Québécois music rose to the record company’s challenge with flying colours.
With a dry wit, nonchalant style, and stated originality, Je suis cool made its mark in Quebec’s musical history and still remains relevant today. In 1999, this song was immortalized in the SOCAN Classics record series.