From 1968 to 1980, he visited all five continents and become acquainted with the world’s musical traditions and cultures, an education that was to have a noticeable impact on his art and permeate many of his albums.
Following a visit to Jamaica, Dubois became one of the first Francophone artists to integrate reggae rhythms to his songs, long before French singer Serge Gainsbourg did in his classic 1979 album Aux armes et cætera. First heard on Claude Dubois’ 1976 Mellow Reggae album, Artistes is the result of the songwriter’s exposure to reggae and West Indian sounds.
At a time when Jean-Pierre Ferland was singing Le show-business and Robert Charlebois was performing Urgence, two songs that were highly critical of pop music and the superficiality of the recording industry, Dubois preferred to sing the praises of all artists with his own show-business song, claiming that everyone is an artist at heart.
The Mellow Reggae album was recorded in Paris, Montreal and Miami in 1977, and yielded the hit songs Artistes and Sarabande. Artists taking part in the recording of the album included Sonny Binns and Trevor Star.