Bluesfest locals: Étoile Noire

July 7th, 2022 by  |  Published in Bluesfest locals, Features, Interviews, News

Étoile Noire - promo

Étoile Noire. Photo credit: Worn Leather Media

The Bluesfest locals series will introduce you to the talented music makers from the Ottawa area performing at this year’s RBC Bluesfest. Come on out early to Bluesfest and discover some great new music!

Étoile Noire

Sunday, July 10
6:30pm to 7:30pm
Barney Danson Theatre


A tasty mix of southern groove, indie-rock, modern pop, alternative folk storytelling, and organic beats, Étoile Noire has a fun, fresh, infectious, and memorable style. Uniquely written in both official Canadian languages, their melodies are full of tension and passionate notes and showcase their bilingual heritage. Singer/songwriters Fabien Melanson and Justin Trudeau bring together a unique grassroots charm, and southern twist. Influenced by groups such as Gordon Lightfoot, Steve Earle and The Strokes, their compositions reflect the root-based styles and techniques that produce the organic feel they strive to achieve.

The Talent

Justin Trudeau – Guitar, Lead and back-up vocals
Fabien Melanson – Guitarist, Lead and back-up vocals
Jay Leen – Bass, Back-up vocals


What was your reaction to the news you’d be a part of Bluesfest and who was the first person you told?
We were so stoked to hear that we were invited to play at Bluesfest again because our original performance in 2020 was cancelled due to covid. The first person we told was each other because we both saw the email come in around the same time!

Please describe your sound.
We’re an indie-folk duo with a country vibe and elements of blues guitar. Our lyrics tell stories of heartbreak, hope and healing set to upbeat rhythms and quirky harmonies.

How did you get started on your musical journey?
We were both at a crossroads in our musical careers when Fabien filled in for a gig last minute. Our chemistry was instantaneous and we both quickly realized there was some sort of magic taking place. That was six years ago and we’ve been playing together ever since.

What can music fans expect from your show? Will you be playing any new music at Bluesfest and/or releasing new music ahead of your performance?
We’ll be playing music off our last album that we haven’t really had a chance to showcase at Bluesfest before due to two years of lockdowns. While we are hoping to play some songs off the new album we’re currenty working on, we’re not sure they’ll be ready in time. We will however be releasing a new music video before Bluesfest, which was shot locally in Ottawa that we’re really excited about.

What artists are you hoping to catch during this year’s Bluesfest?
We absolutely would not respect ourselves if we didn’t see Rage Against the Machine, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, or Garbage, but the entire lineup looks amazing.

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