Corneille
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Corneille

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Corneille Nyungura is somewhat a fresh face on the R&B scene. The young nomad artist, born in Germany where his parents were studying, was then raised in his family’s native land, Rwanda, until 1994’s genocide. It was in Africa that he made his musical debuts at 16, recording his first demos in a Kigali studio.

On a tragic April day in 1994, in a country torn apart by civil war, the army bashed into his home and assassinated his entire family. Sole survivor Corneille litterally dove behind a living room couch to avoid the bullets. An incredible destiny calls for a uniquely profound human being.

Corneille’s past is definitely present in his art and soul. After touching death so closely, celebrating life became a must and young Corneille chose singing and music as his own exorcisms. « I dedicate my album to those who feel forgotten by the rest of the world ». « I realized how unfair the world was. The medias spoke about Rwanda’s genocide, the worst after the Jewish holocaust. But we heard a lot more about September 11… Various governments offered their help to the U.S. people, most of whom didn’t even react during Rwanda’s horrible war. My album is a celebration of my new life : a life that was not given to the others. »

After 1994, Corneille went back to live with family friends in Germany but soon left to study communications at Montreal’s Concordia University. Living in Quebec since 1997, he studied while pursuing his primal vocation : music. Along with two Haitian friends, he founded O.N.E., a R&B band that got quite successful with its first single « Zoukin » which played on Musique Plus and on FM radios in Quebec.

This first single gave him the opportunity to open for Isabelle Boulay in Montreal and for HipHop R&B singer Kelis (head of the notorious Neptunes). Frenchy R&B fans also had a taste of Corneille on the Cocktail R&B Vol. 2 compilation on the Ghetto R’n’B/Sony Music label which featured the dancefloor hit « Ce soir ».

His French fans also saw Corneille’s astonishing live performance as Burning Spear’s opening act during the Larochelle Francofolies as well as at Paris’ Reservoir next to Dave Stewart, Candy Dolfer and Jimmy Cliff. Corneille gladly took part in the Hip Hop Folies album project, by writing « S’y on s’aimait » to which Passi, Sniper, Nathalie Loriot, Sheraz, Nadya, K-Mel, Daddy Mory and EJM also participated.

But Corneille’s lucky star soon shines on many unexpected adventures ! In September 2002, a solo album « Parce qu’on vient de loin » written, composed, arranged and co-produced by Corneille, is out in Canada and then hits the French market in February 2003. The album is as purely original as it is intense, including hits such as « Avec classe » and « Ensemble » as well as a bonus track from the original soundtrack of the movie Taxi 3 entitled « Laissez-nous vivre » produced by Kore and Skalp.

Following a new collaboration with singer Mélanie Renaud on the « Vivre pour soi » title, Corneille then went on a triumphant French tour. In January 2003, Corneille is invited to open for Cunnie Williams at Paris’ Olympia.

After an incredible and unforeseen duet with British singer Craig David, a 3rd hit single and numerous participations to various music festivals in France and Quebec during the summer of 2004, the « singer from afar »’s career has unmistakably been launched !