Corneille

Corneille

BandR&BWorld

The self-produced album features a collection of twelve songs that are inspired by the smooth R&B soul and pop of Corneille’s earliest influences. The lyrics are an outpouring of the man’s life.

Biography

Corneille Nyungura was born on March 24, 1977 in Fribourg, Germany where his parents were completing their University studies. Six years later, Corneille was brought to live in his parent’s homeland of Rwanda where they settled in the capital city of Kigali.

Corneille’s childhood could be characterized as normal for a somewhat privileged youth brought up in a family with caring and highly educated parents. Early on he developed a love of music and culled his influences from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole and Prince. Encouraged by his father,
Corneille made his first recording at the age of 16. That recording led to him being selected as a finalist in a music contest sponsored by the state run television station.

In 1994 the Nyungura family’s life changed dramatically when former President Habyarimana was assassinated and the most horrific genocide in modern history claimed over 800,000 victims. The family was killed in their own home, an atrocity survived by the 17 year old who had hid behind a couch.

Having managed to escape the hostilities, Corneille headed back to Germany where he was adopted by friends of his parents. He stayed for three years while completing his studies and then joined relatives in Montreal where he enrolled in University (Concordia). Before long, Corneille’s focus was once again diverted to music.

Corneille’s initial foray into the Canadian music scene was as a member of the band O.N.E. (Original New Element). The band broke up after a year, leaving Corneille to explore his options. Heeding the advice that “You are only an artist when you know what you want to say with your art” Corneille began to forge a solo career.

His first studio album, Parce qu’on vient de loin, was released in 2002. Although the album went unnoticed at first in Canada, France was another story altogether. The song’s “Avec classe” and “Ensemble” became significant hits and ignited album French sales. Back home in Canada, the album was re-released with the song “Rêves de Star” as the first single and Corneille’s fortunes changed. By 2004, sales on both sides of the Atlantic were booming. The album was certified platinum in Canada and Corneille received his first Felix Award as Best Male Artist as voted by the public at the Gala de l’ADISQ in Montreal. In France, sales of Parce qu’on vient de loin flew past 500,000 copies and the album has since sold over one million copies world wide.

In 2005, Corneille recorded a duet with Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour which featured on the fund-raising album made by the fighting against AIDS collective Ensemble Contre le Sida.

Corneille is a Red Cross Canada spokesperson, has been made a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, and continues to be active in many other humanitarian roles.

Corneille’s second studio album, Les marchands de rêves was released in 2005 to rave reviews and has enjoyed great success in Canada and France. The album’s diversity underlines Corneille’s undeniable strength as a songwriter. In addition to an overwhelming fan welcome in Senegal during a festival in 2005, Corneille has performed representing Canada at Aichi Expo in Japan, and has completed several tours in Europe and Canada. A large tour in France in the spring of 2006 included 60 dates, at which he played in front of over 200,000 fans, and was followed by an acoustic tour in the fall of 2006. In December of 2006, Corneille celebrated a triumphant homecoming by headlining a show at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

Corneille’s international appeal is undeniable and in 2007 he has decided to broaden his reach by recording his first English album, The Birth of Cornelius. The self-produced album features a collection of twelve songs that are inspired by the smooth R&B soul and pop of Corneille’s earliest influences. The lyrics are an outpouring of the man’s life.
For his third album, Corneille worked with the same musicians who have accompanied him on tour and in studio for the last five years. For that recording he wanted an edgy and raw engineering approach to achieve a well dosed mix of class and cool. That is why he turned to Russel Elevado (Alicia Keys, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu) whose warm analog sound was without a doubt best suited for his specific needs. He also asked the help of Larry Gold (Whitney Houston, R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake) for smooth string arrangements. The vocals were tracked by Daniel Cinelli at Planet Studios in Montreal, where Corneille recorded his previous albums. He needed to be in a perfectly comfortable environment to complete this opus.
“Corneille's project was a real pleasure to work on. There's some really nice songwriting and lyrics on his album… Corneille is one of the nicest and truest people I have ever met. I know that this is just the beginning of our relationship together and I am pleased that he reached out to me to help him attain his vision.” Russel Elevado (recording, mixing &

Discography

The birth of Cornelius - 2007
Les marchands de rêves - 2006
PArce que l'on vient de loin - 2004