Friday, April 15, 2011

Capital Hip Hop Soul: Corneille (#Corneille)

It's not a simple journey to reach stardom as an aspiring artist.  However, Rwandan/Canadian R&B Soul singer Corneille was able to transform from international star to an up and coming US artist.

Here is Corneille's cover of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" and "Lets Get It On":

Many people may not be familiar with Corneille's music since he has not reached mainstream status yet, but that doesn't mean he isn't worth getting to know. 

Corneille Nyungara was born on March 24, 1977 in Fribourg, Germany where his parents attended college. At age six, he and his parents returned to Rwanda, their native country. In his early years, he had a passion for music and with his father's encouragement, decided to embark on his musical journey.  His musical influences were Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Prince and others.

At age 16, Corneille made his first musical recording and was selected as a music contest finalist, for a state run television show in Kigali.  In 1994, when Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana was assassinated, soon followed the Rwanda Genocide which over 800,000 Rwandans were killed. Corneille's parents and some family members were killed in the genocide.  He managed to escape to Kinshasa and later to Germany where he stayed with family friends.

After three years in Germany, he moved to Montréal.  By then 20-year-old Corneille formed the band O.N.E. (Original New Element) and they disbanded in 2001.  In 2002, Corneille's first studio album Parce Qu'on Vient de Loin was released in Canada but achieved minimal sales.  Meanwhile, Parce Qu'on Vient de Loin was discovered in France and became a huge success.  With the success of this album, it was re-released in Canada, the single "Rêves de Star" reached platinum status and earned him his first Felix Award for Best Male Artist. 

His humanitarian achievements were becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and the Red Cross Canada spokesperson. In 2005, he and Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour recorded a song in support of UNICEF and the fight against AIDS. That same year, his second album called Les Marchands de Rêves was released.

Read more HERE

-Candace "Ama" Boahene

 Candace "Ama" Boahene is an up and coming peformer and online writer with a promising future in Entertainment by God's grace.  She is an MSU Alumnae and strives for educating individuals about the importance of the arts. Visit her profile on Liberated Muse HERE.

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