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Jérôme 50

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Biography

Jérôme 50 is not so much a musician as he is a singer-songwriter. His grandfather taught him three chords—G, D, and E minor—but he didn’t practise them. Instead, he promptly wrote his first song (which, admittedly, was a copy of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”) and he hasn’t stopped since then.

At the tender age of 17, Jérôme 50 cut his teeth as a street musician in Old Quebec, during the tourist season. In 2013, he released a mini-album before even knowing what an EP or a producer was. He now releases his first full-length album, La hiérarchill, produced by Philippe Brault. Jérôme writes candid, trippy tunes with unabashed grooves, eagerly indulging his rebellious spirit.

Jérôme 50 is not so much a musician as he is a singer-songwriter. His grandfather taught him three chords—G, D, and E minor—but he didn’t practise them. Instead, he promptly wrote his first song (which, admittedly, was a copy of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”) and he hasn’t stopped since then.

Born in L’Ancienne-Lorette, Jérôme 50 left his hometown before he was of legal age and set out to discover Rimouski and Rouyn-Noranda, eager to experience the cities, mines, and states of mind portrayed in the songs of Richard Desjardins. He now resides in Saint-Roch, a neighborhood in Quebec City. At first, he became known locally as Jérôme Charette-Pépin (regarding the change of alias, the artist wisely remarks the following: “I don’t rely on a name to find out if peanut butter is crunchy or creamy: I take a look at what’s inside”), performing at the tender age of 17 in the streets of Old Quebec during the tourist season. This led to impromptu jams and eventually to the creation of a duo with Hubert Chiasson, now known as Hubert Lenoir. In 2013, before he even knew what an EP and a producer were, he self-produced a mini-album, which allowed him to perform at the Francouvertes competition in 2014 and at the Festival en chanson de Petite-Vallée the same year. This led to subsequent appearances at the Festival de la Chanson de Tadoussac in 2015 and at the Cabaret Festif! de la Relève in 2016. But once again, as Jérôme will tell you: he’s all about writing songs, not winning competitions. Did you ever hear his peanut butter analogy?

Among other interesting tidbits, Jérôme happens to be fascinated by Quebec’s dialects (an interest he cultivated by studying language sciences at Laval University), he is equally fond of Angus & Julia Stone, Gros Mené and Rihanna, and his photic sneeze reflex affects his writing: “The sun often makes me sneeze, and strangely, several of my songs are about this weird ‘thing’ we call light.”

The culmination of 5 years of work, La hiérarchill was written and composed by singer-songwriter Jérôme 50 (with the exception of “Prendre une douche,” which was cowritten with Julien Chiasson, an ex-member of The Seasons). Musical mastermind Philippe Brault produced the album and handled mixing duties with Ghyslain Luc Lavigne. On the album, Jérome is backed by long-time friends Simon Kearney, Nathan Vanheuverzwijn (Émile Bilodeau), Simon Lachance and Martin Plante (both from Raton Lover). Guest musicians include David Marchand (zouz, Mon Doux Saigneur), whose pedal steel can be heard on “Ouh La La” and “Sexe, drogue, ceri$e$ & rock n' roll”; Hubert Lenoir, who lends his voice to “Skateboard,” “Prendre une douche,” and “Ouh La La”; as well as Lydia Képinski and Emerik St-Cyr-Labbé (Mon Doux Saigneur—“He’s a guy at the top of the hiérarchill,” notes Jérôme), who sing on “Wéke n'béke.”

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