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Folk Festival 2019

Safia Nolin

Montréal, QC

Safia Nolin

Living as we do in a culture with a desperate focus on brand and style, artists who cut through the noise to reach the true, unpretty underbelly are more precious than ever. Safia Nolin is that artist, marrying her incisive lyrical knife with a deep empathy for all of us who embody the unpretty. A French Canadian folk-pop singer-songwriter from Québec City, Nolin released her debut album Limoilou in 2015, gaining both followers and critical acclaim for raw honesty about her teenage struggles with anxiety and bullying. Limoilou won the Prix Félix-Leclerc at the FrancoFolies de Montréal and was longlisted for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.

In 2018 Nolin returned with her sophomore album Dans Le Noir, and the knife has only gotten sharper. From an untitled (literally, “Sans Titre”) song that deals with her father abruptly walking out on the family 13 years ago, to the wistful, bilingual and baldly-titled “Lesbian Breakup Song” (a duet recorded with sister festival artist La Force) Nolin fears no taboo. Her uncompromising art and personal style, coupled with her increasing fame, have led to an unfortunate rise in attention from misogynist trolls: After La Presse published a profile on Nolin, the paper received so many sexist, homophobic emails complaining about the artist that the author of the profile wrote a scathing follow-up column titled “Safia Nolin owes you nothing." Nolin sings – as she lives – the hard, dark, unpretty truths of life, and in the process manages to create ethereal, unforgettable beauty.

Biography by Shereen Samuels

Only the evening schedules are currently available. Check back for the full schedule in mid-June.