Instantly recognisable and infectious productions that light up a room but yet “defy predictable electronic pigeonholing” (Vice); a tall order for any musician, but one that Christophe Dubé, aka CRi, pulls off with a swagger.
The Quebecois live act and producer is a hometown sensation on the brink of a major international breakthrough into the world of indie-electronic music. CRi’s unique blend of high-energy basslines, dreamy multi-lingual vocals and upbeat melodies have made him a household name in his hometown of Montréal, while his vibrant stage presence continues to bring him new fans wherever he goes.
A former pizza delivery driver and now self-taught full-time musician, CRi first caught the attention of tastemaker press with early single ‘Rush’ and his subsequent ‘Someone Else’ EP. Not long after, he joined the Anjunadeep roster in 2019 and gained attention from the label fanbase, and radio titans Pete Tong, Annie Mac and Jason Bentley with his ‘Initial EP’.
CRi’s forthcoming album ‘Miracles’ follows on from, and is spiritual successor to, his debut artist album ‘Juvenile’, which was released on Anjunadeep in late 2020. As it was released in the height of the pandemic, CRi was not able to tour ‘Juvenile’ album internationally, but showed incredible resilience, producing not just one, but two separate live performances for YouTube that showcase his infectious live energy and music. Filmed in two Montréal locations, Carré de Gaspé, and La Ronde amusement park (in association with Igloofest), these two performances where CRi showcased his unique musical style, and his flair for performance.
As an album in and of itself, ‘Juvenile’ exceeded expectations, being nominated for a number of awards, including Best Electronic Album at the JUNO Awards, and three separate titles at the 2021 ADISQ Awards, including Electronic Album of the Year and ‘Revelation’ of the Year, which CRi won.
Since the release of ‘Juvenile’, CRi has released three singles, an EP and remixes for Bob Moses and Lane 8; become one of the first electronic acts to headline Montréal Jazz Festival to an audience of 45,000; and performed around the world once more, writing as he went. Since the slower days of the pandemic lockdown, and Quebec’s tentative reopening of nightlife and music venues, CRi’s life has become much more fast-paced once again; a transformation that has been infused into every beat of his new album ‘Miracles’.
“I composed this album during the last three years in all four corners of the globe. The touring lifestyle forced me into a new reality. I had to create anywhere and everywhere; on the train, on a park bench, on the plane, in my hotel room and of course in my studio. The more it progressed, the less I felt the need to control my environment, the more I was attentive to it. Every little miracle that happened around me became a source of inspiration… Nightlife and the gatherings that come with it are a big part of my life (again) and I think you can feel it in my music.”
‘Miracles’ comprises 11 tracks, including two standout prior singles, ‘Something About’ and ‘Losing My Mind’ (feat. Jesse Mac Cormack), which, combined, have already accumulated 10 million streams between them. The other nine tracks on ‘Miracles’ showcase Christophe’s signature warming synths, in addition to an impressively wide range of sounds, from drum and bass, to indie, from electronic and chillout, making this work his most expansive to date.
On lead single ‘I Can Make It’, CRi debuts on vocals, while across the rest of the album, Christophe provides opportunities for his vocalists to shine, and features previous collaborators Jesse Mac Cormack and Sophia Bel; new friends, London hip-hop duo Everyone You Know, and fellow Quebecers, soulful chanteuse Klô Pelgag and indie-folk trio Half Moon Run.
As well as finishing up his album, CRi has a busy schedule ahead of him. He has recently come back from appearing at seven Anjunadeep label showcases in venues from Berlin’s Watergate, to New York’s Brooklyn Mirage, and will be appearing at Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy Weekender at the Gorge Amphitheatre in front of an anticipated audience of over 12,000.
After the album’s release, CRi will be heading on a live tour of North America, stopping off in seven cities, including Los Angeles, Denver, Toronto and, of course, his hometown of Montréal, where he’ll be headlining at iconic venue MTelus, which regularly plays host to indie-electronic stars, including, recently, Metronomy, Jungle, Monolink, Max Cooper and Amtrac, and is a perfect spot to celebrate his rise in this scene, before he takes his live tour to Europe in early 2024.
Even with this dizzying array of shows in mind, the most momentous date in CRi’s calendar is, however, undoubtedly, the birth of his first child, who is expected in August, and fittingly marks a personal miracle, just in time for his second album.
‘I Can Make It’ lands on Anjunadeep on July 14, ahead of CRi’s upcoming artist album, ‘Miracles’, out September 22, 2023.