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|Birth name||Nicolas Martin Maranda|
|Born||Auckland, New Zealand
15 November 1967.
|Genres||Rock, pop rock, acoustic, experimental rock, house, electronic|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, musician, artist, record producer, remixer|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboards, percussion, oud, didgeridoo, computer|
|Labels||Tacca, Polydor, Unidisc, Audiogram|
|Associated acts||Minuit, le soir|
Nicolas Maranda (born in Auckland, New Zealand 15 November 1967) is a Canadian singer/songwriter, composer, musician and record producer based in Montreal. His compositional style is eclectic, blending acoustic, electric and electronic elements into distinct soundscapes. His compositions have appeared on record, in television series and feature films. His productions have covered many styles of music, from house music to tango and from rock to Arabic. His performances on record include various guitars, basses, keyboards, and percussion instruments, as well as more exotic instruments such as oud and didgeridoo. He has played hundreds of shows in Canada, the USA, Europe, The Middle East, Australia, Haïti, and exotic locations such as the North Pole and the jungles of East Timor.
Nicolas Maranda is the second son of anthropologists Pierre Maranda and Elli Köngäs-Maranda. His first year was spent within the Rere tribe of Lau Lagoon in the Solomon Islands, of which he is still considered a member. His family then spent a year in Paris and settled in Vancouver, BC, where he started playing the piano at age four. The family eventually moved to Quebec City, where he took up the guitar. Mostly self-taught, he eventually added other instruments to his repertoire.
These years were marked by numerous trips across the globe that would prove to be influential in his vision.
In Quebec City he founded the band BoYcuT which gained a local following. When Nicolas was 16, the band moved to Montreal. Nicolas concurrently took up studies in record production and sound engineering. The band made some noise, placing among the finalists at the “Empire des Futures Stars” band competition and gaining some radio airplay. They went on to tour in Canada and Europe.
Nicolas eventually started writing more and more on his own and left the band, which disbanded. After a stint in London, he returned to Quebec City to work with ex-DJ Daniel Coulombe in the studio. Together they produced various projects, including a remix of the song “Des Fleurs pour Salinger” by French band Indochine, which became an international hit. The pair then co-produced Nicolas’ first album (in French), Deux, released in 1991, which saw him move back to Montreal. It was the first release of independent label les Disques Tacca. The record included several songs that charted in Quebec and France, including “Fleur du mal”, “Blanche comme la nuit” and “Douce”. It was on several critics’ lists of best album of the year, including Claude Rajotte. Maranda and the album were nominated for awards at the 1992 ADISQ Gala. The video for “Fleur du mal” won “Best Independent Video” at the 1992 MusiquePlus Video Gala. His other videos also made a considerable impact and were similarly nominated for awards. He performed on stage and television in Canada and France. However conflicts within the label put things at a standstill as to how to go ahead with the second album.
In parallel Maranda co-wrote with his then-partner, singer/songwriter Pascale Coulombe. They recorded an album that was originally planned to come out under her name, but since it was a collaboration they released it under the name “Coma” (a play of words on their last names).
The album was influential and the videos also stood out, Carmen winning Best French Video at the 1997 MuchMusic Video Awards. Their other videos also garnered nominations. Maranda and Coulombe eventually worked on concepts of videos by other artists including Daniel Bélanger.
In 1998 the pair spent some time in Los Angeles, where they co-wrote the song “Lost Between Las Vegas and Mars” with Guy Thomas. The song was featured in the award-winning documentary Beyond The Mat. They returned to Canada to play a series of concerts for Canadian troops that led them to the North Pole.
Nicolas subsequently produced a string of albums, by Richard Petit, Lynda Thalie, Andrée Watters and Intakto. He also contributed songwriting and arranging to most of them. Andrée Watters (twice) and Intakto won “Best Record” in their respective categories at the ADISQ Gala. He also wrote music for video games, notably songs for The Jungle Book Groove Party by Ubisoft/ Disney, which led him back to work in Los Angeles. In the early 2000s he also worked on a series of remixes with House group the Couch Potatoes for Petit, Thalie, Coulombe, Dubmatique and Mitsou. As a member of the live band he played at different Cirque du Soleil premières in Canada and abroad. During this period he studied acting with Warren Robertson.
From 2002 to 2007 he started writing extensively for TV series. He was awarded a Gémeaux in 2007 for his work on the seminal series Minuit, le soir. He also scored Au nom de la loi and Le Petit monde de Laura Cadieux. He received Gémeaux nominations for each of his scores. He also conceived and directed the video for the song “La Valse des hypocrites” by Mathieu Gaudet (which he had produced).
In late 2007 he released the music from Minuit, Le Soir online and on a limited-edition double CD. CD 2 is remix album, including remixes by Carl Bastien, Beno, Thomas Carbou, Daniel Coulombe, Robert De La Gauthier, Jonathan Eekkoo Doyon, Flow, Samuel Laflamme and Samuel Girardin, Monsieur Seb, Pasquipaz and Raycord.
In addition to collaborating with House Music collective Monitor, who released an album on Mile-End records, Maranda scored acclaimed TV drama 19-2. He received two additional Gémeaux awards for his work. The soundtrack album was released on Audiogram records.
Maranda is currently writing and recording an English-language album. Work began in Montreal and was continued in Honduras and South Africa before resuming in Montreal. In South Africa he recorded a seventeen-voice Xhosa choir, the St-Raphael Catholic Churc Choir, for his song “We Are Free”. In Montreal he recorded tracks with childhood idol Tony Levin and Youssou N’dour’s tama (talking Drum) player Assane Thiam.
Nicolas has been guest speaker in various schools and organizations. He is a multiple grant holder from le Conseil des arts et letters du Québec. He has also served as jury president for the Gémeaux awards and juror for Musicaction.
(All titles refer to albums unless otherwise noted)
2011 Nicolas Maranda, 19-2 Composer, arranger, musician (Double Gémeau Award-winning soundtrack)
2011 Monitor, Monitor Composer, songwriter, singer, arranger, producer, musician, mixer
2008 Nicolas Maranda, Minuit le soir - l'album double Composer, arranger, singer, musician (Gémeau Award-winning soundtrack)
2006 Intakto “Todavia” Co-producer, arranger, musician and mixer (ADSIQ nominee, “Best World Music Album”)
2006 Lynda Thalie, Lynda Thalie Producer, arranger, songwriter and musician (ADSIQ nominee, “Best World Music Album”)
2005 Arthur H, Adieu Tristesse Musician
2005 Andrée Watters, À Travers Producer, arranger, songwriter and musician (ADSIQ winner, “Best Rock Album”)
2004 Mathieu Gaudet, “Roadtrip” Producer, arranger and musician
2003 Andrée Watters, AW Co-producer, arranger, songwriter musician and mixer (ADSIQ winner, “Best Rock Album”)
2002 Intakto, Intakto Producer, arranger, musician and mixer (ADSIQ winner, “Best World Music Album”) (JUNO nominee, “Best World Music Album”)
2002 Lynda Thalie, Sablier Producer, arranger, songwriter, musician and mixer
2001 Dubmatique, Ragga Dub (Remix) Co-producer, arranger, musician and mixer
2000 Richard Petit, Kiss and Run Producer, arranger, songwriter, musician and mixer
1997 Coma, “Remix” Songwriter, singer, arranger, producer, musician, mixer
1996 Coma, Coma Arranger, songwriter and musician
1991 Nicolas, Deux Composer, songwriter, singer, arranger, co-producer, musician and co-mixer (ADSIQ nominee, “Best Rock Album”, “Revelation Of The Year”)
1987 Indochine, Des Fleurs pour Salinger (Remix) Co-producer, arranger and musician