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Master percussionist with a past high in diversity


Writer, composer, singer, percussionist, arranger Robert Dethier admits that for far too many years he buried and camouflaged his roots: “I’m neither white nor Indian. From the moment I made this admission onward, my soul-seeking research into my Métis past has shone through in my music.” Following ten years of pop rock with the band RMD in which he was the drummer, singer, writer/composer and leader, Robert Dethier turned to rhythms more closely reflective of his natal origins. “I am from up north, from Lac Labelle, where the mountains and lakes watched me grow up.”

When I was three years old, my parents bought me a drum kit. I was fortunate to spend my entire childhood and teen years drumming out rhythms. It was much later that I developed a penchant for writing. This came as a huge surprise, because I was most probably at the bottom of my French class, however I was gripped by the desire to tell stories about music. Little by little, I worked with rhythms, invented melodies, sculpted music, sang my emotions, and finally, created songs. At last, the artist inside me was born. The desire to produce albums, shows and concepts was, for me, the logical way for my ideas to come to fruition and hone my vision of rhythm and music, which for me is synonymous with communication.”

For Robert Dethier, this state of mind and quest for identity is translated into music. “As a drummer and more precisely, as a percussionist, the Amerindian and World beat rhythms offer me a palette of colours I need for this incredible journey through the world of sound. These tribal rhythms from the dawn of time are superimposed with a more modern America when it comes to melodies, mainly by means of an acoustic folk guitar. The cohabitation of ancestral rhythms and modern music ranging from the personal to the universal are most definitely key themes during this new millennium.”

Robert Dethier