Akim and Karl “VioleTT Pi” Gagnon: brothers in life and in art

Akim and Karl “VioleTT Pi” Gagnon: brothers in life and in art”

Brothers Akim and Karl “VioleTT Pi” Gagnon.

Enrolled in a theater school in Granby from an early age, brothers Akim and Karl Gagnon became artists very early in their lives. Since then, despite the precariousness that afflicts the environment, they have done everything to remain so.  

Karl, alias VioleTT Pi, will release a third album tomorrow April 21, Baloney Suicide, a title that echoes his book published in 2019 by La Mèche. Akim is publishing a second novel, Granby au passé simple, on May 10 from the same publisher.

An album with multiple atmospheres 

VioleTT Pi's last album dates back to 2016. It's because his new opus has been a long time in the making. The artist wanted to create distinct atmospheres, specific to each of his new songs so that they are not all the same. That, for him, takes time.  

“Like when you look at a Picasso or a Van Gogh, each painting has its mood. In the cinema, a Tarantino film has a mood, a Kubrick has another. I wanted each of my songs to be held from beginning to end in its own mood”, he explains to Métro.

But beware, nothing is ever so simple at VioleTT Pi! Within the same song, there are often quite drastic changes in tone; the mood can therefore change within a single song.  

The fact remains that Baloney Suicideis the album of his discography that the musician considers to be the most harmonious and on which his voice is the most melodious. “Sounds are not there to shock. I think it's easy to listen to, without being too confused. » 

Akim and Karl “VioleTT Pi” Gagnon: brothers in life and in art 

VioleTT Pi. Photo: JF Galipeau/Metro

A sequel to talk about the father 

While his brother took seven years to release a new album, Akim Gagnon, meanwhile, released his second book just one year after the publication of his first, The cigar at the edge of the lips

It is that the two books were written one after the other: the second was already almost finished when the first came out, explains the author. So he said to himself that he had to publish it now, especially since it is a sequel (without really being one) of the first one.  

A lot of Elements of her character's youth, which we discover as an adult in the first novel, have been removed to be included in the second, which focuses almost exclusively on her younger years.  

Granby past simpleis greatly inspired by the youth of its author and the decisive influence of his father, the central character of the novel, who can also be found in The cigar at the edge of the lips

Writing has been very liberating for the author, he says. We understand by reading the novel that his father was an extremely significant character for him. However, the writer insists that Granby in the past simple does not speak only of his father, but of fathers in general.  

“Adam Sandler tells in a show that he meets his friend crying and he asks him why. His friend tells him that he is thinking of his father and Adam does not ask any more questions, he understands. It is a universal theme that strikes a chord with everyone. No matter what father I would have had, I would have written a book about the father. »

After writing his first novel in colloquial language, Akim Gagnon decided to write in the past simple. This is to add a challenge, as it is a verb tense that we do not find much in contemporary literature, having mainly been used in older works or translations. But despite the past simple, the author continues to write as one speaks… and even to crown! 

Akim and Karl «VioleTT Pi» Gagnon: brothers in life and in art 

Akim Gagnon. Photo: JF Galipeau/Metro

A fruitful collaboration 

According to Akim, in addition to being true friends, the two brothers have a professional relationship marked by mutual respect.  

“I deeply love his music. He's my favorite artist. I would be a fan anyway,” he says. 

Karl and Akim Gagnon are not only musicians and novelists. The two brothers have also written books of poetry and spent long hours of their lives in the improv ring.  

Karl also paints, while Akim has directed short films as well as numerous music videos, notably for Philippe Brach, Ariane Moffatt, Émile Bilodeau and… his brother, VioleTT Pi.  

“The arts feed off each other, believes Akim. For example, making movies taught me how to be descriptive in a novel. »  

Akim and Karl «VioleTT Pi» Gagnon: brothers in life and in art

Practicing many art forms means that the two brothers can collaborate, especially since Akim directs all of Karl's music videos. 

“At the beginning, it was obvious that my brother would make my clips, since since our childhood, we have made films together. At some point, he started doing this seriously, I was seeing other clips and I didn't want anything other than his,” says VioleTT Pi.  

When he started his career as a music video director, Akim wanted to make music for as many artists as possible. “I was making music videos for artists whose music I don't even listen to. I got lost in there.  

At the start of the pandemic, he quit. He realized that it was only the ones he made for his brother and another artist, Antoine Corriveau, that really resonated with him, that made him really proud.  

It's that the creative worlds of the two brothers work well together. They want to create full-fledged works of art, long-lasting clips that they won't be embarrassed to watch years from now. Products that are not just promotional tools, as is often the case in this industry, they believe.

VioleTT Pi will be performing at Club Soda on April 27.

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