King Abid: In the King’s Name
If his artist’s name refers to royalty, look for no link between Heythem Tlili and the Western crowned heads. Inspired by a “rasta youth delirium”, King Abid means “king slave”, an oxymoron that pleases the singer of Tunisian origin, fell madly in love with Quebec 16 years ago.
“Since I come from Africa, I’m a little slave because I had to go through the wall to get there,” says the nice 38-year-old musician, met in a café on Saint-Joseph Street. , on a rainy morning. It is here, in the Saint-Roch district, that he studied graphic design at the Dorchester Street Factory, and lives to be a full-time artist.
On his second album, still hot, Emerikia , is also a tribute to his adopted city, Welcome to Qc, where he likes, as on other pieces, to marry the sounds of jamaica and afros, against a background of electronic world beat. A vaporous mixture declined in Tunisian Arabic, in French and in English, which allows him to distinguish himself on the very crowded musical scene.
“I feel good in Quebec. I was welcomed like a king. All my friends in Quebec are lovers. I just knew the good here. My musical career is in Quebec that I lived, “says one who began to take an interest in rap and break dance at the age of 10 years.
That he settled in the capital is almost destiny, if there is one. After applying for graphic design at several universities in Montreal, he still had a stamp and a file, hence the idea of trying his luck at Laval University. “Finally, she’s the only one who accepted me …”
The sacred revelation of the CBC in world music in 2017, King Abid patiently widened his path, crossing the road of the Accrophone guys, Bob Bouchard (co-director of Emerikia) and Karim Ouellet, who became friends and collaborators. His DJ talents also gave him the opportunity to host a dancehall reggae program for eight years at CHYZ University Radio.
With a first album in 2016, the musician manages to carve out a place on some great scenes of the Summer Festival (where it will still be in July), Osheaga, Francofolies and the International Festival of Granby Song .
Born of parents teachers of the School of Fine Arts in Tunis (his mother is now a member of Parliament), King Abid has a good head on his shoulders. His exile in Quebec taught him the importance of responsibilities. In France, where he thought to settle down for a moment, his life could have gone astray, he believes. “We can go astray quickly to fool around with friends.”
As an immigrant perfectly integrated into Quebec society, King Abid has a negative view of the draft law on secularism that polarizes public debate. In his opinion, the government is in the field. “Frankly, it’s big talk, we fooled the world. It is an aberration for the intelligence. We are taken for idiots. ”
“The veiled maid who works [in a school], what did she do wrong? he asks. She does not brainwash children and change their religion. One of my aunts is veiled, my grandmother is not, and she prays, and I respect that. I am not a believer, I do not need religion to give me a balance. My religion is love. I do not need a book written 2000 years ago by a guy in a toga in the desert. Already you tell me something that happened in the area and I can not believe it … ”
The singer believes that the fear of Islam stems from the actions of a tiny minority “who have screwed up the mess”. The others, he adds, “want to live humbly and enjoy the goodness of life here. Nobody came to make the revolution. They just want peace and can work like everyone else. ”
Sometimes, he takes the desire to make an exit on the subject on his Facebook page, but he thinks after thinking. “My answer is musical, I remain positive. It’s with my music that I blossom the most. ”
And he hopes to live a long time, not only in Quebec. Moreover, after his visit to the Summer Festival, on July 11, he will fly to Spain with his group, affectionately called The Mercedes Band, to participate in an important meeting of show organizers for the French territories. Europe, Latin America and Africa.
“I try to live my music to the max. I take risks, but it’s the best risk in the world. “