Apr 1, 2016
Armenia’s international project album was born in Essaï’s mind as he set foot for the second time in Armenia. It just made sense to him in a second.
The desire of Essaï, through this album, is to share the beauty, the culture and the festive spirit of Armenia, cradle of humanity according to legends and the first state to adopt Christianity as an official religion (301 AD).
Through this album, Essaï also wants to honor the memory of his grandfather, survivor of the Armenian Genocide who was adopted and raised by Bedouins in the Syrian desert when he was a kid, before being recognized twenty years later on a local market place by one of his Armenian cousins. Essaï also wants to celebrate the songs of his late grandmother, whom he accompanied on the piano when she came to visit her family in Paris … and honor in his own way, the attention he now has from the Armenian community spread around the world. ARMENIA the album, it is also and above all, the desire for him, to illustrate the roots of his dual culture through his passion: Music
Armenian traditional music is a mix of folk music and sacred music, mostly Christian.
It is rich many instruments including:
... The Duduk, the Kaval, the Peloul (wind instrument)
... The Oud, Tar, and the zourna Kanoun (strings)
... The Daf and Davul (percussions)
Essaï’s ARMENIA will be an international album project that is both festive and melancholic, sung in Armenian, which also reinterprets heritage, blending the traditional Armenian instruments through a contemporary pop production.
With ARMENIA the album, Essaï is willing to share his roots, a vibrant ancient, rich and loving like culture.
The themes are inspired by the history of the Armenian civilization, culture and emotions of this great nation:
- The collective memory
- The ancestral legends
- The nature and power of the elements
- The roots of the world
- The bonds of family
- The cradle of humanity
- The strength and joy of life
The songs :
- HAY EM means "I am Armenian". Two words often used by Armenian people proud of their backgrounds and culture. Lyrics are bout having strength, courage and deep will to live. This is incidentally also a word game with the English "I am". Hay Em is a real festive hymn to Armenia.
- KOTCHARI is one of the most popular Armenian traditional dances, which unites men and women by drawing energy from the earth. Essaï decided to compose and write a song about it.
- ARANTZ KES, is a famous pop melody and a worldwide known song that nobody ever heard arranged that way and sung in Armenian.
- DELE YAMAN IS a traditional song of the heart, that shepherds sang to declare their faith and love.
- YEREVAN is probably one of the most powerful Armenian anthems from the early 20th century that Essaï totally rearranged.
- MEDZ MAYRIG. Her name was Varduhi, meaning Rose in Armenian. I chose to call my daughter Indy-Rose to pay tribute to her. She was an opera singer before losing her voice and it was she who gave me mine. She was my grandmother.
Essaï leads a double artistic life since his first steps in music.
French artist of Armenian origin, son of an opera singer and a musician, he grew up listening to Quincy Jones, Donny Hathaway, Al Jarreau, Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder but also with traditional Armenian songs, and Christian classics.
Essaï is singing professionally since the age of 19, while writing, composing and performing for himself and for others.
Spotted while he was part of a young pop group on Sony Music label, he was chosen to be Comte Pâris in 2001 for Romeo and Juliet, the musical, whose success in France and abroad will set a date in the history of the French musicals. Essaï then abandoned his law studies to devote himself to music.
Two years later, a new contract with Mercury Universal allows him to make his first solo artist move and his work for other artists gives him the opportunity to prove himself as an author and composer. At the age of 24, he creates his own production company. Music for theatre, television, he also composes, arranges and produces songs for French artists such as Jenifer, Michel Legrand, Cécilia Cara, Amaury Vassili, Vincent Niclo and major French musicals: Le Roi Soleil and Les demoiselles de Rochefort.
In 2009, he becomes the musical director of the television show Battle of the Choirs (TF1). The Grand Show of Children (TF1) followed , then Pop's Cool in 2012 (Canal J Channel) and The New School of Fans in 2014 (Gulli Channel)
In 2011, Essaï works on his first solo album. He writes, composes, arranges and sings in an urban soul spirit. This album is clearly a tribute to the songs of his youth. The first single, Sweet Family, whose video clip was shot in Paris and New York, is widely broadcasted on television : MTV, MCM, M6 black. This album offers two unexpected turns to his artistic career.
It earned him first to be spotted in the US by Kerry Gordy, son of Motown founder, Berry Gordy. Together they produced a first track, Family (2014), published on the Kerry Gordy Records label. They are now working on a future album project for the United States.
This album also made him famous among the Armenian international community. Essaï’s sudden popularity on the web got him to do a worldwide promotional tour and go back to Armenia for the second time of his life.
Invited to perform for several weeks on the set of a prestigious TV Armenian music program, Essaï meets Emmy Bejanyan, the famous Armenian pop star. He then records with her a new version of Yerevan, an Armenian anthem. Within weeks, the song becomes a huge success within the global Armenian community. Its success got Essaï to explore the native Armenia from his grandparents and Armnai will become his new home.
In 2015, Essaï is chosen by the First Lady of Armenia and Arm TV Channel, to be the European representative of Armenia in GENEALOGY, the international act created to represent Armenia at the Eurovision song contest. The song, written on the topic of the Armenian Genocide, allowed the six singers to get an honorable 16th position in the international ranking.
The President of Armenia Serj Sargsyan, recently offered Essaï the Armenian nationality and he hand-delivered his passport himself.
Your invaluable contributions will finance these successive stages of the project:
- Symphony recording of the album with a 60 musicians from classical Armenian orchestra.
- The production of a video clip filmed in Armenia
- The international promotion of the project.