By Marcelle Paulin for the Cocagne Rural Community website
August 27 2015
I have the pleasure to meet local singer-songwriter Daniel Goguen. Daniel was born and lives in Cocagne where he shares his time with his family, his work, the family business and his career as a musician. When Daniel was young he listened to country music. At his parents, the radio played morning and night. He took guitar lesson at the age of 14. When he was 16 years old, he sang before a live audience for the first time at a school carnival. At 17, he started composing songs, as well as the music and lyrics. Music took on an important role early on in his life and still does so today.
M.P. “Daniel, your 4th album just came out. Can you talk to us a bit about it?”
D.G. “It is a country album called Les Backroads and it’s the one that resembles me most of all 4 albums. I wrote the music and the lyrics for all the songs. I produced it myself which gave me an enormous amount of freedom. It was very well received by country music fans and radio stations. Radio stations from Montreal and elsewhere call me because they want to play my music. In addition to the shows I have performed in the region, I participated in a country music festival in Quebec in July and there are people asking for performances in 2016. ”
M.P. “Let’s starts at the very beginning. You launched your first album because people were asking you where they could buy your music. ”
D.G. “Yes, I thought if people are interested in my music then I should go for it. In 1999, Ça continue comme ça…, an Acadian country album came out. I got a good response from the public and the community radio station CJSE played it often. It even played a little in Quebec. In 2000, I formed a band to help promote the disc. The group, Goguin, was composed of a few musicians including Christian « Kit » Goguen and his brother who were just starting out in the music industry. We even entered ourselves into Le Festival international de la chanson de Granby in the group category where we finished third out of 90 groups registered in the competition. Some of the members of Goguin liked rock music more whereas I preferred country. After two years the group dismembered because a few of us wanted to pursue solo careers. In 2003-2004, I stopped making music. I was asking myself a lot of questions and I wasn’t certain I wanted to continue. But I missed it and so I started writing and playing again.
In 2006, I launched Une autre saison, a country rock album. Thus album was well received as well. I even received a nomination for French Album of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards. I performed several shows with this album in 2006 to 2009.
I went back to writing and for the 3rd album, I wanted to try out a French country-folk style. I am a big fan of Francis Cabrel who, to me, can write like no one else. I hoped to approach the French European market. This album came out in 2010 and was called Juste toi et moi.
One of the songs, a duet with Monique Poirier was a big success. Parle-moi was number one on the charts for 8 weeks in a row with CJSE and ARCANB (Association des radios communautaires acadiennes du N.-B.)
In 2011, while I was a tourist in Paris, with the help of a couple of my French friends, I had the opportunity to sing some songs in a small club over there. I sang a few songs from the 3rd album and people liked them so much that they gave me an encore. For the encore I sang a country song from my first album. Then I was surprised because they liked it even more than the songs I felt were more for them. Me who always dreamt of singing in France coming to realize, in this small Parisian club that it was better to be myself and to not try and imitate anyone. This explains why I decided to stick with country songs for my last album.”
Daniel considers himself a songwriter before he was a singer. He considers himself a better writer than a singer. Yet he has a very beautiful voice. He loves to write. I asked him where his inspiration comes from and if he would like to write for other artists.
D.G. “Inspiration comes from everyday life. The music and lyrics come to me at the same time. I have written and co-written songs for other musicians. I love to hear them perform my songs, but when I write something and I know it is a Daniel Goguen style song, then I keep it for myself! I know when I am relaxed, I am inspired because 85% of my songs are written on Sunday.”
M.P. “How do you feel when you are on stage?”
D.G. “Five minutes before going on I have butterflies in my stomach but they go away when I start to sing. I love performing. You fell the energy of the people, it’s very intense, and it’s hard to explain. After the show I am exhausted. It’s very demanding both physically and mentally, you have to focus. I love to talk to people after the show and it really moves me when I hear what they have to say and that they really enjoyed their evening. ”
M.P. “On December 10th 1999, as you were being interviewed by Sylvie Mousseau for L’Acadie Nouvelle you said: ʺ I would like to have a music career but I know it won’t be easy.ʺ What do you think now?”
D.G. “To make a living from your music in New Brunswick is very difficult. There is not enough of a population, not enough chances to play; we are far away from Quebec if ever we wanted to participate in an event over there. You almost have to move if you want to be well known. I have my work and life here and I don’t really want to go elsewhere.
I have had the most success with my last disc. I am concentrating on the country music market. I like country and it suits me and my voice. As long as I keep enjoying performing I will continue. I love music and I really need to write and sing. ”
Thank you Daniel. Please continue sharing your talent and passion for music, a music so essential to your life and wellbeing. Thank you for this lovely visit!
For dates of Daniel’s upcoming shows, visit his website at www.danielgoguen.com .