Chloé Breault is finishing the year in a whirlwind of highs. While just wrapping up a new album and recording a series of videos, she discovered she was nominated for two Music NB Awards: Record of the Year (Plage des Morons) and Song of the Year (“P’tits Problèmes”). Her social media reaction to the announcement was nothing short of elated.
Breault’s blossoming career has a sturdy foundation in education, fueled by passion. The Bertrand, N.B., native spent eight years studying music in her home province and neighbouring Quebec before graduating in 2017—the same year she released her first EP, Love.
But, Breault says, “Studying music is not the same thing as actually living and playing music. In school I studied more theoretical things. I mostly gain experience just by doing it—playing shows.”
Hitting the road to tour Canada and Europe just two weeks after finishing school, she obtained that first-hand knowledge quickly. Touring sometimes with a full band, others as a duo, she found her stride with a larger sound: Her new show finds her on stage with at least three musicians and Breault on bass.
“I love learning new instruments and switching up sometimes, but for now I’m in a bass mood,” she says.
Photo by Annie France Noèl
Breault’s contagious love of music spurred her to launch a side project, BAIE, with friends Matt Boudreau and Marc-André Boudreau. Their pop-synch-disco sound has topped charts and led to their first release.
With pre-production under their belt, they plan to finish recording early next year. “We’ve tested out the songs, seeing what works and what doesn’t,” Breault says. “It’s really almost as fun as doing the album. Sometimes a song takes another direction, and it’s really cool to be in the studio making that happen.”
She recorded her Music NB-nominated song “P’tits Problèmes” in March of 2021, but the meaning behind her lyrics shifted with the arrival of the pandemic. “It’s about social media, not getting sucked into it, and pushing out the negativity and fake information,” Breault says.
Returning to the stage after months of shutdowns, Breault has stuck to her roots in N.B. She’s performed solo and with BAIE, and is playing bass for other artists, as well. Breault spent the summer working behind the scenes at a music competition in Caraquet. “It’s doing the opposite of what I’m used to, all the crazy stuff backstage—it was really fun.” she says. “When I was younger, I used to work at the Acadian Festival. I took a little break while I was touring, so it was just going back to my old, fun habits.”
Being kept away from her life as a touring artist has Breault looking forward to returning: “It makes you appreciate doing real, live shows in front of people. Now when I play I think, Oh my God, I have to take it all in. We don’t know how long it will be before we can’t play in front of people again. I’m really just enjoying it while I can.”